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Israel, Palestine, Jews, Muslims, Christians, conflict, according to Steve

Israel is fucked up. There, that’s it. Pretty damn simple and concise. Unfortunately, as brutal as it sounds, you would probably be hard pressed to find anybody who could repute it.

Okay, I guess I should preface in big bold letters, THIS IS STRICTLY INFORMATION ACCORDING TO ME. Do not agree, fine, post a comment with any discrepancies, it is fine because I will be the first to shout, “I don’t know everything and barely know above anything.” Also, this stuff will be very basic as I would probably not read it if it was to concise and therefore would not be very Stevish.

Israel and Palestine. The Jews were in the area first according to the Bible and Testaments. They were chased out and the land was conquered over and over. Later the Palestinians became into power and have lived there until the present time. Since the kicking out of the Jews they have wandered around the world without a homeland. Back in the 30’s a guy wrote a book and started a push to creat a Jewish homeland. They were offered a place in Uganda but decided that the only true place could be around Jerusalem, their old homelands. The belief was that they were there first so it should be theirs. At the time the British and their usual want to control the world had power over the area. They allowed some of the Jews to start living there. Soon WWII broke out and things got put on hold as they were considering splitting the territory and making it partial Jewish and partial Palestinian territories. During the war the genocide took place(more later) further pushing the issue for the Jews to have a home land. After the war, the Brits had had enough of all of the conflicts going on there so they decided they wanted out and handed over the issue to the UN. Well, the UN as is now is pretty much powerless and war instantly broke out between the new Jewish state of Israel and the surrounding Arabs/Moslims. With a huge desire to fight for their lands and the backing with Czech arms, the Israelis kicked their ass and continued to do so taking over more land from the surrounding Arab countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Through out this whole time there was truces and wars stretching and contorting borders until you have the present day borders.

So where are we now, Israel controls pretty much the whole country with two sections alloted for the Palestinians, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel is heavily supported by the US through funding and weapons. Their military is one of the strongest and most active in the world. There is a very distinct line driven between the two areas not to mention a big fucking wall that surrounds the Palestinian Territories which is there supposedly to reduce the amount of terrorists that can pass over to Israel. Just think of the Berlin Wall between the old East and West Germany. People are living their lives but it is truly a life in turmoil as there is fear, resentment, anger, and uncertaintly bubbling right below the surface. Israelis are not allowed into the Palestinian Territories (except the military) and Palestinians are very rarely granted permission to enter the Israeli lands. At the moment, Israel is very rich and powerful compared to the Palestinians and most Middle East countries. It is very much like a European or American country while Palestine is still a bit below like many of the countries in the Middle East.

What does it feel like? Imagine if you were of a people that were persecuted from the beginning of civilization. You are surrounded by countries that would be more than happy if you just disappeared in any way possible. On the other side, you have been kicked off your homelands by foreign invaders supported by other countries. You are forced into camps where there are no jobs, support, or freedom. You are not allowed to leave and cannot even visit your old home. You are a prisoner. Fear, hate, resentment, that is Israel.

Don’t get me wrong, people live, have families, and have fun, but still, just under the surface ready to come to the boil are the issues from above. Add in the fact that every person has had a family member or friend killed in the conflict, and you have a very challenging situation.

Just arriving in Jerusalem and wandering around, you can feel it. Tension big time. It’s actually kind of scary and I don’t scare easy.

Whats the fix. I originally thought I had an easy solution (before I had a inkling of knowledge of what was going on.) Since Israel was kind of established illegally, at least in modern day law, they should rectify it just like what might happen in modern day times. They should buy the land. Sure, the Palestinians would say that they should just kick out the Jews, but realistically that is not going to happen so we have to think in real life options. Israel is established and there is no way around that. Currently, the Palestinians are living in basic poverty with not a lot of opportunities. So lets say Israel pays Palestine a trillion dollars. Sure, its a lot of money, but add into how much the US and other countries dump into the conflict and the amount of money that is donated, spaced over maybe a hundred years or more (were talking about a couple of thousand year old issue), and a trillion is really not that much. The Palestinians now have the funds to establish a first world country and now everybody has an opportunity as well as a little bit of a pay back for the inconvenience. The countries seperate and the only thing that has to be shared are the religious properties (which can honestly also be bought and sold.) There, conflict solved.

The problem with this quick solution alludes back to the deaths of family and friends. Money won’t fix that and is one of the main reason for the anger and hostility that goes on now. It doesn’t take much talking to either party to see how much anger is between them. How do you buy off the anger over your father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, friend, etc being killed by your enemy? You can’t. That only dies when the original parties dies and carries on with every new death to the new generation.

It’s fucked up and will be that way. It’s unfortunate that the two most religious groups can’t get along. It says a lot about people and their misinterpretations of religion.

In the end, who do I side for? Neither. Both are wrong and I couldn’t pick a side because of it. Makes me kind of glad that I was brought up as a Buddhist (although I know about that as much as I do about Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, etc.)

Other stuff I learned:

The wall is massive. I thought that I might come down, check it out, and maybe push over a section or two. Not going to happen. Not going to happen with a bull dozer. The thing is massive. The other wall that people don’t associate with “the wall”, is the high tech wire wall that makes up most of it. It is a high tech electrified fence that can not only shock, but it can alert the military of any disturbances along its whole run. It is an awe inspiring piece of work. The graffiti is also classic. The soldiers on the sniper outposts who yelled at me, not so classic.

Israeli’s growing up. You turn eighteen, you go into the military. Females go in for two years, males for three years. Once military service is finished many Israelis go on a kind of gap year where they travel for a while before going to University. After University, real life starts. Families start late because of this as University bound people don’t get an opportunity to marry and have a family until almost or after thirty. While traveling they are some of the most feared especially when they are in groups, not the easiest to get along with because they are such a tight knit group (for reasons see above), but I have made very good friends with a lot of Israelis because we share the same travel style.

Since I visited the Yad Vashem, the museum of the Holocaust, I will give a little background of things that I learned that I was unaware of.

Why were the Jews hated? Jews come from Judaism which came from Judas who was known to be the guy that sold out Jesus and caused his execution. Christians especially held this against the Jews. Back in the early days, the word was spread that the Jews performed sort of sacrifices using Christian children. This was a good way to spread fear. In regards to Jews being rich and running the world, this came about because in the early days the Jews were looked down upon as a secondary race. They were supposed to be kept segregated and humiliated, but never harmed. Well, because of this, Jews were not allowed to own property or businesses. With little opportunity some turned to a sort of banking and went into loaning money. Some of these men prospered and there grew the stereotype. Another base stereotype was that Jews had a certain look/features that could be measured. This also struck fear as it was thought that once this blood line entered, there was no diluting. From there you got basic persecution to the point of the Holocaust. I also learned that the Jews were persecuted throughout all of Europe and Russia, the Middle East, and even Norther Africa. I was glad to learn about the resistance that also sprang up and that some of the Jews really fought back as most information is about the non-resistance of the Jews who were murdered.

The Yad Vashem (New Holocause Museum) was definitely a must see if you are ever in Jerusalem. After missing the Apartheid Museum in South Africa and the Genocide Museum in Rwanda, I am glad that I made it here.
Yad Vashem Link



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3 responses to “Israel, Palestine, Jews, Muslims, Christians, conflict, according to Steve”

  1. Judy says:

    Hey! You’re writing faster than I can read!! Good to hear from you again. I hope you get this print better than it looks on this end. More later. judy

  2. john bita says:

    hi Steve, i have have taken long without visiting your site,
    you must be enjoying your travels.

    greetings from Mbale in Eastern Ug, if you remember that evening in Kapchorwa in April.

  3. Daniel says:

    While you there is always some detail that you can make more precise, you’ve put it all together pretty accurately. I truly hope that you could put aside your feelings and enjoyed vacation. I love reading your posts, thank you.

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