Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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March 2, 2010

West Bank conflict examined

The power of religion to shape world events was discussed at the Batesville Memorial Public Library Feb. 24 during a lecture by author Dorothy Drummond, brought here by the Rotary Club of Batesville to celebrate Rotary World Understanding and Peace Week.

The reason Israelis and Palestinians are fighting over the West Bank (the part of Israel on the west bank of the Jordan River) dates back to 70 A.D., when Romans built a temple in Jerusalem. Since destroyed, the spot now features Dome of the Rock, which covers the rock of Abraham.

“Both sides say this area and only this area must be their capital,” reported Drummond, who revealed, “Some fundamentalist Christians feel Jesus will not come again until the temple is rebuilt.”

The Terre Haute resident explained how the fighting over the past 60 years or so has impacted Americans. Osama bin Ladin decided the way to unite all who believe in Islam is to oppose the presence of Israel “and the country that supports it the most, the United States. With that, al Queda was born” and the United States was attacked Sept. 11, 2001.

Ralph Profitt, one of six attendees, observed, “Now we have Iran helter skelter off to develop nuclear weapons ... apparently the Israelis have said to the Arabs, ‘We'll use nuclear weapons if we have to.’”

He was concerned the next attack on the United States will be an economic one, predicting, “The oil supply countries will shut oil off to the United States. We don't have much time” to develop alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar. “We only have about eight months of oil storage in this country ... This is so tenuous you can't sleep at night when you stop to think about it.”

Mary Meyer decided, “Fixation on your religion is really damaging to this world. Not letting go of your viewpoint” can be destructive. The speaker pointed out religion can be good and bad.

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