Questions You May Be Reluctant to Ask About the Israeli Palestinian Conflict
1. Does this go back to the Bible? Is this some modern outplaying of Biblical prophecy?
Answer: No. What we’re watching now has everything to do with the creation of the State of Israel by the United Nations, the subsequent decolonization of the Middle East, and the way that process was mishandled.
2. Does this have anything to do with the 1967 Six Day War? Yes. It’s as if the war never ended. It is as those who lost East Jerusalem have never accepted Israel’s victory in that war. You’ll hear the term “pre-1967” borders thrown around quite a bit.
3. Do most Palestinians have antipathy toward average Israelis? No.
4. Do most Israelis hate their neighbors? No.
5. What about these settlements? In certain contested areas of land, Israel is continuing to build new homes and settle families in these areas. The people settling in these areas are usually very devout Orthodox families who believe do believe in the Biblical commands to settle the land. Here, theology and politics clearly overlap. These settlements would be the first areas in any negotiation that the Palestinians would probably want back. They would be the last areas the Israelis would want to give back. Those settlements which have been returned were done so at great political and social cost to the government and wider society. Any images of troops moving whole families out of their homes hardens Israeli public opinion against dialogue with the Palestinians, especially after a period of bombing like the one we’re experiencing now.
6. Can your opponent today be your ally tomorrow? Yes. Go read your Bible.
7. Is this conflict within this conflict as cut and dry and as black and white as some would like to make it? Of course not.
8. Is the goal to let the people of the Middle East, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian decide their future without western influence? Yes. Colonialism made this mess. Will other forms of colonialism fix it? No.