Conflict is like everything else – people get labels assigned to them based on their supposed political party, even though those parties do not represent the best interests of their base. Therefore, in the light of the meltdown over Palestine, and the number of Jewish-loving born again Christians, especially in the United States, it is high time to take a closer look at what the roots of the current violence is—not an easy undertaking.
Most pundits and politicians are so involved in discussing the political and funding side of the Arab-Israeli conflict that they are unwilling to accept that its root cause is land and not religion. It is like beating a drum—and Trump claims that he has merely accepted what was already a reality, as Jerusalem is functionally the capital of Israel.
Not so simple
I am reminded of one of my former graduate students in academic writing, who wanted to write a paper on the Arab-Israeli Conflict and was surprised when I told her that the topic was too large. I explained that it would keep her busy for the rest of her life, and how she needed to find something more focused to get her assignment done.
Naively, the young girl, from a country with its own rich history of Jewish culture and community, asked me… “then what are they fighting about.”
I told her the conflict was not about religion, as Jews, Arabs and Christians were all able to live side-by-side, as it was part of [our] religion to get along. It was not until the UN decided to decant the remnant of Jews in Europe to an artificial state it had set up itself, based on the mess the British had left in their Palestine Mandate, that the trouble had begun. “It is all over land and who has the most right to it.”
This view may be an oversimplification, but it gets to the crux of the matter. Alan Dowty, Professor of Government and International Studies and Fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, confirms this: “The core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the claim of two peoples to the same piece of land.”