I've been re-reading Karen Armstrong's Holy War. For those who are not familiar with Armstrong, she is the author of the best seller A History of God. In Holy War, her theme is the Crusades of the 12th - 14th Centuries, and their impact on our current perceptions of the Niddle East. And I have derived a much better understanding of the situation viz a viz Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel must, I repeat must recognize that the Palestinians are now in the same position as the Jewish people were in until 1948. They have no nation, no home, and deeply feel that they are in exile. Like the Jewish people, they look back upon their one thousand years of life in Palastine, or falastin as they refer to it. They feel very deeply the actual disgrace and defeat of losing that homeland. Their poets express it better than I ever could.
The Palestinians, for their part, must recognize that that past is gone, and work to establish a rapprochement with Israel. From what I read, the PLO did have that as an objective. But some in the PLO weren't willing to accept co-existence with Israel. They see Israel as a western incursion into the Middle East, a further colonial expansion. In the face of humiliation, and an apparent denial of their right even to exist, it is no wonder that tempers are high.
The three Abrahamic religions all share a common base of compassion for the downtrodden,
peaceful living, and love of neighbors. Each now reads it's holy books to justify the violence that is tearing the Middle East to shreds.
So - a message from and Angry Grandpa to all who will listen. Stop the shooting, cease the demonizing of your fellow man, shut and listen to the man in the street, the poor and underclass, to reason instead of emotion. Think about what you are doing to your own people in the name of your common Creator. Violence only breeds more violence, and gets you absolutely nowhere. Indeed, in the case of the current situation in Lebanon, it's moving you back in time to a previously unacceptable condition.
THINK, LISTEN, TALK to EACH OTHER as members of the human family, not as demons to be destroyed.
Unfortunately, the demonizing became a central process early in Western European history, with the Crusades. And it has become an underlying thought process in Western Europe and America ever since. So the United States must work overtime to rectify it's failed policies in the Middle East. Demonizing nations as "Evil", as in "the axis of evil" certainly is an expression of this deep and mistaken attitude.
If this nonsense doesn't stop, the world could see this as the opening skirmishes in Word War III, which none of us want to see.
So - get this message across to whomever you can, and perhaps it will reach the ears of the makers of policy around the world.