• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 11 comments on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  1. Palestine does not have a voice on the worlds podium. They are trampled on and slowly losing their lands because there is no legitimate , mature, non terrorist like organization leading the people. And the worst part is, the whole world sees this, but is not doing anything about it. They choose to let Hamas, a bunch of simpletons that think making homemade bombs and shooting them over the wall is effective , lead the Palestinian people. It is depressing in a way because at the end of the day, Palestinians and Israelis are both humans, regardless of religion. They shed the same blood and although they do share some differences, they also share a remarkable amount if similarities.

    1. You make some very good points, but using the language of blame is part of the problem. Sure, you take a unifying approach (blaming “the whole world”), but the result is still that it oversimplifies the situation and distracts from the many nuances that make this such an intractable conflict. For example, you say, “The whole world sees this, but is not doing anything about it. They choose to let Hamas…lead the Palestinian people.” Technically, the Palestinian people chose Hamas in a democratic election, which was supported by the world community…until the results were announced. I don’t mean to blame the Palestinian people for electing Hamas – a decent system of education is a prerequisite to a well functioning democracy, and the state of poverty the Palestinians are trapped in prevents that.

      But putting aside HOW Hamas got where they are, what should the world do about it? Should the UN invade the Palestinian territories and oust Hamas? If the UN won’t, should the US do it unilaterally? We (the US) have an embarrassing history of cherry-picking which world leaders we want to support or oppose based on our own selfish interests, occasionally supporting terrorists and ruthless dictators and ousting democratically elected leaders. The US is already hated for supporting Israel. Can you imagine the backlash if we forcefully ousted the Palestinians’ democratically elected administration?

      I don’t have a solution – or even the slightest clue about where to find one. My point is just that blaming the world for allowing this to go on is only distracting from the complex reality of the situation. But I couldn’t agree more with this: “It is depressing in a way because at the end of the day, Palestinians and Israelis are both humans, regardless of religion.”

  2. For the record, the “Israel security wall” is actually a “security barrier” so please clarify that terminology since less than 7% of the barrier is a wall and more than 90% of it is actually a fence to make it difficult for terrorists to enter into Israel.

  3. What’s funny is that many people still think that the conflict is between two equal parties however it is clear that there is an oppressor and an oppressed. It is the duty of the oppressor to realize what the situation is and work towards resolving this situation. Until Israel acknowledges this and treat Palestinians as equals Palestinian attitude towards Israel will not change and peace talks will remain pointless.

    1. Why do you conveniently ignore the rest of the Arab Umma that includes over 400 million Arabs.The dream of every Muslim is to resore the Umma (caliphate) The entire Arab Umma should sit at the negotiation table with Israel so the world could see the, miserliness, sadism,and meanness, of such a huge Umma made up of so many Arab countries. This great Umma will not fulfill zakat (charity) to small Israel even though the Umma taken together is much wealthier and has so many resources than little Israel does. During the middle ages the Arabs came out of Arabia and conquered the Middle East and North Africa and parts of Europe.Most of those conquered peoples were forced to give up their own religion, language, and history and adopt the history ,language and religion of the Arabs. But the Hebrews/ Jews/Israel, never gave up on their religion ,language and history . And Hebrew is again spoken in the land of the Hebrews. The grandfather of the late King Hussein of Jordan courageously welcomed the Jews to the Middle East and shortly thereafter he was murdered
      knifed to death by Arabs who hated him for being so generous. Let the Arabs show their tradition of generosity and they will be admired throughout the world and by God.

    1. So much more complicated than that. I suppose that the current state of many Palestinians living in Israel may fall under that category, but personally I think of South Africa when I hear that word. And in my opinion the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not an “apartheid” that is rooted in the same immoral reasons as South Africa’s.

      Israel’s security wall/barrier can certainly be viewed as offensive. However, as an American, I think of the Mexican-American border. I’ve never been there but I assume there is a fence or barrier that is patrolled by arm guards aimed at preventing people from illegaly sneaking into our country.
      Now imagine if many of the people who were attempting to enter US borders illegally were in fact “martyrs” or “terrorists.” Imagine how intense that wall/barrier would be.

      I’m not saying that this wall/barrier is necessarily the best solution, it is not.
      Obviously the vast majority of Palestinians trying to enter Israel are not terrorists/martyrs and this wall/barrier prevents too many of these good people from a better quality of life. But the fact remains: since the wall/barrier has been in place suicide bombings and other acts of martyrdom/terrorism have decreased drastically.

      What to do? I don’t know. I hope others do.

  4. To remind all of us as to the purpose of the security wall Israel should paste along the entire length of the wall the photos of all the Arabs and Jews that have been murdered by Muslim terrorists. When Muslims stop talking of murder as a commandment from Allah but instead say that Allah commands Muslims to make sure that Jews have a safe home just like the 21 Arab countries, that comprise the Arab League, have then the wall will come down. To take the wall down while many Muslims teach hatred is forbidden by God because the wall is needed to protect people’s God given lives .

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