Unsettled: The Problem of Loving Israel by Marc Aronson.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster: NY, 2008.

The Israeli Palestinian Conflict, it has been at the forefront of American politics (world politics) most of my life. Most of that time I remained ignorant about it, because I don't understand how people can live all of their lives with the willingness to kill others. I hate war, and I think war is stupid. It seems to me somewhere along the line of their history they could have tried to see the other's point-of-view. (Some, in fact, did.) In recent years, I have learned there is no avoiding this issue. It needs to be settled - in a manner that addresses both sides' losses. Maybe I have this understanding, because I am not personally religious. But does it make sense that the more religious a person is the more he/she seems to think killing the other side is okay?

In his book, Aronson discusses the founding of Israel, the driving forces behind its growth and strength, key points in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, and reasons for the willingness to allow it to continue. I commend Aronson's exploration of this topic. Hardened views are the standard on this issue, igniting heated conversations, fierce arguments, and prejudicial feelings. Difficult questions are involved, such as: What kind of Israel should exist (a Jewish or democratic state)? and Does Israel have a moral obligation to the non-Jews living in Israel and those that fled when Israel conquered their lands? As a Christian child, I was taught that Israel was right and deserved all of our (the US) support and Palestinians were bad people - this despite being born only one year before Israel conquered much of the Arabs' land. Obviously, the issue is more complicated than that.

Aronson approaches the questions as an American Jew with family living in Israel. I thank him for opening a conversation regarding Israel. It is a conversation that needs to be continued until a peaceful settlement can be reached. I also thank him, because I understand the situation better myself now.

related-founding and history of Israel, Palestine, Jews, Arabs, Zionism and Zionists, democracy, theocracy, military occupation, Gaza, West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Jerusalem, socialism, kibbutz

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