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Updated 21 June '07

Zionism, as a movement, is perhaps the last gasp of the romantic nationalism era. According to Arthur Herzberg, (of New York University) Zionism has as its "deepest undercurrent, the conviction that a Zionist state is the transforming event in Jewish history and that it is, at the very least, a preamble to the end of days, in this world."

This model is opposed, of course, by those who consider Palestine their home which it has been for centuries. In this way, the stage was set for conflict, even a fight to the death. Ideology of whatever ilk dies hard indeed.

The Israelis and Palestinians are experts at taunting each other. In terms of expansion of territory, Israel has won the contest, at least for now, and that too remains a problem. The Israelis in particular are good at rewriting history -- almost as soon as it happens.

Quote from: Ha'aretz (Israel's Newspaper)

    "On September 28, 2000, the eve of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), the then leader of the opposition right-wing Likud party, Ariel Sharon, journeyed to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Sharon, accompanied by an entourage of security officers and Likud MKs, claimed he was exercising his right to visit the Mount, under Israeli control since the 1967 Six-Day War and holy to Muslims and Jews.

    "The Temple Mount is home to a number of mosques, including Al Aqsa, which have been built over the remains of the second Temple, the holiest site in Judaism.

    "Sharons visit angered many Arabs, both Israeli and Palestinian, and the day after the visit saw protests on the Mount in which seven Palestinians were killed.

    "Since then, the Palestinians have dubbed their revolt the Al Aqsa Intifada, a sequel to the original Intifada that lasted from approximately 1988 to 1992."

To be sure, the above is accurate as far as it went. But we are not told how many security officers were in the entourage. Why did he explain his reason for the visit if it was routine? For seven Palestinians to be killed with no Israeli casualites says something about who was prepared for what. Other news sources report Sharon visited with 1000 armed guards -- a provocation. See: Mitchell Report below.

Then there is the history of Zionism in the region.

The total story shows Sharon's behavior was far more provocative than news reports would have us believe.

How many readers, especially in the West also realize that Al Aqsa is one of the most holy of Islamic sites?

Additional pages/sites for commentary and research:

Al aqsa Intifada
Israel: Legal Basis for Existence
Intifada: Palestinian side
Events Surrounding Establishment of Israel
Mitchell Report
Third World Traveler
Weekly Standard


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