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The Cause Of Hatred And Distrust In The Middle East

2256 words - 9 pages

The Cause of Hatred and Distrust in the Middle East

The war in Iraq is further poisoning the already noxious political
atmosphere between Arabs and Americans. It has intensified and
increased dangerous feelings of humiliation and outrage among the Arab
public, while paranoid rhetoric about Western attacks against Islam
elsewhere is spreading from the religious fringe to the mainstream. It
is simplistic and self- serving for political leaders in the West to
tell us that the terrorists attacks happen because they "hate
freedom," or "hate our democratic values" or "they despise our love of
liberty." Many, in fact, hate what they perceive as materialistic
Western values, but this is not what leads them to kill themselves in
suicide bombings, or to murder thousands of innocent civilians. The
main source of Arabs' anger, since the end of British occupation in
the Middle East to the end of the Iraq conflict, stems from the
partitioning of Palestine, American aid to the Arabs' enemies, Israel,
Israel's control of sites holy to Muslims as well as Israel's work in
developing the "Ethnic Bomb", and the United Nations' sanction on
Iraqi people for more than a decade.

The beginning of the current conflict can be traced back to when the
partitioning process took place. According to CIA data: "After World
War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the
UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement
rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs
in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two
sides." (CIA par.1) As of the year 2000, the Muslim population of the
world was about 1.2 billion, the Jewish population about 13 million,
and the Christian population about 1.1 billion. This means that about
20% of the world's population is Muslim, 18% Christian, and 2.1%
Jewish. Of the 13 million Jews in the world, about 5.8 million live in
the United States and about 4.8 million live in Israel. This boils
down to the fact that about 80% of the population in Israel is Jewish
and about 20% (or 1.1 million) is Arab Muslims. The population in the
West Bank (a dry, land-locked area of about 5,860 square miles right
smack in the middle of Israel) is about two million, of which
Palestinian Arabs comprise 83% (1.7 million) and Jews comprise about
17% (340,000). The predominant religions in the West Bank are thus
about 75% Muslim and 17% Jewish (with the balance being mostly
Christians). Basically there are about two million Arab Muslims
surrounded by about 4.8 million Jews. The Arabs and the Jews hate each
other and have been fighting since the United Nations had the
"brilliant" idea of partitioning the country in this insane manner in
1947 (CIA par.3).

Also, U.S. aid to Israel has played a major role in tension between

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