Israelis have a long history of disengaging from a political solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict by escalating situations before or during peace talks. Generally their actions are clandestine such as announcing a settlement about to be built or some land being made off limits due to its reallocation as a military zone. These actions not only break down peace initiatives, they anger the Palestinians who feel hopeless in their current situation.
The Palestinians have virtually been imprisoned in Gaza, with very restricted ability to move outside of Gaza. This restricts students from being able to go outside Gaza for University, it can restrict a person who is ill from gaining access to medical care unless they have the permission of Israel, and many people have not seen their extended families in decades if they do not live in Gaza. In many cases, Palestinians have been cut off from their fertile farm land which is a key natural resource due to “The Wall.”
The worst suppression of all is the Palestinians’ inability to access natural resources which would allow them to prosper. Some of these natural resources include fertile fishing grounds and untapped offshore natural gas. It is worth asking the question: “Is Israel’s choke-hold on Gaza really about security or about who can hold their breath the longest? According to the Guardian, their motivation “is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war.”
The last one standing gets to control the gas reserves.
Death & Destruction in Gaza
Israel unleashed attacks on Gaza in early July and later expanded its military campaign with a ground invasion into the Palestinian territory. It was estimated that more than 2,130 Palestinians lost their lives and 11,000 were injured. Gaza Health officials say the victims included 578 children and nearly 260 women.
Extremely Graphic: Aftermath of Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza (Gaza War 2014)
According to Israeli sources, more than 70 Israelis were also killed. Palestinian officials put this number at more than 150.
What is known without question, is that there are at least 475,000 Palestinians displaced due to Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza (as of August 6th) However by the end of August the number of displaced had been adjusted to 485,000. There is no place for these human beings who were already refugees most for their entire lives to go. If you have lived in Gaza and you are under the age of 65, you have been a refugee your entire life.
Adding insult to injury, Israel has delivered the second blow of inhumane treatment to this group of human beings since the August attacks. Israel declared no building materials (specifically concrete and steel) will be allowed into Gaza, as they fear Hamas militants will use the materials to build more tunnels. This certainly is a risk that must be stopped by the Palestinian Authority which is now a joint venture between Fatah and Hamas Political Party. And, it is a risk that Israel must take, since they destroyed the homes where 485,000 Palestinians live.
Putting Gaza Together Again
According to Aljazeera English, there does appear to be a settlement concerning the issue of allowing building materials into Gaza, however, it will mean that Israel must lift the blockade and open borders. Additionally, a key point will be that the donor money received from the Egypt donor conference be managed by the Palestinian Authority Government – not Hamas.
At a donor conference held on October 13th in Cairo, donors pledged $5.4 billion. Half of the donor money or $2.7B is to rebuild Gaza and $2.7B is to support the cash-strapped budget of the Palestinian government, to be paid through 2017.
Hamas has said that they will agree with this requirement as long as they believe the progress in going well and in the best interest of Gaza. This is a reasonable expectation, as long as “interest of Gaza” means homes, businesses, and other infrastructure. Hamas has stated they have the intent to intervene if progress does not meet their expectations. The Palestinian Authority must keep Hamas in check or this will turn into a colossal disaster.
What Is The Value Of Continued Occupation?
Netanyahu has argued that Israel’s action against Gaza was justified. As Netanyahu has said, “Israel has a right to defend herself and ‘the War Against Gaza’ was exactly what we were doing.” The United States has called upon the International Community to assist with the rebuilding of Gaza.
A member of a liberal thinking Jewish group said there are a greater number of younger Israelis who are tired of the hate-hate relationship. He said there are people in Israel that would volunteer to help rebuild Gaza, “Have hammer will travel. We broke Gaza, now we should put it back together again. Then we should help Palestine reach their goal of Statehood”
Israel’s Old Boy’s Club Won’t Relinquish Old Philosophy
Israel is a narcissistic state that has little interest in what others think nor does it worry about negative consequences of its actions. People like Netanyahu believe that they have control of the “Israel spin.” and can handle the people that make a difference, most importantly the United States, Israel’s most important ally. Israel appears to have no interest in the pain “collective punishment” causes the Palestinian people. Even though the US government knows that Israel has a long history of violations of International Law against Palestinians, the US continues to hold Israel in the highest regard. They overlook bad acts no matter how egregious they are. This has hurt the US relationship with other Arab allies. These bad acts, if done by another country anywhere in the world would be called a violation of humanitarian rights, criminal acts, war crimes, and crimes against children.
Palestinians want peace. The two possible solutions are: 1) Assimilation into Israel; and 2) A two-State solution with Israel and Palestine which seems to be the more likely. Hamas must realize that Israel is not going anywhere and they are a neighbor that will stay. In fact, if Hamas would stop for a moment and shift their paradigm, they would realize the Israelis would be better allies than foes.
The old guard in Israel believe they can continue with the status quo as long as they can cajole the Americans to protect their bad acts against the Palestinians. However, there is a growing faction of liberal thinkers in Israel that understand that peace for Israel means “doing peace” with Palestinians. They realize this means having the Palestinians as a peaceful neighbors. The United States and Western countries have the ability to strongly encourage the Israelis and the Palestinians to reach peace.
When people anywhere think about why there is conflict between Israel and Palestine, it should not be thought of as a religious issue, Jews vs Muslims, although extremists on both sides have led it that way. It may be about more than one reason, but a main reason is old. It is about foreign governments deciding in 1948 that Israel should be granted land to create the State of Israel. However, in doing so more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were disenfranchised. 80% of the inhabitants living on the land granted to Israel were Palestinian Arabs. A high percentage of the 700,000 Palestinians became lifelong refugees. Others who were of a wealthy class were able to resettle in other countries, however, they still lost their property and most of their belongings.
Palestinians were expelled from their homeland. If not expelled, they otherwise left due to reasons such as attacks on Arab villages, Jewish military advances, or fears of more massacres by Zionist militias after Deir Yassin which caused many to leave out of panic. At Deir Yassin (a Palestinian Arab Village) 120 Israeli Zionist paramilitary fighters attacked near Jerusalem on April 9th, 1948, and massacred 250 people. It was the start of what has not ended.
Other reasons that Palestinian left the land granted to Israel include:
- Arab evacuation orders
- Expulsion orders by Israeli authorities
- Voluntary self-removal of the wealthier classes
- Collapse in Palestinian leadership
- Unwillingness to live under Jewish control
The State of Israel was granted land that had been co-habited by Palestinians and Jews and approved by the United Nations. What was forgotten in the process was an outcome for the Palestinians which would provide them with their own State. The result has been continuous tension and unrest in the Middle East over this one issue ever since 1948 for many reasons, partially because people
Palestinians who were expelled or who left have not been given a right to return to their homeland, nor have they been given compensation for the lands and businesses that were taken from them. This issue has been a consistent issue with Palestinian – Israeli peace negotiations.
Since the 1940’s Israel has cried out about every injustice that has happened to the Jews and demanded reparations, even from people that were not the original perpetrators. Certainly, the Nazis plundered Jewish art, jewelry, antiquities, and assumed property which was worth an incredible amount of money. It is right to find a way to have returned or to have heirs compensated somehow. However, there have been actions that have been brought that are unrealistic.
Point in case, a French railroad company that transported Jews during WWII has a case brought against it for transporting Jews from France to Nazi concentration camps. The company stated it had no choice but to do what the Nazi Germans requested or another consequence would befall them. It is hard to conceive that Israel does not see that the bad acts that were perpetrated on them are similar in nature to the actions they carry out on Palestinians. Not only are many of the acts bad, Israel might be culpable for the same kind of reparations that they have claimed against the Nazi regime and others who have unknowingly acquired Jewish people’s property from WWII.
Roadmap to Peace – No Solution Is Not An Option
The only way to see an end to this historically mis-thoughtout, mis-planned, and terribly executed State of Israel … is through diplomacy. It has been 65 years since the inception of the Statehood of Israel. Even now – the misconception, misunderstanding, and misdirection of these two peoples runs so deep, some people say there is no solution. No solution is not an option.
The Quran encourages peace and good relationships with all neighbors. In the first constitution of Medina, established by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be with him), all members of the communities including the Jews were to live in peace. The caveat was that their religious practices were to be kept separate. This was to preserve each religious group’s right to practice their religion privately and without fear of reprisal. The Torah also supports resolving issues, political or otherwise, through peaceful interaction without killing the opponent.
The international community, including Arab States must take the lead to help foster a clear roadmap to peace. Leaders must leave their egos at the door and think not what is best for now, but what will be best for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They must be willing to actively start “doing peace!”
How To Stop Bad People (Terrorists) Financed By Lunatics?
If Arab States actively participate in the peace process as they have in the donor conference to rebuild Palestine, then it will be harder for Extremist Groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS to propagate terrorist rhetoric. The terrorist rhetoric which is propagated by terrorists and supported by Iran both financially and as the worlds greatest terrorism cheerleaders must be stopped. The first place to go to stop terrorists that are not self-financed is to stop the financiers. In the Levant, the greatest terrorist financiers are Lunatics also known as Iran leaders and Assad.