Whose land is it anyway?

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I going into very dangerous territory in this blog but sometimes I find myself in such a conundrum. You can't listen to the news at the moment without something about conflict somewhere in the world with ever increasing horrors being reported. I know there have been instances of misrepresentation in the news such as pictures from Syria being portrayed as happening in Israel. It might be my status as an ADR accredited mediator that makes me struggle even more with the fact that no negotiated long term seems to be possible - the problem is that, of course, mediation is all about compromise but sometimes there is no compromise possible. After all there is no compromise, or at least a workable one, if say a lion wants to eat an antelope - just eating half isn't really a solution.

Much of this conflict, and certainly the more atrocious acts, are far from our shores but I was surprised when speaking to clients this week who were talking about returning to the home country, Ukraine, in part because they could no longer speak to the Russian community in the area they lived.

I have been watching and commenting on several of my friends posts in social media about these various conflicts; in particular Israel most recently. I shared a link of a cartoon, my land, which was posted by a Jewish friend of mine and had a comment back which made me think - but where would you put the Jewish Nation. I had never thought of Israel in this context. Is it because I, here in UK live in a multicultural society? I consider myself British (English) and am white and basically a Christian. I don't however think of England as a Christian Nation I think of it as England where people whatever colour, nationality or religion are welcome to live so long as they are prepared to accept and be tolerant of others who may be of different nationality, colour or religion.

The concept therefore of a Jewish Nation had never before come into my thought process I merely considered we had an argument over control over an area of land. Maybe therefore I had been struggling with the argument in the wrong way but I also wondered why should there even be a Jewish Nation - is this in itself part of the problem in that this attitude, I am sure without malice, creates a tension all of its own. Here in the West we complain about Islamic States being created - though I don't believe the West has fundamentally anything against an Islamic State so long as that state has tolerance of people there who have different views.

The concept of a Jewish Nation makes me think of the Indian Nations in the USA and I am sure this is not what my Jewish friend had in mind. I'm with the Aboriginal and American Indian thinking that no man can in reality own land, merely occupy it for a period of time and hopefully pass it on unfettered and unchanged for future people.

It might be that I will never truly understand conflict, those who read my blog last year about 'defence' spending might understand my thought process, but truthfully every problem must have a solution though when it comes to some of these conflicts I think I'd be better returning to a question that always frustrates me - what is there after the end of the universe?

Jonathan Russell





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