How do you escape the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?
The stories in my book — THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” — deal with expatriate lives in the Arabian/Persian Gulf in the 40 years following the oil price hike of 1972 when the region developed rapidly from a sleepy and neglected backwater of the British Empire into a world of glitzy Americanized excess. Yet the last chapter THE BEGINNING is set in Israel. Why? Because anywhere and everywhere you go in the Near/Mid East — quite apart from the thousands of Palestinian refugees you will meet working in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai and the UAE — you will be asked countless times what you think of the Jahud – the Jews.
And then you will be told that they will never be satisfied. Greater Israel is not just the West Bank, they want Jordan and across ancient Assyria to the Ur of Chaldea, in fact the whole of the Fertile Crescent – and even the holy sites of Islam – Mecca and Medinah. The other side of this coin is that Hamas will never be satisfied until Israel is driven into the sea and ceases to exist.
In this atmosphere of mistrust is any solution possible: it is The Balkans raised by a factor of 1000 or more. And just like The Balkans it is innocent children who pay the highest price. This bitter conflict between Semitic tribes randomly kills civilians by the thousands, leaving behind just as many orphans whose blighted future depends on the goodwill and hard work of charities trying to survive in the face of Israeli aggression.
In my book you can read one small story of Layla, a Palestinian Middle East Airlines cabin attendant who converted to Christianity and opened an orphanage outside Ramallah. And you can see that WWI, the war to end all wars, and WWII, the just war against Fascism that among other things liberated European Jews only led to even more pain and suffering.
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