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Unbridgeable Differences

<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk">BBC</a> is currently broadcasting a <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/audiovideo/programmes/hardtalk/newsid_2097000/2097601.stm">debate</a> on the conflict in the Middle East between senior Israeli and Palestinian representatives. Though a tad long, it goes beyond being highly informational as one cannot help but feel the emotion emanating from these parties personally involved.
It is curious that two of the world's oldest (arguably) civilisations would fight tooth and nail over the top of what is essentially a hill. To narrow down the point of contention even further, the argument revolves around a rock that stands atop the hill.
Most people would be inclined to shake their heads at what would seem to be a trivial thing to die for, but when we explore the deep religious and cultural implications built over many generations, we begin to see how this debate is far from reconcilable.
Though I'm not familiar with the Islamic point of view, the Temple Mount, known as Haram Al-Sharif to the Muslims, is the very spot in which the original temple of Jerusalem was located. Within it stood the rock which the ark of the covenant (holding the Ten Commandments) was assumed to have stood upon. The Muslims believe that the rock was the one upon which Abraham was called to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
The Christians believe that that very hill is where Jesus will first plant his feet upon His second coming. The Bible also states that the Temple will be rebuilt before His arrival. Though passive, many Christians are watching carefully to see how the Temple will come into being, fulfilling one of the final of many prophecies.
Like I stated previously, my knowledge of Middle-Eastern affairs is very limited, so if I have misquoted facts do correct me when or if I'm wrong.

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