Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Supplemental post for today, November 29th...

When I wrote my post this morning about responsibility for settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I didn't realize the significance of the date. According to the "Today in History" e-mail that I receive every day from The History Channel online (, it was on this very date in 1947 that the United Nations voted to partition Palestine to create an independent Jewish state.

What is going on today is only the latest chapter in the long, tortured, and very interesting history of the Middle East. Much has been written about it, usually by people who are intensely partisan on one or the other side, but there are some very good and very readable histories for those of you who would like to delve into the subject. One I recommend in particular is David Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East. Another wonderful book dealing with the end of the Second World War and the partition of Palestine is Oh, Jerusalem, by Larry Collins and Dominque LaPierre, which reads like a novel but is a marvelous and even-handed history of a turbulent time, told from the viewpoints of the Arabs and the Israelis who lived it.

It's hard to believe that next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel. And, sadly, the 60th anniversary of the latest round of hatred and bloodshed in what we still call, for some reason, "The Holy Land."

Good night. More thoughts tomorrow.


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