No surprise here...
July 25, 2000 8:41 AM   Subscribe

No surprise here... Am I the only one on this planet who realizes that despite how beautiful it may be in the eyes of some, and how historically significant it may be, they're just fighting over sand? Am I the only one who sees this? Am I missing something here? [more]
posted by ZachsMind (28 comments total)
Maybe it was Holy Land or the Promised Land or something vaguely worth fighting for thousands of years ago, but so much fighting has happened that the land itself has been brutally ravaged. Is there really anything left of the land worth fighting for? Please someone help me understand why World War Three might start there come September.. and it's all due to a glamorized sandbox?

Or am I gonna burn in hell for even questioning the absurdity and stupidity of all this?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:44 AM on July 25, 2000

So it wouldn't bother you a bit if Dallas was turned over to Mexico?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:02 AM on July 25, 2000

That would be great! The food would improve alot.
posted by benbrown at 10:07 AM on July 25, 2000

Well, Israel hasn't actually been "brutally ravaged." It's not like the place is just craters and smoke. It's a very beautiful place.

Not that that excuses killing and war.
posted by Doug at 10:09 AM on July 25, 2000

Hey, Ruskies have a lot of excess land, I'm sure they wouldn't mind selling some?
posted by tiaka at 10:30 AM on July 25, 2000

y63. Not really. It would bother everyone around these parts with GUNS. I'd just move to Colorado. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 10:31 AM on July 25, 2000

To the Jewish people, like the Palestinians, it's their only home.

It's all too complicated. Religion (as usual) being the biggest problem... then you got the Palestinian refugees, and while Yasser Arafat may be mellowing out in his old age, there are hundreds of lunatics that will gladly take his old job.

How long did it take for Anwar Sadat to get whacked after he made peace with Israel? Come on guys, who's next? What're you scared?

Where's the U.N. in all of this? Wasn't reforming Israel and giving it back to the Jewish people in 1948, their idea?

Maybe in a couple of more years, all countries involved (and yes, even Israel can learn to give and take a little too) will be run by a more open-minded, less-fundamental (zealous) generation.

But I don't see that happening in my lifetime.
posted by CyberPal at 11:23 AM on July 25, 2000

The palastinians left their land and became pissed after the rest of the middle east failed to get it back for them. Kicked out of their homes, they simply want back in. Of course by now you have 40 years of other people living there who consider it their home. With that kind of formula you are going to get some fighting. If I was pushed out of Texas, you bet your ass I would be want back in.
posted by dancu at 11:29 AM on July 25, 2000

Not me. It's too hot down here. I'm considering moving north anyway in a year or two. And if politically the climate was as bad as the present weather patterns, although I was born in this state I am not irrevocably rooted to any ground.

Moses, Muhammed and Jesus were all on the same side. Their followers are like children fighting over an ice cream cone that has long since melted and fallen to the pavement. It makes me sick.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:54 AM on July 25, 2000

Prophet Muhammad. Many apologies for the misspelling. =/
posted by ZachsMind at 12:00 PM on July 25, 2000

i would suspect that it is a hard thing for ZachsMind to understand because he is (?) not Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. the conflict is theological and nationalistic; these two views are not separate.
posted by alethe at 12:32 PM on July 25, 2000

Indeed alethe. As I said earlier on my own site, there is not a steadfast Jew nor a steadfast Moslem who would agree to a partitioning of Jerusalem. It is THE Holy City. This is not just a political/nationalist battle, because the outcome speaks to the very veracity of the religious convictions of millions of people around the globe.

Accordingly, I might also mention that Christians have a stake in the future of Jerusalem as well.
posted by Dreama at 1:44 PM on July 25, 2000

Before Columbus set foot in America, medieval maps placed Jerusalem at the centre of the world. Dante thought that it was the closest city to heaven. It's been fought over for at least 3000 years, possibly longer. That sort of thing weighs heavy.
posted by holgate at 2:13 PM on July 25, 2000

Before Columbus set foot in America, medieval maps placed Jerusalem at the centre of the world. Dante thought that it was the closest city to heaven. It's been fought over for at least 3000 years, possibly longer. That sort of thing weighs heavy.

Exactly why *I* should be elected to be the president of THE WORLD. If I do that, I promise to put a restraint on those Taco Bell commercials. heh.
posted by tiaka at 2:50 PM on July 25, 2000

I AM Christian. I just try not to splash it in people's faces all the time, or chase windmills with it. And I don't see JC the way anyone who'd shoot another man over SAND sees JC.

Yeah it weighs heavy. Thousands of years of frustration and neurotic childishness. But y'know what? I've had a lot of crap weigh heavy in my life and people'd come up to me and say "just let it go." And it ain't easy, even after you realize how petty and superficial it all is, but you let it go and you move forward.

I don't care if God PEED on that spot. It's sand. It's dirt.

No one should have it. Mankind doesn't deserve "the chosen land." Everybody should have to leave, a fence should be put around the place like at Stonehenge. If the people fighting over it really respected the land and what it represents they wouldn't be so greedy and selfish.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2000

I think the Buddhists should get the land. I mean, it's all the same to them, but Tibet hasn't been exactly a bed of roses for them, and they always seem very nice.

posted by Doug at 4:09 PM on July 25, 2000

Yes, the UN helped create the state of israel, but the UN did not envision people being turned out of their homes at gunpoint. In fact the original plan was for two side-by-side states, a jewish state with an arab (christian, muslim, or jewish) minority, and a palestinian state with a jewish minority. As for it all being childish, or even theological, I think part of Zach's point stands up: what he calls sand is land (most of the places they're arguing over aren't that sandy) and land is ultimately the most valuable thing on the planet. While the media likes to talk about the 3000 year old conflict, (which would be a bit like talking about the United States' civil war as a 1,000 year old conflict by including various Native American battles, kind of) today's real conflict has many important and recent periods that can be analyzed and viewed from both sides. While the long-term historical, religious, and political info is certainly interesting, I think if more people were educated about the real, definable history of the past 50 years they would be able to gain a more clear perspective. Unfortunately I don't know of any good links on that! Does anyone?!
posted by chaz at 4:31 PM on July 25, 2000

Can't vouch for the quality of the info or analysis, but I would start at the BBC In Depth Mideast Peace Process if I were to try to educate myself about the issues and recent history of the area.
posted by sudama at 6:30 PM on July 25, 2000

Hey guys, its coming up to the 1000th birthday of the First Crusade. Maybe its time for another one!

posted by lagado at 7:32 PM on July 25, 2000

Why not turn Jerusalem into its own country, a la Vatican City? Each relevant religion could be equally represented in gov't, and everyone could stop the fanaticism.
posted by isildur at 8:03 PM on July 25, 2000

Ooh! Isildur! Great idea! Of course they'll never do it, but it's a great idea!
posted by ZachsMind at 8:56 PM on July 25, 2000

Or turn it into a parking lot
posted by lagado at 10:09 PM on July 25, 2000

If only: there is enough political strife over the rights and responsibilities of the various Christian denominations in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; extrapolate that by several orders of magnitude, and you get the dispute over governance of the Old City and the Temple Mount.

And you're dealing with the ideological basis of the Jewish state: the "manifest destiny" which regards Jerusalem as the inviolable heart of the nation. The point being that religion, and cultural identity, is so much about symbolism, but in places like Jerusalem, those symbols are manifest: literally built one on top of the other.
posted by holgate at 11:14 PM on July 25, 2000

They were talking about it this morning on NPR. Someone was suggesting they somehow set up a neutral soverignty for the city that is separate from any religious entity. Equal representation on the council, which would comprise of men taking care of the administrative responsibilities but no one individual or religion would have ultimate rule there. It would allow for economic and administrative issues to be dealt with, while simply dismissing the whole political fanaticism.

There were allegedly 800 American rabbis who signed some petition earlier this year, begging for something like this to happen. Ultimate soverignty belongs to The Big Guy, regardless of which religion calls him what. Sounds like a plan.

But was THIS the plan Clinton was asking the two sides to consider? Is the problem that the Palestinians either want it all or nothing? They're not willing to share?

Reminds me of when my nephews were children fighting over a single toy when they had the entire floor covered in toys. But they both HAD to have THAT toy at the SAME time. geez!
posted by ZachsMind at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2000

Clinton was asking for a completely different plan. the US plan would allow the Palestinians to have control over a few neighborhoods (in a city they have lived in for hundreds of years, and was captured by Israel in the 1967 war). In these neighborhoods the Israelis would be allowed to have military, while the Palestinians would be allowed an unarmed police force. This plan would give the Palestinians very little in terms of actual control, especially when you consider that the Israeli occupation of E. Jerusalem has NEVER been recognized by the int'l community!
posted by chaz at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2000

Zach, I can't help you understand. All I can say is it's not just sand, it's not "brutally ravaged", and it's not for us to say whether it's worth fighting over.

For my part, maybe you're just a kid, but I'm old enough to remember when they were actually fighting over it. Personally, I think that arguing over administration rights and the locations of apartment complexes is a really, really big improvement over lobbing artillery shells at each other. Just speaking for myself.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 PM on July 26, 2000

to ZachsMind:

"And I don't see JC the way anyone who'd shoot another man over SAND sees JC."

i think the issue is deeper (more than just sand) as other people have said before me. it is a sacred area - as a Christian you should have some concept of what sacredness is - why this dispute isn't over 'just' land. if not in this matter, what then is sacred to you? is the Bible (it's just paper)? are your feelings, beliefs, or thoughts (they're just intangibles, "superficial" ideas and opinions)? where do you draw the line between your theology and your life?

"I don't care if God PEED on that spot. It's sand. It's dirt."

the Bible is the inspiration of God, His revelation - is it just another book? - does it matter to you that it is of God? if so, then why not land?

"If the people fighting over it really respected the land and what it represents they wouldn't be so greedy and selfish."

would you call a missionary greedy for protecting a church from those who would want to destroy it?

-- these are just questions, hardly academic, but i believe they reach a point (argue one), but i could be fooling myself...
posted by alethe at 5:36 PM on July 26, 2000

wow... that was deep, Alethe.
posted by CyberPal at 6:13 PM on July 26, 2000

« Older Sears Expands Web Business, nobody notices   |   Concorde crashes near Paris. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments