Middle East

Gaza Strip

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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The conflict between Israel and Gaza has a deep, complex history partially rooted in religion. This article will not seek to unpack all of that but rather to provide a general overview of the Gaza Strip in light of current events.

Hezbollah

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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The Hezbollah (“Party of God” or “Party of Allah” in Arabic) terrorist organization is a byproduct of the 1975 Lebanese civil war, which erupted partially over conflicting views on how an influx of Palestinian refugees into the nation affected the Sunni population, with Shiites upset over Christian governance.

Iron Dome

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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Israel’s Iron Dome (or Kippat Barzel in Hebrew), a land-based all-weather mobile air defense system, was designed to intercept and destroy a range of short-range rockets, mortars, drones, and artillery shells being fired at Israel’s civilian population areas.

Israel Defense Forces

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) emerged from various pre-existing Jewish armed organizations and played a pivotal role in several significant conflicts,  the War of Independence, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War. Over time the IDF has evolved over the years to include advancing military technologies and adjust to various geopolitical dynamics in the region. Its primary mission is to ensure the existence, security, territory, and sovereignty of the State of Israel while deterring enemies and eradicating terrorism within Israel’s borders.

Oseh Shalom

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Written by: Erin Parfet
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Oseh Shalom is both a song and a prayer that encapsulates the Jewish longing for peace, acknowledging God as the source of the blessings of peace and wholeness. As for Oseh Shalom as a prayer, it is said to be based on Job 25:2 and is often recited or chanted at the end of the Kaddish and the Amidah, but can be said at other times in Jewish liturgy. Arguably, it may not even be a prayer for peace so much as an insistent plea to God that He impose peace upon the Jewish people.