Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another assertion of mine in class today: MOST conflicts/wars are caused by fights over resources or have an underlying economic cause---current example enclosed...

Today in class (in addition to the discussion on recycling), I also suggested that MOST conflicts/wars/revolutions in history are related to economics, specifically the fight to control a vital resource.  Today in the NY TIMES there is this article A Test of Wills Over a Patch of Desert: which relates a story from the MiddleEast on the fight over a relatively small plot of land:
""For years, the women — Naifa and Aali, the wives of the village elder, Sheik Sayah Abu Mudegem al-Tori — and about 300 other residents of Al Araqib, many of them children, lived in relative obscurity on these beige slopes, situated between the Bedouin town of Rahat and the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.
Then the bulldozers arrived at dawn on July 27, accompanied by more than 1,000 armed police officers carrying out a court order. They tore down about 40 unlicensed concrete-block homes, shacks and other structures and uprooted hundreds of trees.
Within hours, the villagers and volunteers put up flimsy tents and a few shacks, for shelter from the scorching sun and to stake the Bedouins’ claim to the land. In a test of wills, the Israelis have already been back to destroy the structures three more times.
The tug of war has suddenly turned Al Araqib into a symbol of a much larger land dispute between the Bedouins and the Israeli authorities that has been simmering since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948.
“With God’s help, we will stay on our land,” said Sheik Sayah, wearing a tweed jacket over his cotton thobe, a white headdress and aviator sunglasses.
“Anyone who thinks of throwing us out will first have to throw the dead out of the cemetery,” he said, referring to the old Tori tribe graveyard next door to the encampment. The sheik was living in the cemetery because the courts had ordered him to stay away from Al Araqib for two weeks.
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