The pro-Israel dogmatists here in the U.S. like to invoke the idea that if the Palestinians would just lay down their arms, they would have the peace they ostensibly want- but this notion is an inaccurate one- it way overestimates the good intent of the Israeli leadership and possibly the majority in the Israeli society. If we just look at the time period after the Oslo Accords- that lengthy time between Intifadas- the number of Israeli settlers doubled in the Occupied Territories. The facts on the ground convinced the Palestinians that the Israeli leadership was just using the time to entrench, and make it less likely that the 1967 borders (that were internationally indicated as offering the best chance for a boundary between Israel and a new Palestinian State) would still be a possibility as the years wore on. This was the primary root cause of the Second Intifada which was incredibly more violent all around than the first. The Palestinians are usually seen by the majority of Americans as the bad guys, the ones who just refuse to seek peace with the Israelis- the ones who refuse even to recognize the right of Israel to exist- but it is the Palestinian situation that is so much more desperate, and their right to exist as a viable, contiguous State has hardly been one respected by Israeli and American leaders over the years- not in real terms, even if the rhetoric and official statements sometimes indicates such an acknowledgment. Read the rest of this entry »
I would like to recommend a few good reads to help one navigate the situation of how to regard Islam and Muslims as both Christians and Americans. First of all – the suggestion that America is or should be engaged in a Holy War Crusade against all Muslim majority nations is one that has to be confronted- there is nothing more dangerous than to try to match the extremism of Bin Laden-style Islam with some kind of Bin Laden-style Christianity.