The Real Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Thousands upon thousands of meetings over nearly two decades have not resolved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
 
And while most don't realize it, the animosity between the two peoples didn't start with the Jews.
 
The story begins in the late 1800s when Jews -- who'd been scattered to the four corners of the earth -- began yearning for the land of their forefathers -- the land the Bible told them was their God-given inheritance.
 
Many Jews scattered abroad never stopped reading the Bible. It was their treasure -- their collective anchor to God -- in a world that often treated them very badly.

Even less religious Jews usually observed Shabbat -- the weekly Sabbath -- and celebrated the biblical feasts - the Jewish holy days -- together.

The Torah -- the first five books of the Bible (often called the Law of Moses)  -- and the Jewish prophets -- such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel -- shaped their collective thinking.
 
Jews in the Diaspora tended to live in their own communities. They gathered in the local synagogue on Shabbat.

Some dressed differently and many followed the teaching of the sages (rabbis), which often didn't fit well in the foreign cultures. Many Jews followed different rituals in the preparation of kosher food and how it is eaten.

Jewish girls were betrothed to Jewish men. For the most part, they didn't intermarry with non-Jews. If that happened, the intended usually converted to Judaism before the wedding.

But unlike their Muslim counterparts, the Jews had no plan to take over the lands where they were living. They just wanted to contribute to it, which they did. Poor Jewish immigrants often became doctors, lawyers, businessmen, professors, engineers, and many other professions that contributed to the overall well-being of the society in which they were living.

For the most part, they had a live-and-let-live attitude -- let them live as Jews and their neighbors according to their traditions.

Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs

There's always been a Jewish remnant in Israel, but Jews began returning in earnest in the late 19th century. In the ensuing years, there have been some symbiotic relationships between the two peoples.

But just below the surface of the collective Palestinian Arab mindset is the belief that Jews are interlopers.
 
The Muslim holy book, the Koran, doesn't teach its followers that God made a covenant with the Jewish people and gave them the land of Israel as an eternal inheritance.

In fact, the Koran often contradicts the Bible. Just one example is the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which marks Abraham's alleged sacrifice of Ishmael -- the patriarch's eldest son by Sarah's Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar.

The Bible says God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, not Ishmael (see Genesis 22), and the covenant is handed down from Abraham to Isaac -- the son of promise -- and to Jacob, whose 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel. Islam teaches otherwise.

Different Belief Systems

Bottom line: In Israel, two different peoples with two different belief systems claim the same tiny piece of real estate.

Yet today, Jews are willing to live side-by-side with their Arab neighbors, but the reverse is simply not the case. Few people want to say it, but that's the reality Israelis are still dealing with today.

Even a cursory look into Palestinian Arab culture past and present reveals a mindset that's been handed down over the generations, especially if one can read Arabic or an accurate translation of the media or children's textbooks and television shows, literature, and poetry.

Many Palestinian Arabs -- those in the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) -- and those in the Gaza Strip -- are not looking toward peaceful co-existence with Israelis.
 
Despite what Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad or chief negotiator Saeb Erekat would have us believe, that's not what most of them have in mind, based on what they say in Arabic.

The Arab culture -- family, school, mosques, and media -- teaches children to hate their Jewish neighbors. The kids are taught that one day they'll get their land back -- Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Tiberias and Haifa -- from the Jews who stole it. Click here to read the latest Palestinian Media Watch bulletin on the children's program, "The Best Home."

There's no place for Jews in the future Palestinian state -- other than those willing to live under Islamic rule.

Unfortunately for them, that's not God's plan.

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Tzippe Barrow

Tzippe Barrow

CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem

From her perch high atop the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Tzippe Barrow helps provide a bird’s eye view of events unfolding in her country.

She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) several years ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.