7 thoughts on “Religion vs. Politics in Middle East – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I always suspected that bin Laden didn’t care about the Israel-Palestine conflict. It stands to reason that if he really did, he would be supporting resistance groups there and would have directed his 9/11 attack against Tel Aviv, not NYC. I recall that after the 2006 war with Lebanon, bin Laden issued a statement saying he was going to be turning his attention to Israel, but nothing ever came of it. I believe bin Laden is dead; he was lugging around a kidney dialysis machine in 2003, and living like a caveman in the mountains of Afghanistan wouldn’t improve his health, either. Now he is nothing more than a legend kept alive by US propagandists needing to justify the atrocity that is the Afghanistan War.

  2. Mary is right – OBL doesn’t give a damn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict nor more recently about the Iraq conflict he has used incessantly in his propaganda messages. The argument he mainly wants to topple the Saudi regime is 100% dead on and shamelessly exploiting the conflict to further his political agenda.

    Exactly the same way they send high school drop outs to go bomb some school or market as they gloat on tape how “they” did this or that.

  3. Richard, isn’t the Israeli claim to the West Bank the main reason that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has thus far been insoluble? And isn’t that claim largely sustained by references to ‘holy writ’? I don’t know to what extent the Israeli public in general believes in these things but the ‘prime movers’ do or claim they do.

  4. I agree with Awn that the Arab-Israeli conflict is essentially political. But when you say, “The real danger … is that religion will be injected into it and raise the level of hysteria” — why the future tense? Religion started being injected into about 90 years ago, a lot longer if you go back to where it actually began — within Anglo-American Protestantism. Maybe the force of the future tense is the fact that the religious hysteria keeps getting steadily worse. But the danger is not simply hysteria, it is also that the religionization of this political issue deeply corrupts the three religions involved, transforming major segments of them into pseudo-religions that are amazingly lifelike simulacra of the traditions formerly known by those names.

  5. Raed Jarrar, the Iraq consultant for the American Friends Service Committee, argues that one of the most significant aspects of the dominant US narrative concerning the conflict in Iraq –> that much of the strife in Iraq is rooted in internal sectarian and religious conflict between Sunni and Shia — is a deeply and profoundly misleading perspective. A detailed analysis by Raed Jarrar is available on YouTube: “Iraq Occupation: Raed Jarrar decodes the misinformation” [May 23, 2008, University of Hawaii, 1:11:40].

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