How much of a role does religion play in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? – Ashley Ramos (California, USA)
In my opinion, ZERO. Israel does not care what the religion of the Palestinians is; every day they kill Moslems, Christians, and many others. They don’t care, they just want us out, and they get upset every time we fight for our rights. The whole world is about power or control, and I think the Israelis would kill Jewish people if they interfered or got in their way; they just don’t care.
What do you believe Mohammad and the Koran teach you about how to fight the Israeli occupation? – Sam Garlets (Michigan, USA)
The Koran and the prophet Mohamed taught us how to deal with their ruthless and inhuman actions. They taught us tolerance above all, even though we don't tolerate their actions, which is okay because no man could, but that isn't what we should do, we're not supposed to just wait for their next strike. It taught us to be tolerant as in staying in our country. Just because they have more weapons and all of the world support doesn't mean that we must run away; it's the whole world against our will.
As nonviolence is one of the Islamic mottos, so Muslims are ordered to be nonviolent, but violence is required in some situations. The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is an example. Palestine had been occupied by Israelis since long ago, so Isrealis are the ones who are taking Palestinians’ properties and rights. Therefore, violence should be used against those occupiers to defend Palestine from them, so I don’t agree with the Quakers that the best way to fight occupation is to fight nonviolently.
Mohammad (peace be upon him) and the Koran teach Muslims lots of things about how to fight the Israelis. During the earlier years of Islam, Muslims and Jews have lived side by side in peace. Mohammad (peace be upon him) and the Koran never allowed Muslims to fight Jews. However, they were only allowed to fight Jews if they caused any harm to Muslims. This can also be applied in our situation as Palestinians. We fight the Israeli occupation because they kill innocent Palestinians. I believe Islam encourages Muslims to live in peace with other people. However, if they are being harmed they are allowed to fight back.
Patience is the first weapon that we can use against such an enemy. No matter how much or how slowly we make gains, we fight until we get what was taken from us. We can fight this enemy by many ways, such as media, books, education, and certainly by a united government.
Our religion is a nonviolent one. Islam teaches us to solve problems nonviolently, but if a power torments and kills us, we have the right to fight. The Koran says that Palestine is our land, and there are signs since long ago that say that Palestine is the land of Palestinians, and we have the right to defend it.
By Ahmad M
Palestine is originally our land, and the Israelis came and occupied it. In our religion we have the right to defend it at any cost. The Quran says that if you are the oppressed people, you have right to fight your oppressor.
Do you agree with the Quakers that the best way to fight the occupation is to fight nonviolently? – Erin Alley (Calvin College, USA)
I can't say that I agree or disagree about fighting the occupation nonviolently, because it’s not a choice that we make. Israeli occupation doesn't give us any way except the violent way to fight, because they started the violence and they are continuing it in every part of Palestine. The last part was Beit Hanoun in Ghaza last week, where more than 60 civilians were killed in three days, half of them children. There were around 250 persons who were injured .The occupation damaged houses and many agricultural lands.
Quaker is not a main religion; it’s not a religion that came from God, and it's not a religion that is based on God's rules; maybe it consists of some good basics and announcements, but still in my opinion the percentage that came from the student votes is somehow good, because nobody can take the Quakers as a main religion that he should follow; each one follows the religion that he was born in, but in some cases maybe some people change their religion but this is illegal.
Quakers have many beliefs; one of them is peace, and no violence. I’m willing to see a peace treaty between Palestinians and Israeli government. A treaty that ends all the suffering, and makes our life easier. I think that after this treaty we will live in harmony with them. In my opinion, this treaty will not last for a long time, because Israelis always search for violence. I also think that they enjoy torturing and humiliating us. Finally, I wish to have such a treaty to solve our problems and end our misery. I’m sure one hundred percent that it will fail, because the Israelis always search for violent ways to make us leave our own country.
I disagree with the Quakers that the best way to fight the Occupation is to fight nonviolently. The Israeli Occupation doesn’t know any way to fight except fighting with guns. Now even if we Palestinians don’t have lots of things to fight them with, they fight us with their best things. So how can we see hundreds of martyrs every day and fight nonviolently?
Palestinians should not feel related to anyone just because we are occupied or because they feel sympathetic to Palestinians, so Christians around Palestine do not feel connected to Americans or other Christians. I do not believe that occupation can be fought nonviolently, because Israelis are violent toward Palestinians, so it is hard for Palestinians to repay in a peaceful nonviolent way.
I do agree with the Quakers to fight the occupation non-violently. This is because killing more innocent people cannot do anyone any good. It only develops hatred and anger towards others. Non-violence does not mean killing only. It also means treating humans like humans, and not like animals. When a six-year-old child watches his father being humiliated physically and psychologically at a checkpoint or in his own home, the only feeling the child will develop is bitterness, and a desire for revenge toward the soldier who did that.
I agree with nonviolence, with peace. Sometimes, the occupation (especially the Israeli occupation) doesn’t know what peace means. I agree to peace with someone who knows what peace means, but not with Israeli occupation. Israeli occupation did and is still doing many things that affect our lives negatively. They killed people, kids, women, without any reason. How can I fight this kind of occupation nonviolently when they have killed many Palestinians, and if they have killed my dreams and freedom for no reason. They took our lands and killed people. They don’t know what peace means. Israeli occupation has to be fought violently because this occupation tries to damage our lives without reason, other than to take away our lands. You can't fight someone nonviolently if he keeps fighting you violently.
I agree that any political fight against occupation is legitimate. You can fight the occupation by exposing its aggressiveness to the whole world. Civil resistance and peaceful demonstration could be very effective in our fight against occupation. But is it the best way? I don’t think so, I think that military resistance could be efficient if it’s organized and designed to serve our political war, which is to end the occupation.
By the way, while writing my answer, the U.S. just vetoed a decision condemning the killing of 20 Palestinian children and women by Israeli planes a few days ago in Gaza. Try convincing Israel of the philosophy of nonviolence, and just this one time, spare the victims.
I absolutely agree with the Quakers that the best way to fight the occupation is to fight nonviolently. No one can end the occupation using artillery bombardments. As an example, when a person gets into a fight and wants to solve it, they must talk to each other honestly. Then they can reach a solution. So too, the best way to solve this problem is by discussing the ideas of the two sides (Israelis and Palestinians). Eventually they can reach the next step: to end this fight peacefully.
I don’t agree with the Quakers (with all my respect for them). Because mostly every rule or thought they have about life does not satisfy my brain and thoughts and views about the world. Especially, that rule about the best way to fight the occupation is non-violently—specifically, the Israeli occupation. Because that’s the way we’re fighting them right now and it's not providing us with any satisfying results. And we have to fight our occupation the same way they're fighting us.
I believe the best way to solve problems is by using nonviolence, but our situation as Palestinians has to be solved in a different way. Israelis use violence against Palestinian children, men, women, and elderly. In my opinion, this occupation should be fought in a violent way to stop it from carrying out its aggressive actions against innocent Palestinians. Nonviolence can be used as a way to solve other problems. However, this does not apply to situations like the one in Palestine.
It’s not our right as human beings to kill people, because human beings belong to God and no one else. So, I agree with the idea of the Quakers. Violence just lets things get worse and that’s what’s happening here. When Israelis kill a Palestinian, then Palestinians go and carry out suicide attacks, but then Israelis go and kill other Palestinians and so on. So, it’s as if both sides are trying to get revenge on each other. That’s why I encourage the idea of nonviolence, because in the end peace and communicating is the only solution.
I agree with the Quakers about fighting the occupation non-violently. The occupation always tends to harm people and make their lives miserable. It is not easy to fight the occupation without knowing its goals and targets. We can fight the occupation non-violently, by getting educated. Education is the best weapon, because in my opinion, it is important to have background about the occupation. In other words, know your enemy. However, it is important to fight the occupation to show your belonging and love to your country, because nobody accepts the loss of his land. Finally, to fight the occupation, fight it cleverly by using your head.
I believe that fighting fire should be with water. Therefore, I guess that I do agree with the Quakers, since fire cannot be turned off with fire; it will only make it worse. However, this theory might not work with the occupation. Nevertheless, nothing gained, nothing lost.
No, I don’t think that fighting occupation nonviolently will work because I think that when a country occupies another country, its purpose is to destroy that country in any way they can. I will take Israel as an example; first we asked them for a peace treaty, but they deceived the treaty. Then after a while we asked them again for a peace treaty, but the deceived it again, and now they are killing people in Gaza.
Personally, I am against unjustified violence, but there is a difference between resistance violence, which is a legal right for every country under occupation, and terrorism violence, which I am totally against. So, up to a certain limit, yes I agree, but if you are fighting against an enemy that doesn’t have feelings, peace will not be effective. So I think that what is taken by force should be returned by force.
No, I don’t agree with the Quakers because after all the crimes they committed, there's no way to solve things calmly and peacefully. How could you deal with someone knowing he's the one who killed your family members? The people are angry; they will never think about peace between them and Israelis.
Would you ever forgive Israelis for the occupation? – Kelly Barrett (Calvin College, USA)
No, surely not. I will not forgive those terrorist people ever; they killed young kids, women, and old men. Second they have stolen my land. They didn't let us live our childhood as kids in the world. We are in jail. If you want to travel, you have to get permission from them. How can I forgive them for all the things they did for us?
I could never forgive an Israeli for the occupation. To be honest I might have been able to forgive them if it was a two-year occupation, but with all that they've done to us, I could never forget or forgive. All the degradation, pain, deaths, humiliation, destruction, damage and many other horrible actions they took against us, I could never forgive. They have absolutely no excuse for what they're doing to us, the only way to forget them is to make them pay for all they've done to us. After all, I'm just a teenager, not a saint.
Answer: - Of course, no, I will never ever forget what they have done to my grandparents when they moved them from one country to the other. And I will not forget what they did to the children in Palestine, especially in Gaza. It will remain a deep pain in my heart. So I will always suffer from this pain. I will always blame the Israeli people and the Israeli occupation.
I think that I can’t ever forgive the Israelis for the Occupation. The Israelis with their Occupation have taken everything from us. The Israelis have taken our freedom. They make it so that no Palestinian children can live their childhood. They make them think about guns. They kill many children for no reason. So I don’t think that I could forgive them.
I actually have never thought of this question before. It is really a hard one, because if I say yes, all the problems, rights, and lives of people would be wasted in a second. I would not forgive myself for doing that. If I say no I would be inconsiderate for the Israeli approach, or I would be considered heartless. Therefore I prefer to think about this question later; when Israel is ready to give all the Palestinian rights back, and when it is willing to accept a Palestinian nation with the 1967 borders. Although human lives could not come back.
I will never forgive Israelis for the occupation. Imagine yourself in your home and somebody came to kick you out by force. If we the Arabs were to occupy any country, the whole world would stand against us. In the Israeli occupation there are a lot of excuses for that occupation.
Occupation has many effects on Palestinian life. Everyone who lives in Palestine has suffered from the Israeli occupation; some have suffered mentally and others physically. Building the wall and putting many checkpoints between towns and villages are some results of the occupation that have created difficulties in Palestinians’ lives. Therefore, how am I going to forgive those occupiers, who have damaged my country and life in it?
Jesus teaches me to forgive everyone, even if he/she killed someone from my family.
This will show how much he's loveable, forgivable and special. But as a Palestinian, living under occupation, facing many problems, experiencing torture, watching massacres, smelling blood (this is the situation in Palestine), how should I forgive them if they keep on killing innocent people? I usually love people, forgive them, but it's not a case of a crime or a murder. For Israel's brand of violence, the real word to describe them doesn't exist.
Israelis occupied Palestine in 1948; in this occupation they killed thousands and thousands of innocent Palestinians, destroyed most of our lands, destroyed all the mountains, the olive trees, the beautiful flowers. They destroyed the houses, the refugees, the villages and cities. They ruined the peace of the old people, the happy childhood of the kids, the opportunities of the ambitious women and me; by the sounds of bullets, guns, bulldozers, tanks, bombs, the screams, and the cries of the small children. And that’s why I will NEVER ever forgive the Israelis for the occupation.
I asked myself this question several times, “Would I forgive Israelis for the occupation?” The answer was no. The Israeli occupation has made me suffer in a period of time, and not only me, all Palestinians have suffered from the occupation. This occupation is without mercy. It has affected all people in Palestine in all aspects, socially, economically, politically and many other things as well. The occupation for the last few years has made my life like hell! I could not move in my country freely, because of the checkpoints that humiliated Palestinians, and made them suffer for no reason. I could not go to my school because that’s what the occupation targets to make people illiterate, but I never give up. I did my best to get educated. Finally, all of us have suffered from the occupation and it has made our lives miserable. How could we forgive the occupation?!
No, I do not believe that I will ever be able to forgive the Israelis for the Occupation. The reason for my strong reply to this question is that the Israeli Occupation has put a huge burden on the life of everyone involved. Due to the fact that Israelis have ruined any and everything that they have crossed paths with, I am unable to forgive them. The heartbreak that the Israelis have caused millions of people is unforgivable. I would hate for the Israelis to think for one split second that after all the misery they have caused us Palestinians that one day we shall forgive them.
Forgiving Israel for the occupation is impossible, after what she did in the Gaza Strip, and in other villages, from killing kids to killing old people; it's impossible to forgive them. Israel is a country of no mercy; then it says we want a peace treaty. So, no Arabian person can forgive Israel for what she did.
No, I would never forgive the Israelis for the occupation, because of what they did; they killed many people, they stole the lands. After the crimes they did I could never forgive them; they stole our freedom of living, they humiliated us. How could we ever let them get away with their crimes?!
How do you feel about the concept of a two-state solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis? – Rachel (University of Michigan, USA
A two state solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis would mean peace between Palestine and Israel. This, my friend, will never work and will never happen. I can never imagine myself having peace with someone who’s killing me, killing and torturing my people every day; whose using all kinds of persecution on me, on innocent children, on my helpless people (if I want to mention how they’re torturing us, and what they are doing to us that is against humanity, I would run out of paper, and never finish), stealing our land, our country, our freedom, and in the end, telling the world that we are terrorists. Besides, they will never stop persecuting us, ever! I mean come on, think logically, would you share something that has been stolen from you, with the one who stole it, instead of getting it back?! I don’t think so. So, it’s either us or them, and it will be us.
I think that the concept of two-state solution is wrong, and the concept of one-state solution is wrong too, because Palestine will have one government with no Israelis.
This is what we are trying to do: to free our country.
I have a question but now it’s related to the one who wrote this question: If someone took your land, destroyed your house, damaged your trees (which you have been waiting to grow into maturity, ready for picking), and killed someone that you like very much, are you going to make peace and give them your land to live on? My answer is going to be like the one that you are going to give me.
The concept of a two-state solution is something that I don’t believe is possible. The West bank and Gaza strip is not just Palestine. Palestine is Yafa, Jerusalem and all the occupied territories inside "Israel". As a Palestinian I would never give up my own land, the land of my grandparents, and the land of Palestine—no matter what. The Israeli occupation made ever single Palestinian suffer in many ways. The idea of living next to the people who took my land, killed my people, and destroyed my home is impossible. Every human being has the right to have his own country and to live on his own soil. I will never give up on that right. Someday, somehow, Palestine will be free and there will be no more "Israel" existing in Palestine.
To be accepted in the world, we should accept the concept of a two-state solution. In that way, all of the world will recognize us. The only solution Palestinians should get is their right to be free and get freedom. The concept of a two-state solution suggests that 78% of the Palestinian lands will go to Israel, and only 22% will go to Palestine. What rights do Palestinian people have when Israel takes more than half of their lands? What rights do Palestinian people have when Israel had taken their place on the map? Even if I'm for the concept and we accepted it, still we have to fight to get the lands and the settlements back from them! But in that way we'll have our 22% of the lands and we'll fight to get the rest of Palestine.
I think that the concept of a two-state solution between Palestinians and the Israelis is the best solution that can solve this clash between the Palestinians and Israelis. This concept is the best solution for the problem, because it provides a fair situation and a fair condition for the both sides. This concept reduces violence between the two sides, and it helps both neighborly countries to live beside each other in peace.
The two-state solution means totally nothing. The Israeli people have no right to take the land of Palestinian people. The British army forced Palestinians to give their land to the Israeli people. It’s a fact that the British government gave our land to the Jewish people, but they didn’t give them the land because they loved them, they gave them land because they want them out of Europe. Let’s just think about this situation: a powerful man comes to your house and takes it; would you negotiate to take the stubble? If you’re going to give him the rest of your house, I’ll do the same! I think that you’ll fight to take all your home back.
One side is doing the concept of two-state solution. Israel wants to make the border the way it likes, and taking lands and so on. However, we the Palestinians are the only ones that are doing this, and Israel wants to make the concept alone the way it wants. But, no, if this is what Israel wants then it must know that the Palestinian people will not agree on that and will take their lands back with a one-state solution if possible in the future.
I feel angry just hearing about the idea. Before 1917 there was no Israel. Israelis came to Palestine and lived in emptied territories. The lands were for other Palestinians who were killed and banished out of their homes. In 1948 and 1967 other Palestinians were killed and thrown out of their homes, so Israel could expand. That makes me unable to accept the idea of surrendering to the killers of my people to give them my own land.
I feel it is not fair to live under a two-state solution because Israel is taking the richest part of our land, including the seawater, agriculture, and historical sites. The west bank and Gaza are isolated, have very poor resources, and cannot be sufficient for Palestinians to establish their state. This would not offer Palestinians what would be considered fair for them.
A one-state solution is fairer to Palestinians. At least, one-state solution makes Palestinians able to enjoy much more of their own land, which was originally their ancestors’ land—until someday, the Palestinian dream will come true and we will have all of our country.
A one-state solution will allow many Palestinian refugees who are living in poor camps and deep poverty to come back to their homeland, which is a basic human right. It is not fair to allow all Jews from all over the world to come to our historical Palestine, while the original people of the land are still living refugees in others’ land.
I think that we are not fighting so we can have a two-state solution but to get our own land back, that the Israelis took from us. The land was ours and we want all of the land, not a third or a half but the whole land; so a two-state solution can be a first step for freeing our land.
I strongly agree with this solution. I think it would be great to have peace with Israel and have a two-state solution. But everyone who thinks that this solution could be achieved would be dreaming. Israel doesn't want this solution, because it doesn't want peace with us.
I think this is the easy way out solution to solve the problem in the Middle East. I do not think that it will resolve the issue in the end. There should be one state, one ruler, and one government. That is the Palestinian Government. Therefore, I think this is the reason why the Middle East problem has not been resolved after many years, and never will. For a two-state solution to occur, both sides need to compromise. Neither Palestine nor Israel is willing to compromise.
I really don’t mind living with them, as long as they respect us; after all, it’s our country. I believe in non-violence, so if they want to live with us, they should live in peace.
There is no solution for our conflict other than the freedom of Palestine. Israel has no right in our country; they must look for another place to live. Every Palestinian dreams of the day his or her country will be free, and have lives as others do on the outside. But we have nothing anymore to do in demand for our rights. Now we have to approve the concept of a two-state solution between us and Israel. Maybe because we are tired of seeing people killed in front of us and no one saying anything to stop it. That’s why we want to live in peace for a while and continue our lives.
I think it should never happen as they have no right; they had been given this land from someone who doesn’t own it, to someone who doesn’t deserve it (that happened in 1917 when Belfort promised the Israelis the land of Palestine). They came and took our land and forced us out, killed many people, and now want a two-state solution where we get less then half of what we have now; this is not called a solution, but a way to make the world think that Israel wants peace.
I feel that this concept sounds unfair for Palestinians. Because the land that they are talking about is our land; they occupy it and now they want to take it forever with our permission after all the years of wars against them. How can we forget the Palestinians who die every day to keep and protect this land from their soldiers?
I do not accept the concept of a two-state solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Imagine that someone came and took your land. What would you do then? Will you be happy about the taking of your land? Will you accept the idea of becoming a two-state Palestine? My answer to these questions is, of course, no. This land is for us, our grandfathers and all of our family live in it.
Personally, I refuse the concept of a two-state solution between the Palestinians and Israelis, because I think that this land is ours, and it is our right. Why would we give others a part of it? It is in all the ways of thinking, an illogical process. Second, I refuse this concept because if this solution comes about, I'm 100% sure that it won't be fair. So why should I agree on something that will cause me to feel more persecuted? I'm now persecuted from the occupation, but at least I can defend myself by talking, and I still have the right to say that this is my land. But if this two-state solution happens, then my right to say "this is my land" and to defend myself will be gone. Therefore I will be persecuted and, at the same time, won’t be able to defend myself with a single word.
The concept of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, in my opinion, is the worst thing that anyone would consider agreeing on if they want to free Palestine. Because in this agreement you are giving Israel what they want: a land to live in freely! And by doing this we won't ever, ever get them out of Palestine!
It's not a solution; they either leave our country or live panicked that anything might happen. Israel stole our country and now Israeli people say it's theirs?! No, it’s not your country! It’s ours! No matter what Israel does, they won't win this war, because Palestinians are determined to free Palestine and we'll give up our lives to live freely in our beloved country Palestine.
I am so against this concept. How can Israelis attack us and steal our land and then want peace and a two-state solution? It can’t happen. It’s not their land to decide what to do with it. It’s our land and we decide what to do with it and that is not to have a two-state solution. We should have only one state that is called Palestine with only Palestinians living in it.
I can't say that I agree or disagree to fight the occupation nonviolently because it’s not a choice that we make. The Israeli occupation doesn't give us any way except a violent way to fight because they started the violence and they are continuing it in every part of Palestine. The last part was Beit Hanoun in Ghaza last week. There were more than 60 civilians who were killed in three days and half of them were children. There were around 250 persons who were injured. The occupation damaged many houses and many agricultural lands.
The solution for the problem and the concept between these two states is a total peace treaty. Every time the Israeli government sets a peace treaty it doesn’t follow its rules, so a total peace treaty must be done. The freedom fighters (Hammas, Fateh) must stop fighting and killing and they must share their powers to do something good toward a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli problem.
I feel that a two-state solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis is not fair. It is not fair because originally the land was for the Palestinian. The Israelis came and occupied our land by force. Imagine yourself in your home and somebody forced you to leave. I think that the solution will be resolved when the Israelis leave our country and let us live in peace.
I may accept it as a temporary solution, but as a permanent solution I won’t. Palestine is a land that belongs to us. The Israelis came here and kicked 1 million refuges out of their home. How come can I give them my land? I could have allowed them to live here if they asked to. We could have lived together in peace, but they made the wrong choice.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is so deep. It is hard to imagine how complicated it is. To me, I can not suggest a solution. I don’t even see one coming soon. I can not view two nations living together under these circumstances. This is not because it is impossible to live together, it is because of the inequality and domination of the most powerful.
The concept of a two-state solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis is not good. I think it’s hard to make two independent states of two very different countries; especially since the Palestinians have been struggling for 56 years with the Israelis. Both countries have different cultures, traditions, language, thinking, and thoughts. Therefore, it is not easy to make two different states for Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, Palestine is for Palestinians, they have the right to own their land and not to share it. Furthermore, Israelis do not belong to the Arab world. All will reject them. Finally, I would like to say that it’s not easy to come up with a solution. However, if we try it is going to be hard to accept and to adapt to it. Actually, this concept is becoming a reality, and we are not going to accept it.
Sadly enough, we need to be open to the idea of accepting the Israeli occupation. At the moment Palestine is standing on it's own with not even a bit of support from any country. Even though we do not want the Israeli occupation and even though we believe that the Israeli occupation aims to diminish us, we need to take into consideration the facts that we've got on our plates. I'm not saying that we need to learn how to love them or even respect them after all they've done, but what I'm saying is to just accept them for this short period of time.