Since earliest antiquity, the Middle East has been the setting for countless wars, repeated invasions, and frequent domination by foreign powers. Those throughout history who have made their homes on this strategic land bridge - lying astride the traditional routes of trade and communication between three continents - have done so with the certain knowledge that one day they would have to fight to defend them. The current conflict between Jew and Arab in the Middle East is actually a relatively recent phenomenon. Civilizations of the distant past fought there even before Jews and Arabs - 'both the progeny of the patriarch Abraham - existed - as a people.
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