Environment and Society:
The Situation

By: Katie Brunelle

Background Information

West Bank Story follows the same story as Romeo and Juliet written by Shakespeare. David (Jewish) and Fatima (Muslim) are in love. They have known each other for a few months now and are planning a wedding. Except both of their families have concerns to how this is going to work. In my opinion their parents don't want them to get married because of the conflict between their societies. Also, they have all facts against them causing their marriage to crash and burn.

Why This Marriage Wouldn't Work: Cultural Issues

The societies of the bride and groom have had a feud for quite some time now. It isn't going to help if the two decide to get married, it will only make matters worse. This is where you can see that their religious differences have an impact on their decision. For Fatima, her religion takes over her life because she is Islamic. When you are Islam you need to submit yourself to god. On the other hand, David doesn't have to have his life built around his religion because when you are Jewish they want you to enjoy your life. Also, Islam believes to have peace while Judaism believes to have justice. Therefore, Islam people let Jewish people walk over them to prevent any more violence from breaking out. Tension may rise in the marriage because they believe in different gods and have different beliefs when looking at life.

Holy Land

Jerusalem, located in Israel, is known as the Holy Land. There are sacred buildings and places there for Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The Temple Mount (located below) is known to be the most important location in Jerusalem because all three of the religions share this location to worship inside of it. Since Jerusalem is in Israel, Israeli soldiers are located on the border. Therefore this causes some tension because they easily let Israeli's inside, but for Muslims or Christians they tend to make it more difficult for them to enter. The conflict with Jerusalem is about the religions keeping their culture. Migration has made these religions battle against one another so that their religions lives. For example, Temple's were built on top of Mosques. This caused the religions to pile on top of one another in some sense. So the tension with Jerusalem is a battle to keep their culture alive and well.

Why This Marriage Wouldn't Work: Geographical Issues

When I think of Israel and Palestine, I immediately think of violence and conflict. The two countries have been fighting for the same land since the mid 20th century. Israel wants land and keeps taking it back from the Palestinians. Therefore Israel is expanding while Palestine is decreasing in size. Also, Israel controls most of the borders so it is easy for Israeli's to travel as they please, but when it comes to Islam's crossing borders it becomes very difficult. So the reasoning behind some of the border conflict is because Israel wants to have the better land. For example, they built a wall around the Gaza Strip to prevent the Palestinians from getting the fertile land and also so they have a harder time getting fresh water. They also have some conflict with the Gaza Strip due to its location near the Mediterranean Sea. Both Israel and Palestine want it because it provides a route for trade and water.

Ever since Israel expanded their land, they have had an advantage economically and have made a change to the social differences. Since Israel now owns Palestine's old farmland, they are making profit from it. This expansion causes Israel to rise in power because they have a resource advantage. We all know that resources equals money. Now Palestine is left displaced causing them to lose power because they have a lower amount of resources. They are also getting annoyed because Israel keeps taking their land and making them start all over just for it to be taken again. As you can see, having control of resources causes you to gain power and money.

Wedding Locations: Denied

Most of the possible locations that they could choose for the wedding would not work out due to the amount of conflict in those areas. For example, Jerusalem would not be a good destination for the wedding. There is so much controversy to whom is allowed to enter, that having the wedding there would be stressful and unenjoyable to most Muslim guests. Also, the Gaza Strip is another possible location except it is where most conflict exists. There are often terrorists, violence outbreaks, and it's bordered by walls so it would not be easy to enter. Other destinations would be Israel or Palestine. The problem with this is it's favoring either David's religion or Fatima's religion because it will be inside their country, so in a way its unfair. Also, it would be hard for Muslims to enter Israel just as it would be hard for Israeli's to enter Palestine.

America and Israel

Since the United States provides Israel with financial aid, they rely on us. Israel would disappear if it wasn't for the United States funding them with millions of dollars a day. As you can see the United States does have some trust with some Middle Eastern countries. Except that trust is because Israel supplies us with oil, so therefore we fund them. Therefore, if Fatima and David wanted to elope they could come to the United States. One conflict with that is that they would be disobeyed and shunned by their families. After they are shunned, they usually aren't allowed to come back to their home. Another conflict is that Americans don't act kindly to Muslim people. Since past events, Americans have been very cautious when around a Middle Eastern person(s). So it all depends on whether or not they want to come to the United States to risk everything or just do not get married at all.


Overall, I feel like the marriage between David and Fatima would not be a good one, never mind last. The two religions have too much conflict between them that it would never let the marriage work out.  Also the two countries have had conflict for some time now and that would interfere with their relationship. Their religions would affect their lives and cause tensions because of the differences. In conclusion, I feel like the marriage would not work out between David and Fatima.

Comment Stream