Soapbox Saros Kavina: Conflict in Gaza and Israel can no longer be considered a local dispute
WHILE waiting for a bus in Derby, I entered into a conversation with an elderly lady about the sad situation in Gaza and Israel.
She told me that her husband was in the British Army in Palestine after the Second World War, which had the thankless task of keeping Jews and Arabs from fighting each other.
The woman commented that nothing seemed to have changed today.
Quite innocently, she remarked: "Why can't the Jews and Arabs behave like good Christians?"
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I found it difficult to keep a straight face!
The Holy Land is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The Jews believe that God gave them the "promised land" of Canaan after Moses delivered them from long Egyptian captivity and servitude.
To Muslims, Jerusalem is the second most holy place after Mecca. They believe Mohammed visited Jerusalem in miraculous circumstances.
For Christians the Holy Land is the place of Jesus Christ's birth and crucifixion.
Some Jews I have spoken to believe passionately that, following the Nazi Holocaust, Israel is the only place where they can live in safety and freedom. They are convinced that they must protect Israel to ensure the survival of their race and religion.
I have met Palestinian Arabs who feel equally strongly that they have been robbed of their land and property by Jews. These Arabs argue that, since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, they have been victims of occupation and territorial expansionism.
Can Jews and Arabs ever live together in peace under seemingly impossible circumstances?
Muslims throughout the world feel extremely strongly about the plight of Palestinian Arabs, whom they regard as their suffering brothers.
The determination of Hamas and Iran to eradicate the state of Israel does not help the extremely dangerous state of affairs in Gaza.
The retaliation of the Israeli government to rocket attacks has resulted in the deaths of many civilians, especially children, in Gaza.
There is now a culture of martyrdom which is gaining huge momentum among Palestinian Arabs.
Death is seen as heroic, as there is very little left to lose in the harshest circumstances imaginable.
Although the Israeli government will never admit the possession of nuclear capability, it has to be recognised that it exists.
The conflict between the Jews and Arabs has reached global proportions. It can no longer be regarded as a localised dispute.
How long will it be before Iran also has nuclear weapons?
The Palestinian problem must not be allowed to spiral out of control, as it is a grave threat to world peace.
The Holy Land must be made safe permanently.