Israel & Palestine: Is Peace Possible?
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The Crusades -- The Beginning of
US News: The First Holy War
the West's involvement in Middle Eastern conflict

During the Crusades, East and West First Met -- On the Battlefield

Throwing stones at tanks is the grim expression of desperate defiance by a people who feel that they are fighting a losing battle for their very survival against an overwhelming enemy. How can these two peoples -- Jews and Muslims -- share this ancient, embattled country that is overflowing with bloodshed of innocent civilians? How can either forgive each other for the deaths of their own loved ones? There can be no peace without trust.

In Western minds, ancient conflicts between Christianity and Islam linger only faintly. But in the Middle East, the holy wars are far from forgotten.

"The impact of the Crusades created a historical memory which is with us today -- the memory of a long European onslaught."  -- Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University in Washington, D.C.
 
It was the fall of 1187, and an emissary from the besieged city of Jerusalem had come to beg Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, for mercy. After barely four days of assaults, the Christian defenders saw that Saladin had them hopelessly outmatched. Waiting in his tent outside the city's walls, the Muslim ruler knew both sides had a lot riding on the outcome of this battle. -- Excerpted from an article by Andrew Curry

Since ancient times, the traditional way cultures expanded, claimed new lands, and established claims to an area was through military conquest, diplomacy, or alliance. However, today's world is far more politically complex and globally interdependent on resources than it used to be. Justification for claiming others' lands is now subject to approval by the world community.

For example: first, the claiming of North American lands by the Europeans; and later, the American westward expansion occurred at the expense of Native peoples, who were displaced from their lands by treaty or by force. The American policy of Eminent Domain gave the government and settlers the power and sense of righteousness to move onto lands that were already the homes and hunting grounds of Native Americans, without recognition of Natives' rights.

The conquest and displacement of other cultures is no longer acceptable to the world, and past treatment of Native Americans is now subject to litigation. Similarly, the world is looking on with alarm and disapproval as Israel's policies and actions fail to respect the rights of Palestinians.

The Israeli Flag
Internet Jewish History Sourcebook
The Star of David

Israeli actions ordered by Sharon's government have inevitably evoked comparison to the isolation and invasion tactics used by the Third Reich against the Jews themselves. How did Jews, who were themselves herded into camps and besieged in ghettos, turn to such brutal tactics as these? And how can peace be imposed on people who have suffered so many unfair losses of loved ones that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives for retribution?

Bodies of 3 of 5 Palestinian policemen in a bank.
PBS: Remembering the Holocaust
Shot by Israeli soldiers in Ramallah March 30, 2002.

Israeli soldiers enter compound of Palestinian
Online Newshour: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
President Yasser Arafat 31 March in Ramallah

Israel & Palestine: News Updates
Israel & Palestine News Links and Updates
International News Links
CNN Special Report:
Israel and Palestine
CIA World Factbook
A Very Small Place -- A Very Big Struggle

"Dying as a suicide bomber is a selfish, egotistical decision. It's a choice, not a fate forced upon an unfortunate victim." ~ Ted Gausmann

Seeking to establish a secure Jewish refuge after WWII, the nation of Israel was established in a way that is still controversial. Adding to the controversy, the Israelis have not stayed within the boundaries of the nation as originally established. They are continuing to take the homes of others through conquest. That is where Sharon has led the nation of Israel into error. Barak's loss of office was a terrible blow to peaceful coexistence in the area

My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the
It casts a wondrous light! -- In Memory of Shoah
night...But ah! my friends, and woe my foes,

Archive of links to stories of suicide bombings in Israel.

I am on the side of peace. I hope and pray that somehow some intervention will work despite Sharon's brutal 'Eminent Domain'-like policies and continued Palestinian terrorist tactics. I am wary of the covert agenda of the Bush administration, but I have to agree with his remarks, that "Enough is enough."  -- Editor

Israeli tank shell explodes inside Arafat HQ
Internet Islamic History Sourcebook
West Bank city of Ramallah, March 29, 2002

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