The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has proven to be just as timeless as it is troublesome. Today, the Israeli government passed a bill into law that allows Israel to seize private Palestinian land for the use of Jewish settlements. This bill serves to protect Jewish homes that were built on Palestinian land, and thus were threatened for destruction. This bill, in theory, will protect those Jewish settlements from being destroyed. However, this protection may be temporary, as the law is extremely controversial and likely to be challenged in higher courts. The bill passed 60 to 52, and thus clearly has strong support. Israel’s Prime Minister and world leader Netanyahu is excited by the bill and believes that it will be invaluably helpful to Israeli settlers. The bill does not, however, escape criticism. Many people, both Jewish and otherwise, are worried that this legislation will turn the world against Israel, and is robbing Palestinian land. Some critics are also worried that the bill is illegal, and subjects the Middle East to more violence. Sean Spicer, from the Trump Administration, worries that this bill “may not be helpful” in means of achieving peace.
This current events provides an example for Mcguire’s argument that religion can both bring people together and pull them apart. The Israeli-Palestine Conflict is a classic example of just that– conflict. For those countries, religion is very much an appendage of their culture, and thus arguments over history and property rights cause rift, even if it means religious values are compromised in the process. This new bill is another component of a very complicated and deep rooted conflict between religious practices in the Middle East.