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Taking A Stand

            What if you lived in a place where random acts of violence did not only happen often but were commonplace or where just going to a local pizzeria or club could bring you face to face with death via suicide bomber? What if there was a war going out side your door or the threat of violence and or death was so real and so close to home that you could not live your everyday life normally or without constant fear? Most people would shudder at the thought of living in a place like this. Most people, rather most Americans cannot even begin to relate to living in society such as this. Yet why is it that Israelis and Palestinians are must live out their lives in just such an unstable environment?.
             Just about a decade ago the phrase, "Peace in the Middle East," rang out from the mouths of musicians, popular public icons and politicians alike. It seemed that peace was not only possible, but probable as the end of the ongoing conflicts in the war torn country seemed to be at hand. The world believed that the Middle East had found a common ground as Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, then-Isreali Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, Then-Isreali Foreign Minister, stood onstage together in Norway sharing the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. The same honor has been bestowed upon the likes ofMother Teresa, martin Luther King Jr., and just a year earlier had been given to South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela. The three men had signed the Olso Decleration of Principles, and were thus receiving the reward on behalf of what was believed to be the first phase in Palestinian Self Determination.
             Now fast-forward a couple of years to last September to the resurfacing of the conflict, and now both sides agree they are back at square one. With no actual homeland the Palestinians feel as if they are being taken advantage of and discrimionated against. It was the Palestinians, however that came out on the short end of the stick in the Olso Decleration.

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