MembersReligious War or National Conflict?

Israel has a problem. Like most nations in the West, the Jewish state refuses to acknowledge that it is being engaged in a religious war by its enemies

By Tsvi Sadan, Aviel Schneider & Ryan Jones |
A view of the Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem, Photo: Zack Wajsgras/Flash90

To do so simply wouldn’t be politically correct, not to mention religious wars are frightening because there is no political solution.

As a case in point, late last year, a meeting of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction opened with a reading from the first chapter of the Koran, which is essentially a prayer for the souls of the “righteous martyrs.” Ten days later, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin chastised Abbas for “attempting to turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious war.” However, Rivlin seemed reluctant to take the Palestinians at their own word: that the conflict is very much religious at its core and always has been.

Israel Today asked the Geocartography research institute to conduct a survey to ascertain if Rivlin’s attitude reflects that of average Israelis.

Among the Jewish respondents, just 18 percent believe the Palestinians are motivated by religion (Islam); 30 percent said the Palestinians are driven by territorial aspirations and a nationalistic agenda; 20 percent said...

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