Proposals for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict focus on the "big-ticket" issues: Palestinian sovereignty, sharing Jerusalem, and the "right of return" for displaced Palestinians. Analysts and pundits pay less attention to the everyday troubles suffered by both sides. For Palestinians, this means the Israeli settlements and checkpoints that have divided families and paralyzed Palestinian economic growth. For Israelis, it is the specter of violence and the fear under which many of its citizens live.
"The existence of the State of Israel and its political options should be envisaged not in a perspective which is in itself religious, but in their reference to the common principles of international law." -- Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, "Notes on the correct way to present Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church," 1985
Last week, NCR gave Michael Sean Winters two lengthy blog posts to respond to the weekly posts we write. It is not our normal practice to respond to the many comments that typically follow what we write.
The bishops urged political leaders to find “creative” ways to build peace in the Middle East and “to build bridges, not walls.”
NCR Today: Once the Palestinian population exceeds the Israeli Jewish one, you will have a situation akin to what existed in apartheid-era South Africa.
A flurry of international actions favoring Palestinian statehood came within the last few weeks of 2014.
NCR Today: The experience of Christmas will be incomplete unless we identify with the dispossessed and the families of those unjustly deprived of life.
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.
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.