The recent conflict in the Gaza made me think about approaches that might lead to a better understanding of the position of the ‘others’. I decided to have a look at the arguments of the hard-liners on both sides.
The hard-line Israeli argument runs like this : This land is ours, it was given to Abraham (Ibrahim) and this was reaffirmed in the time when the Jews under Moses (Musa) returned to Israel after their stay in Egypt. Not only did God reaffirm that Israel was the land of the Jews, but also encouraged the Jews to chase out and even kill the non-Jews living there.
The same applies to the present situation, the Jews have returned to their land and the Palestinians (hard-line Israelis do not recognise a Palestinian identity) either can live in the Jewish state of Israel, which in the hard-line view includes the West Bank and Gaza, or if they are not willing to accept this they should move to one of the thirty odd Arab states.
The Palestinians simply say that this was their land before the United Nations gave it away to the Zionists/Jews/Israelis and they want it back. Just having the Gaza and the West Bank is not good enough because all of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians.
Hard-line Israelis want to chuck out all Palestinians from all of Israel, Hard-line Palestinians want to chuck out all Israelis from all of Palestine.
Most Palestinians insist on the right of all Palestinians living in exile to return to Palestine, many Palestinians think that all Palestinians should have the right to return to those parts of Palestine/Israel where they originally came from. Most Israelis insist on the right of return of all Jews to Israel, for hard-line Israelis that includes Judah and Samaria, historical regions of Israel that roughly coincide with the present West Bank.
For the hard-line Israelis the present Israel is not big enough to allow all Jews outside Israel to return, which is the practical reason why they claim Judah, Samaria and Gaza. For the Palestinians, hard-line or otherwise, the West Bank and Gaza, even without Jewish settlements and with the parts of Jerusalem that are part of the West Bank given back to them, will not accommodate the return of Palestinians living in exile.
The arguments on both sides are mostly secular, and make sense within the frame of mind of each party in the conflict. If each party could bring itself to recognise the validity of the argument of the other side, we might end up with peace in the Middle East. This kind of conflicting claims on the same area of land is not unique. Northern Ireland is another example and if we do not strictly follow Guru’s teachings of seeing God in all, we might end up with a similar conflict in a future Khalistan.