Thursday, February 4, 2010


Violence in Jerusalem
This Monday is scorching with the heat of the bomb that erupted in central Jerusalem. Both Jews and Muslims wander the streets looking for loved ones, the pain is equal in everyone’s eyes. Most of these people look the same; it’s hard to fathom what divides them so greatly. It is second nature for a human to discriminate against others who are different; society feels safe with those who share similar beliefs. Since the beginning of time man has waged war over their purpose in this universe; today this sole purpose is considered to be religion. One of the greatest religious wars was the Crusades. The Crusades were fought over a stretch of land considered holy by three of the world’s biggest religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Still today thousands of lives are being unnecessarily lost over a stretch of land the size of Rhode Island; this issue, originally a petty, divine argument between the local people now encompasses many of the countries overseas. Indeed many of the world’s current conflicts are seeded in the Israel -Palestinian conflict. The world cannot ignore this fact and must unite to resolve it. More and more countries are joining in the fight and soon this conflict will come to a head; society should learn from its violent past so that it can correct the chaos today. Solutions are needed. If Israel and Palestine could just share the country in peace, there would be no need for conflict. This violence is a disease that must be stopped before it coins the beginning of World War III.
For centuries, followers of these three religions have shed blood over the holy land known as Jerusalem; each religion claims this city as theirs and has been fighting for more than a millennium. Today there are modern crusades being waged between the Muslims of Palestine and the Jews of Israel. Palestinian Muslims are fighting to gain back their holy land and Jews are fighting to keep their holy land. Each side has a violent view of each other: “There is evil that can spread and threaten the security of the Jews” said the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu addressing the constant bloodshed, (“violence”). There has always been violence in Jerusalem, however, more radical threats have been made in the last ten years, such as a nuclear holocaust; “Some 500 pro-Islamic Turks held an anti-Israel protest in Istanbul on Monday over violence at a Jerusalem holy site claimed by both Arabs and Jews“ (“Hundreds Protest”). These reports are becoming more frequent with each passing year, when did this all start? In a January 10, presentation in Englewood, "Voices of Youth: Confronting Conflict and Building Community," Denver resident Kate Simmons stimulated the thinking of her audience with a report on her recent interfaith trip to Israel. After the Holocaust she explained, Jews went to the UN to ask for a country where they could live and practice their religion in peace (Simmons). With the support of the UN, the country of Israel was established in 1948 and included Jerusalem (Simmons). Conflict erupted because Palestinian Muslims live there and consider it their home and holy land (Simmons). There has been conflict since the dawn of days but recently since the establishment of Israel a huge war has erupted between the Muslims (Palestinians Muslims in neighboring states) and the Jews.
The people on both sides are living in constant fear. The Jews won and claimed more surrounding territory as a buffer, but they have been fighting and defending this territory ever since despite being afraid (Simmons). In recent times the Jews have built a separation wall to protect themselves from the Palestinians (Simmons). The wall between the two puts the West Bank on one side and Jerusalem on the other. On January 3, 2009, Palestinian fighters sent rockets into Jerusalem killing many people (Simmons). This was just one out of many battles fought in the last ten years. Kids walking home from school even are looking for places to hide for when the bomb sirens go off. A caterpillar structure at a children play ground serves as a bomb shelter for kids on the play ground when the rocket sirens go off. This is a very sad situation and a problem that gets worse with time. But, with every unique problem a unique answer arises. One can’t help but wonder how to make a difference, how to help. The best way to help is to let people know what’s going on in Jerusalem and that the Jews and the Muslims both feel the same when they lose a loved one to this senseless violence and that their biggest fear is not being heard.
Since this “Holy war” began, the world’s nations have been picking sides. Even our own U.S.A has been exploiting this war to settle an age old feud between the U.S and Russia. Society is fueling the violence giving people the power to kill more efficiently; “Israel-United States military relations have been extremely close” (“Israel”). The U.S is allies with Israel’s Jews and Russia sides with the Palestinian Muslims. Both countries are funding their money and resources into the Holy War hoping that in the end their feud will be solved. Newspaper headlines show the large countries taking sides "Russia is Helping Palestinians Fight Terrorism” ("Russia”), reports like this one are becoming more frequent. Each passing year, it’s uncertain who’s on whose side. When will all of this come to a head? Is there a solution?
There has been talk of either a two state solution or a one state solution. The one state solution would mean that the Muslims and the Jews would have to make peace in order to share the country and live under one government. This has sparked some great controversy and it doesn’t look as if either side will settle for peace, but this solution still lies open for debate. The more plausible solution would be the two state solution which would divide the country of Israel in two; the only problem with this is water. Israel has two sides the west bank and the eastern side of Jerusalem. One side has water and the other does not. The two state solution would not work because there would still be conflict over water and territory. What is the solution for now is that society can help by spreading the news. There is an old saying that two heads are better than one; the more people thinking of a solution the better. We as world citizens need to remember this is not just Jerusalem’s problem, but the world’s problem; it might be second nature for society to discriminate against others who are different, but it is instinct for society to forgive. There is always hope.

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