I recently spent a month traveling with 19 students through five Middle Eastern countries including Israel/Palestine. (This explains in part my prolonged absence from blogdom.) As we walked the streets of old Jerusalem, passed through checkpoints, visited holy sites, dialogued with religious figures and activists—as we experienced the modern Israel/Palestine conflict, we could not help but notice parallels between 1st and 21st century Israel. Much like
The irony, of course, is that
Ido not excuse the suicide attacks and summary executions perpetrated by militant Palestinians any more than I endorse the atrocities of the dagger-wielding Sicarii during the Jewish War. But the Palestinians, like the Jews of Roman Judea, are a people under occupation. There is no debate on the streets of
Is anyone else struck by similarities between the two occupations? Is this a useful thought experiment or is it simply stating the obvious?