Two Sides of the Story
edited: Wednesday, March 19, 2003
By Jennifer B. Reed
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2003
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Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, people were more aware of events happening all over the world. Suddenly, the terror and crises of the Middle East became not a concern just for our government, but also for many American citizens.
Two Sides to the Story
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
By Jennifer Bond Reed
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, people were more aware of events happening all over the world. Suddenly, the terror and crises of the Middle East became not a concern just for our government, but also for many American citizens. The question on many minds around the country remains. Why does the Muslim world despise Americans and everything we stand for?
The root of the problem goes back centuries. However, the United States' recent involvement with Israel after World War II, has spurred strong anti American feelings. Many Muslim groups do not want the United States or Europe to support Israel. They do not want American bases on their soil as we have in Saudi Arabia and now Afghanistan. But to ensure worldwide peace, to help people and to stop terrorism, the United States has to take an active role. This includes supporting Israel.
The Jewish- Israeli Conflict
Jenin Zaal Abu Ruqti, a 15-year-old girl from Ramallah, said at the Palestinian delegation that she hoped for peace and saw Israeli children as allies in the effort to end the fighting. "We love everybody. We are children. We don't hate anybody," she said. "We came here with a voice of peace from all the Palestinian children." Jenin's viewpoints represent many Palestinian children as well as Jewish children. They want the fighting to stop. Both the Jewish people and Muslims have been living in the area together for centuries. There have been times of peace and times of war. However it has never been as bad as it is now. Many Jews left Israel to live in other parts of Europe. Until the early 20th century, they lived peacefully among people of many different ethnic groups in countries all over Europe
The genocide that occurred to the Jewish people during World War II devastated Europe. Many Jews were rounded up and sent to prison camps. They were either killed or tortured and families were torn apart. When the war was over thousands had no homes, no place to return. It made sense to the Jews, the American government as well as much of Europe that they should return to their homeland, Israel.
Whether it is called Palestine or Israel, this land was not an empty barren area. Thousands of Muslims called Palestine their home. Yet as the Jews were sent in, many Muslims were pushed out. A war broke out between the two groups of people and is known as the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. In the end, the Jewish people won and declared Israel a state in 1948. Many Palestinians were sent away to live in refugee camps or small designated areas called settlements.
Many Muslim nations viewed this as racial cleansing and similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews during World War II. In many ways they were right. Over 500,000 Muslims were uprooted from their homes, sent to refugee camps to live in terrible conditions. Many others were killed and tortured by the Israeli government. Because the United States supported the Jewish people and the right for Israeli to become it own state, many Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria decided that the United States was and still is to this day, their enemy.
Who is right?
Both groups of people believe in the God of the Old Testament. However, the Jews believe the land is theirs as promised by God in the story about Abraham and his son Isaac. The Palestinians claim the land belongs to them through Abraham's son Ishmael. When the Jewish government took control over areas of Palestine they did it with force. Arab nations see the occupation of Jews in Palestine as illegal just as it was illegal for Nazi Germany to occupy other countries and displace the Jews. Arabs feel that Israelis oppress the Palestinian people and in many cases they do. The Jewish people want to be able to live freely in their land, to come and go as they please and to not be afraid of terrorist activities.
Extremists in the Muslim world want to see the United States crumble along with Israel. They will do anything to accomplish this goal. Anger and hatred have built over the years. Inhumane acts have been performed on both sides. The Jewish government has been known to do horrific things to the Muslims living there. Yet in recent years the actions of terrorists, people who kill innocent people, in Israel and around the world have only made the situation worse.
In spite of its friendship with Israel, the United States also supports the Palestinian people. The American government believes that the Palestinians should have their own state where people are free to live as they choose. The United States has tried to work with Israel and the Palestinian government to find an answer. What makes it hard is that both sides have valid points. Both side have also brutally hurt each other. Peace cannot be accomplished until the violence stops.
"When we, peaceful people, win the war against terror, we will have more chances to build strong and peaceful relations between the countries. In my opinion, beating the terror, there will be no more obstacles on the way to world peace." Israeli student, Yevgeny Ksendzhinsky
Peace starts with you!
There is hope. God promises all the people of every nation that there is peace to come. Muslims, Jews and Christians all believe this. Many people believe that it will happen with the children. Children in Israel are very similar to children in Palestine who are very similar to children in the United States and other kids all over the world. When you look beyond skin color and religion you find a person just like you- a kid who just wants to be a kid! Can these two groups of people live together? Hopefully some day. Peace is possible and it can start with you.
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|Reviewed by Tien Avielle
|Thanks for the charming write on a difficult subject. It is even suitable for children! (That was my impression BEFORE I read your bio!)
Unfortunately, I don't believe there is any hope for peace until ALL NATIONS disarm. (I'll quit now, before I go off on a mean tangent, lol) - I'm saving this one - thanks.