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Faith vs. Other?

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:49 pm
by Hadassah
New to the forum. Hello. Just began a book on the Arab-Israeli conflict which was recommended to me as fairly balanced and manageable. It is appropriately and simply titled _The Arab-Israeli Conflict_ by David Lesch. Early on, he states that there are very recent factors which have nothing to do with matters of faith which define the modern state of the conflict. Lesch says that there have been long periods of cooperation and tolerance between the players in the past only spotted by religious episodes. I can see how this could be true when looking back over a long period, but I am wondering if this is the impression one gleans from Jews themselves. As one who is "on the ground," do you find that matters of faith are prominent with individual Israelis with regard to the conflict and everyday events?

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:28 pm
by Ariel
shalom Hadassah and welcome to our forum!

I would tend to totally disagree with Mr. Lesch and say that the conflict is entirely religiously based. It seems to me that it is a foundational tenet of Islam that it simply cannot accept the presence of a Jewish state in a Muslim Middle East. It's true that there have been long periods of relative peace between Jews and Muslims, but this was when Jews had the status of dhimmis - second class citizens under Muslim sovereignty. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the idea of living under Jewish sovereignty is nearly intolerable for the devout Muslim - or a the most a temporary evil to be tolerated until it becomes possible to turn around the balance of power.

As for the importance of matters of faith regarding the conflict with individual Israelis - it goes from none to very high. Many seculars would rather compromise with the Palestinians and make painful concessions of land for the sake of attaining peace. I personally think they misjudge how jihad is integral to Islam. The most ardent Zionist Jews are made of the religious right, and they are generally very opposed to any withdrawal from the Palestinian territories.


Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:47 pm
by Hadassah
Entirely religiously based? So in your opinion, what role does a Jewish or an Arab nationalism play in current ideas and attitudes over what might be considered strictly faith-based beliefs?

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:17 pm
by Athol
The problem is that you can't really separate religion from Jewish and Arab Nationalism. That Arab nationalism is Islamic is demonstrated by the Christian Arabs who are being driven out of the Palestinian areas by Arab Muslim persecution. On the jewish side you see the intolerance of religious and secular jews towards Messianic Jews and Jewish Christians.