The Holy Land last week witnessed one more act of violence. The event accelerated the slide toward a complete breakdown of relations between Israelis and Palestinians and the start of a third intifada. In the tumultuous climate of today's Middle East, a Palestinian uprising would hold ominous repercussions for the region and the world, but most of all for the Palestinians themselves.
On Nov. 23, the Israeli Cabinet approved a new "nationality law" and sent it to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, for ratification. Immediately, a fierce constitutional debate broke out. Did the bill privilege Jewish ethnicity over democratic equality?
Bullet holes pepper the front windows of the old city council office and paramilitary police in armored jeeps patrol the main street in this mixed Muslim and Druze village in the Galilee region.
Two weeks ago, more than 40 people were injured in a brawl between the two communities, most of them by a grenade thrown into a group of Muslim rioters.
An Israeli policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians who commit or are suspected of committing acts of violence against Israelis is exceptional cruelty.
All terror attacks are horrific, but ones that target people at worship are particularly so. Places of worship and people worshipping have historically been an unspoken red line for acts of violence. Ask Palestinians about Jewish terror attacks, and they will invariably refer to Baruch Goldstein's 1994 massacre of 29 Muslim Palestinians at prayer in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
Rioting in the quiet town of Cana was a symptom of the dangerous level ethnic and religious tensions have reached in the Holy Land.
The 18 U.S. bishops who conducted a 12-day prayer pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land in September came away with new perspectives on the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, according to Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M.
He was one of the bishops who visited many of the sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam during the trip.
Perhaps no piece of real estate on Earth holds so much potential for both interfaith harmony and religious strife as Jerusalem. Last week, Jerusalem teetered on the edge of the latter.
"A man's home is his castle" is a cry that echoes in American ears. While technology may be eating away at our liberties online, Americans still believe they are secure in their own homes. In some states in the South and West, dominion over one's own home is reinforced by "stand your ground" laws, which permit homeowners to use deadly force against intruders, though not without controversy.
Negotiation sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Negotiations brought an end to civil war in Northern Ireland, achieved peace in Angola, attained a kind of peace between the government and guerrillas in Colombia, and pacified a decadeslong Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines. But negotiations have failed to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine. After nine months, the most recent round of negotiations, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, never got beyond "Go."