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Isreal

By ishadiaz May 05, 2013 1245 Words
Israel
For centuries Israel has been a place for spiritual enlightenment as well as a country at war with itself. Located in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Lebanon, it is only slightly larger than New Jersey. This tiny little country has a big problem that is still going on today, and in order to understand the present, one has to look to the past. During World War II Israel was under British rule, then when the war ended they withdrew there mandate from Israel. The UN ended up partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states (Image 1-1) the Arabs rejected the idea. And in retaliation Arab leaders in Israel planned a Jihad, a holy war, against Israel and encouraged the Arabs to leave Israel promising their return after they purge the land of Jews, A promise that still hasn’t been fulfilled. These events sparked a war between Israelis and Arabs, the Israelites ended up defeating the Arabs, but it was far from the end of the war. Just as the Arabs were pushed out of Israel, during the 1940’s to the 1950’s nearly all the Jews had to flee from Arab countries to avoid persecution and pogroms. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries is estimated to be a million (according to Israel Science and Technology). This conflict or war, whatever you may call it is basically a giant custody battle for land, or a the institute of Middle East Understanding says, “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is, in essence, a conflict over territory. Although religion plays a role in defining the identities of the parties to the conflict, and for some Jews, in justifying their claims to the land, the conflict is not, fundamentally, a religious conflict.”  

Since the 90’s Israel has seen many wars the: War of Independence (1948), Sinai War (1956), Six Day War (1967), Yom Kippur War (1973) are just some of the many. Israel has tried to promote peace in the country, but instead of promoting the peace it just made tensions worse. To keep the peace Israel in 2003 started the construction on a separation barrier in the occupied west bank, to “keep the peace”, the wall consists of a wall twenty-five feet high, razor wire, trenches, sniper towers, electrified fences, military roads, electronic surveillance, and buffer zones. And while they had good intentions like many before them the real problem they have is there aversion to communicating with the Arabs and vice versa.. As an anonymous quote once said, “If the Arabs (Moslems) put down their weapons today there would be no more violence. If the Israelis put down their weapons today there would be no more Israel. 
Think about it...” This is just one of many opinions that have been expressed on the subject. But this person like many don’t understand that the only major thing keeping Israel from becoming one, instead of separate states divided by a wall, is one person’s willingness to speak up and talk about why they cant be at peace with one another.

Organizations like Peace Child Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Combatants for Peace understand this notion and have dedicated their mission to bringing understanding to both sides. Peace Child Israel was, “…co-founded in 1988 by David Gordon and Yael Drouyannoff to teach coexistence using theater and the arts. We educate for democratic values, tolerance and mutual respect. Arab and Jewish teens from partnering Arab and Jewish schools around the country meet weekly for 8 months before creating original dramas about coexistence and its challenges. The plays, in Arabic and Hebrew, are performed for the public at-large and in a second year of activity, for student audiences”, (Taken From There Website). Peace Child is helping the effort by starting with the youth, who are the next generation and have to and will live with these stigmas about each other that have been taught to them since birth. The Jewish Voice for Peace Organization on the other hand are, “Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals. JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression.  JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East”, (Taken from their website). Combatants for Peace is a little different than the last two there movement unlike Peace Child Israel and Jewish Voice for Peace, “Combatants was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. After brandishing weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapon sights, we have decided to put down our guns, and to fight for peace.” Taken from their website. All of these organizations are doing their part to help ease tensions in Israel, but they have a long road ahead of them. Although the tension is still very high in Israel people are becoming more open to the prospect for peace is there homeland, especially teenagers. In the book We Just Want To Live Here Odelia Ainbinder and Amal Rifa’I proves this point, when they first met each other they didn’t like each other in fact they hated each other. But with the help of Sylek Tempel, they started writing to each other, they started communicating with each other, and in the end they became friends. In the book Odelia says something that sums up what the problem is in Israel, “ From neither side do you get the whole picture, not from yours, Amal, not from mine, and not from an outsiders point of view.” (121). Though Israel has had a past plagued by war and suffering its future peace is with its reach, all they have to do is talk.

Jewish State
Jewish State
Arab States
Arab States
Image 1-1:
Map of Israel after the UN divide up the
land into Arab and Jewish states.
Image 1-1:
Map of Israel after the UN divide up the
land into Arab and Jewish states.

Works Cited
Hanukoglu, Israel. Israel Science and Technology. 1999. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. …..<http://www.science.co.il/arab-israeli-conflict.asp>
N/A. Central Intelligence Agency. 2007. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. …..<https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world->
N/A. Jewish Voice For Peace. 2000. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. < http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/ >
Himelfarb, Noa. Hochner, Alik. Combatants For Peace. 2005. Web. 06 Oct. 2012. …..<http://cfpeace.org/?page_id=2>
Gordon, David. Drouyannoff, Yael. Peace Child Israel. N/A. Web. 06 Oct. 2012. …..<http://www.mideastweb.org/peacechild/>
Ostfield, Gili. Within the Eye of the Storm-Film. Palestine-Israel Journal 17.12 (2011): n-page. …..Web. 05 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pij.org/details.php?blog=1&id=157>
“From neither side do you get the whole picture…” (121). Rifa’I, Amal. Ainbinder, Odelia. . .. …..Tempel, Sylke. We Just Want to Live Here. 2003. Print.

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