My working hypothesis is that present states (nations) are based on history, geography, and production rather than on language, ethniciyt, and religion (cf "Antisemitism, christophobia, and islamophobia…", Culture, vol 29,
The Mideast provides a model of society stress. The tensions within Israel are wide-open due to the democratic political system of the country with freedom of thought and expression.
Even in the more authoritarian facade of the Palestinian Authority sometimes cracks and reveals tensions. On November 9, 2009, the trade union leader Bassan Zakarneh made such a statement for PA TV. "They (Hamas) used these martyrs as sandbags, while they hid in tunnels. They would place a missile, cover it with a tent, amid buildings with 200 children and old people, and they would launch the missile and hide."
The translation and publication in English was done by Memri TV, Dec 14, 2009 (
Tensions within nations are not new. However, a deeper understanding of common values, e.g. the central traditions of Bible and Koran, may contribute to constructive solutions.
Bo Norberg, editor