Sunday, January 24, 2010
Sometimes I feel like Switzerland
With a small prayer, I can do this topic a little bit of justice.
Yes, I am about to "go there."
Yep, I said. Now I want to educate - BOTH SIDES.
I know all of you are aware that I am married to an Egyptian. He is a muslim. Many, many of my friends are egyptian and muslim.
I am Christian - and well, as we all know, Christian - especially American Christians are very sympathetic to Israel.
I am quite sure (and this statement does not pertain to anyone I worked in television with) but I am quite sure that most of the people I know on Facebook - and that is over 500, are not aware of what's really going on over there.
Maybe you don't care. Then again, maybe you should.
I remember back to when I was a senior in High School - my first REAL taste of what was going on "over there." I took a Foreign Relations (H) class with Virginia Phillips. (Still the single coolest teacher IN the world.) One of our class projects was to participate in Georgia's Model United Nations. Some things to realize, 1. It is 1991 - Gulf War is going on and George Bush (daddy Bush) was president.
We were to send in our request to participate, then we would be given a country to represent. I am sure our teacher almost fell out when she realized the country we had - what a HOT topic. Yes, my friends, we were given Israel. At the time, probably must of us laughed and said - oh easy - Israel of the bible. *sigh* Naive at such a young age.
We got an excellent opportunity to go to Atlanta to the Israeli consulate. We got to sit and ask lots of questions to these very intense men. I remember that I had never met people so serious in my life. They explained the entire history - and referenced the Torah (first 5 books of the bible for those who are not aware) and used that a historical account of why the land they are on is theirs.
Our little group heads to our Model UN - and guess what committee I was put on for debate? Special Political Committee. The one where "special" issues are debated out. Holy moly. at 17, that was A LOT to take in. ;-)
But I digress.
Back to the issue at hand. Visiting Egypt, one of the first things you will notice, and I am just going to be honest here, is a major "hate" and I know that is a strong word, but it is the right one - HATE of Israel.
Obviously, I asked - why? It's compassion for the Palestinian people.
Let me explain what is exactly going on over there. The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is an ongoing dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Although the conflict is wide-ranging, the key issues are border security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, land rights, and legalities concerning refugees.
The violence resulting from the conflict has prompted other security and human rights concerns on both sides and internationally. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict.
Many Palestinians nowadays believe that Israel is not really interested in reaching an arrangement, but rather interested in continuing to control the entire territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. As proof of their claims, they point to the expansion of the Jewish settlements during the terms of the Israeli left-wing political parties, the argument that it has always been Israel which has conquered territory which belonged to Arab countries, that the IDF entered Palestinian towns during the intifada, as well as quotes of Israeli right-wing leaders and religious leaders who have expressed their support in a Greater Israel and in implementing a population transfer.
On the other hand, many Israelis nowadays believe that the Palestinians’ true intentions are to conquer the Palestine region entirely and that their official claims are only a temporary strategy. As a proof to their claims, they note the rise of the Hamas, which has called for the takeover of all parts of Israel, incitement against Israel made in the Palestinian schools' textbooks and to the Palestinian political violence made against Israeli civilians within the Green Line borders.
Due to the large number of opinions and interpretations, the question of the true demands of the parties is a political issue by itself, about which many Israelis and Palestinians disagree.
Take a moment and watch this video:
This video is an eyewitness account of what is going on along the borders. THIS is what gets people angry. This is government, not religion.
After watching the video, I thought it might be "eye opening" to see what the International Solidarity Movement was about.
Here is a very in depth documentary of the Palestinian Refugees.
I want to make sure I am balanced in this explanation. So I did a little research on what Israel is saying. I think video is an excellent way to show this.
Finally, I thought it might be good to share this link -
You can see both sides. Both are killing - one has more advanced weapons (from us) and one is living in squalor and creating make-shift bombs and receiving bombs from other sources.
Other Arab nations are backing Palestine, which leaves Israel surrounded by enemies.
Then Israel has the strongest ally - the United States, which puts Palestine at risk.
What is the American official statement on the Arab/Israeli conflict??
In the end, I hope for peace. I believe Palestine needs their own state. Make it official. I believe Israel has a right to their state.
There are so many perspectives. I will end with a few "excellent" sources to help you understand the conflict.
In the end.... I share this message:
God Bless Everyone! :-)
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