• Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Israel-Palestine: Making peace with an unsavory enemy

The root cause of Israel/Palestine conflict and the way forward

The attack by Hamas, which led to the current conflict with Israel, has once again disrupted this volatile and unstable region. The unfolding events of the past few days can spark an unmitigated, explosive, widespread war that may consume our cherished civilization. The world is gripped by pangs of war anxiety. Even Iran and Hezbollah, who were fingered as the brains behind the present onslaught against Israel, could never imagine this level of retaliation.

The global leaders are at a crossroads on how to mitigate the crisis. The United Nations, a lame duck spoon fed by the ‘West’, is helpless because the globalists are prosecuting subterfuge wars aimed at Iran and Syria, the two great allies of Russia in the region. The western powers skilfully killed the UN Security Council resolution that proposed a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza just because the resolution was proposed by Russia. A few minutes after the resolution was shot down, Israel bombed the Baptist hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of children and doctors.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is a very complex and controversial one. The conflict has a long and bloody history, involving multiple factors such as nationalism, religion, colonialism, violence, human rights, and geopolitics. Different perspectives and narratives may emphasize different aspects of the conflict and assign different degrees of blame or responsibility to the parties involved. The rest of the world blames the U.S. and its allies (the U.K., European Union, Australia, and Canada) for the continuous escalation of the crisis because of their refusal to recognize and implement two state options recommended by the United Nations a long time ago.

Making Palestine obsequiously submissive to the whims and caprices of Israel is the highest point of intolerable inequity that must be holistically and urgently addressed by global leaders if we desire everlasting peace in this region. The crisis has snowballed into a generational vendetta with an unending cycle. The solidarity response of the U.S., U.K., France, Japan, Germany, and others to Israel shows the hypocrisy of the “West”, hiding behind nice words (democracy, fundamental human rights, freedom of speech, rule of law, civil liberties, independent judiciary) and bad actions that are obsolete and out of order. The world is tired of the U.S. arrogance of power, double standard, imperialistic attitude, and her domineering tendencies. In this precarious situation, most of the countries in the Global South are overwhelmingly supporting Palestine. The Chinese have called for an independent Palestine within the 1967 borders. Miffed by the Chinese pronouncement, Israel expresses disappointment regarding the Chinese statement. Putin stated categorically that “we need to implement the decision of the UN Security Council on the creation of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state.”.

Indisputably, the Hamas attack on innocent Israeli civilians was wrong, wickedness, an act of terrorism, and a great provocation, but the bombardment of innocent citizens in Gaza is an unprecedented genocide; therefore, two wrongs cannot make one right. The spectre of the airstrike, bomb craters, rubble, pogrom, staccato of the bomb explosion, and the orgy of violence are scary. The blockage and cutting of electricity, internet, and water were aimed at snuffing out ordinary Palestinians who are Muslims and Christians, the majority of whom are stuck in Gaza.

In the last few years, the conflict has been marked by cycles of violence and failed peace attempts, with many casualties and suffering on both sides. The statistics of the human cost of the Israel-Palestine conflict documented by the United Nations show that in 2008 Palestine lost 3,202-Israel 853; in 2009 Palestine 7,460-Israel 123; in 2010 Palestine 1,659-Israel 185; and in 2011 Palestine 260-Israel 136. Also, in 2012 Palestine 4936-Israel 578; in 2013 Palestine 4,031-Israel 157; in 2014 Palestine 19,860-Israel 2,796; in 2015 Palestine 14,813-Israel 339; in 2016 Palestine 3,572-Israel 222; in 2017 Palestine 8,526-Israel 174; in 2018 Palestine 31,558-Israel 130; in 2019 Palestine 15,628-Israel 133; and in 2020 Palestine 2,781-Israel 61 people, respectively.

The recent escalation of violence in 2023 was triggered by Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a flashpoint site for both Muslims and Jews, which sparked protests and clashes that soon spread to other areas. Hamas launched rockets from Gaza into Israel, prompting Israel to launch airstrikes and ground operations into Gaza. The fighting has killed hundreds of people, mostly Palestinians, and displaced thousands more. According to the Palestinian Authority, as reported by the Gaza Health Ministry, 1,324 residential and non-residential buildings comprising 5,540 housing units have been destroyed. Another 3,743 housing units have been damaged beyond repair and rendered uninhabitable. It is also reported that 10 health facilities, 48 schools, 23 government buildings, and 12 ambulances were affected. Presently, 10 journalists have been killed, and more than 2,778 people have been killed in Gaza, the majority of whom were women and children, and 9,700 were wounded so far.

All over the world, people of all races, including Jews, are protesting the genocidal stance of the Zionist government of Israel. People are calling on the United Nations to address the main issue. So long as the main points of contention in the conflict remain unresolved, the problem will fester and persist, consciously or subconsciously. The legitimacy and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in a region that was historically inhabited by Arab Muslims and Christians, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and statehood in their ancestral lands, need to be revisited. Also, the status of Jerusalem, a holy city for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital, must be clearly addressed to the admiration of these formidable groups and their allies.

Read also: Carnage, conflict and complications in Israel and Palestine

Again, the fate of millions of Palestinian refugees who were displaced or expelled from their homes during the 1948 Arab Israeli war and subsequent conflicts and their right to return or compensation should be amicably settled to reflect the principles of fairness, humanity, and justice claimed to be the hallmarks of Western democracies. Similarly, the Israeli occupation and settlement of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are considered illegal under international law by most countries and organizations, and which have severely restricted the movement, rights, and livelihoods of Palestinians living there, require global collective actions of diplomacy and the giving and taking of all stakeholders. Finally, the security and sovereignty of both Israel and Palestine, which have been threatened by frequent attacks from militant groups such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as by military operations and incursions from both sides, need to be objectively deconstructed for perpetual peace in the region.

The conflict is not only a political or military issue but also a human one. It affects the lives, hopes, and dreams of millions of people who deserve dignity, justice, and peace. There is no easy solution to the conflict, but there is a need for dialogue, understanding, and compromise from all sides. As former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once said, “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavoury enemies.” Also, Martin Luther Jr. made a lot of statements in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ during the struggle for the liberation of African Americans from segregation that are still relevant to the present scenario. In the meantime, our refusal to allow the Palestinian state to exist is like “setting a time limit for another man’s freedom”. The Palestinian people are being oppressed, and it is obvious that “the oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.” Therefore, “now is the time to lift ‘global’ policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.”

Bello, a social commentator, writes from Canada.