Israel Lebanon Vortex Intensifies

Share Article

A sustainable peace in the Middle East depends on the recognition of the importance of identity and ideology to all parties

Whether it's Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLO or Israel, none of the immediate parties will achieve lasting and sustainable peace without recognition of an unavoidable truth: identity and ideology matter to everyone

Thousands of troops are pouring deeper into Lebanon as Israel prepares to expand its offensive against Hezbollah. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected mounting world pressure for a ceasefire after the weekend strike in the town of Qana. Troops are pushing into Lebanon to clear out Hezbollah fighters and secure the territory until a multinational force is deployed there, reports Associated Press.

This latest round of Middle East violence on the border between Israel and Lebanon is yet one more demonstration of the need for focused understanding and appreciation of the differences between the antagonists. While diplomatic negotiations to end the violence are under way, a vital factor may be missing from the puzzle.

"Whether it's Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLO or Israel, none of the immediate parties will achieve lasting and sustainable peace without recognition of an unavoidable truth: identity and ideology matter to everyone," says David Hulme, author of a new book, "Identity, Ideology And The Future Of Jerusalem."

The book traces the lives of 14 key Palestinian and Jewish leaders in this more-than-100-year Arab-Zionist conflict and focuses more on the parallels than the differences. From Zionism's Theodor Herzl to Hamas's Shaykh Yassin, from Israel's David Ben-Gurion to the PLO's Yasser Arafat, these leaders lived lives with parallel goals for their people, and with identities that were more akin than apart.

Understanding the role that identity and ideology played in their lives—leaders at the center of the impasse—is crucial to discovering the way forward in today's ongoing conflict. The recent outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon will be seen as but one more chapter in the saga unless the underlying issues of identity and ideology are understood.

This fascinating study examines the roles of identity and ideology in the search for a resolution to the conflict. "There can be no attempt to destroy identity that will not produce further conflict. What is happening in southern Lebanon, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is an attempt by all parties to destroy the other's identity," says Hulme, publisher of Vision, an online magazine that challenges readers to examine the historical and philosophical origins of today’s issues.

Understanding this vital piece of the puzzle could make all the difference to those now in talks with Israel and Lebanon and could affect the final-status issue of the city of Jerusalem.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Edwin Stepp
Visit website