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Middle East Abeja Dispatch

Where the Heck are we, really?
December 18, 1999


Israel was created when? 1948? But I read about it in the Old Testament! And what's up with Palestine? What should I call this place!? I mean, for a long time it was only Palestine, right? Then it was Israel and Transjordan, then Israel and the Occupied Territories, now, I believe the kosher or halal terminology in international circles is "Israel and the Palestinian Authority Areas."

Ok, lets face it, we trekkers are confused. Does 1948 mark "Israeli" independence, as the Israelis say, or is it Al-Naqba (the Catastrophe), as it is referred to by the Arabs? Was that the October War in 1973, or the Yom Kippur War, or the Ramadan War? How many wars have there been here?! It's like asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop! Who can count?! In Hebrew, a typical greeting is "Shalom," which means "Peace." In Arabic, the typical greeting is "Salama Alekum," which means "Peace be upon you." Kinda ironic, eh? Can't we all just get along?

Vocabulary Box

Kosher - food that is okay for Jewish consumption
halal - food that is okay for muslim consumption
Yom Kippur - the Jewish New Year
Ramadan - a Muslim holiday of fasting
Semetic - literally means "all people of the Mid-East"

So here we are, in "Israel and the Palestinian Authority Areas." (Maybe I can just call it sounds like a happy Semitic cheer, "Ipaa!") We're trying to help you understand the age old conflicts that have cursed this area with wars, averaging one every 40 years, for several millennia. But it's confusing. It's convoluted, and everyone involved has at least two opinions on what's really going on.

So there's one thing we're going to do here, to help all of us out. There's going to be this groovy timeline that you can "click" to, whenever you want. It will help you in sorting out all the events, all the wars, all the peace processes, all the treaties, all the craziness. It is a work in process, so every time you click on it, it should be more and more full of good information.

Check it out!


Abeja - You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too: Monument to a Lost War
Christine - Flee to Egypt, and Stay There Until I Tell You
Jasmine - A Life of Love
Jasmine - Promises of the Promised Land
Kavitha - The Miracle of Oil
Nancy - Two Women, One Man - Feudin', a-Fussin', and a-Fightin'
Team - A Global Holiday
Team - Exercise Your Right and Write

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