The dilemma of justice: how religion influences the political environment of post-1948 Israel and Palestine.
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Ross, Sasha A.
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This thesis examines the historical context, ideological traditions, and structures of power that have animated relations between Israeli Jews and Arab Palestinians during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Cognizant of the “prisms of pain” that have come to symbolize both Jewish and Palestinian identities, this thesis assumes that identities are in constant flux and are often determined by that which they negotiate against. Its first section considers some historical forces, specific inter-group events, and internal political tensions that intensified the early Jewish and Arab national projects against the British and that later pitted each group against the other. The second section examines the values enshrined in the sacred texts of each monotheistic tradition and the extent to which such have influenced the political engagement between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Israel and Palestine. It concludes that because religion can be used as a political tool of repression, a prophetic spirituality common to all three traditions may be necessary for any sustainable project of social transformation and political reconciliation.