US/Palestinian and Israeli co sponsorship-SACRED JERUSALEM--a sign of hope..or perhaps not!

Today's NYTIMES includes an article about a book cosponsored by Palestinian and Israeli institution- Al Quds and Yad Ben Zvi. One editor is Benjamin Kedar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (And here is a link to a Hebrew article..I hope someone can provide an Arabic link as well)

It is only an article about a book that is to be published this week in Jerusalem/Al Quds but the article already raises some thoughts.

Academic Boycott
Thank G~d the book was started a long time that Al Quds could participate without being charged with bucking the boycott of Israeli Academic institutions. Here is the outcome of real openness to bring together research from various institutions and viewpoints. It is sad that anyone has to be apologetic about it.

Politics Effect on Religious perception
People often talk about the problem that religion creates in coming to compromise. I wonder how much politics influences the way that religious leaders define and redefine their views about the Holy sites. Is there some some sort of vicious circle created here..where secular politics/national pride, group pressure, etc all play a role and harden the religious perspective?

Politics Effect on "Objective Research"
When analyzing the Jewish or Muslim connections to the sacred area, how much are researchers (secular and religious) effected by the changing claims and the dynamics of the conflict.

How much is research helping us find ways to come to understanding and creative solutions or how much is it being used to find ammunition to prevent such solutions.

I think this would be a topic of a great book.

It is interesting to read of the adult Sari Nuseibeh speak about the Israeli archeological digs after reading his autobiography "Once Upon a Country" where he tells of the circumstances of of how he got volunteered (by his father) to join the first Israeli digs at the Western Wall right after the 1967 war.

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