The Israeli-Gaza conflict has recently exploded the last few days with the two coming close to a blown out war, including plans for Israel in infiltrate into the ground, whilst dropping leaflets to the Palestinians in the region. Thus far up to 20 Palestinians have been killed and so have 3 Israelis. Rockets have been firing to and fro the region with both sides technically blaming each other. If you have paid attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict you will see that this is nothing new, in fact the wheel has spun 360 degrees and we’re back to the breaking point, the current trend is nothing more than a cycle caused by stagnant progress and no resolution to the conflict between the two.
We need to look at the lead-up to such tensions and how this war will never end unless we see change. Amnesty International states in an October 2012 article that Israels Gaza Blockade is still operational (after 6 years) and still violating human rights. The 1.6 million Palestinians of Gaza have lived under an Israeli military blockade that has left more than one million Palestinians dependent on international humanitarian aid. The blockade also affects life in Gaza in other terrible ways. As reported in 2012, “Israeli authorities hindered or prevented hundreds of patients from leaving Gaza to obtain medical treatment.” And Gaza workers and students find it all but impossible to leave the territory to pursue jobs or education elsewhere, even in the West Bank.
Missiles land into Gaza. Rockets paint the sky between Israel and Gaza in escalating violence.
The truth is despite weak “cease-fires” and temporary “truces” the two are constantly at each others throats and attacks have continued for years. Yet one must beg the question, when you look at the state of Palestine and the Palestinians we see an impending frustration but for the most part they are defenseless themselves and the attacks are mainly caused by “Hamas”- the political party that vows to protect Palestine. The general population of both nations would love peace, but peace does not come with simple words that drag out for years, where next to nothing is actually happening. Peace comes by being willing to compromise, question your own standing and reach out and make changes. Imagine the frustrations of the Palestinian plight when we see that the blockade has reduced their quality to life, not to mention Israel going ahead with illegal settlement building that is steadily expanding its own borders.
Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking during a visit to Gilo after Israeli approval for the construction of 800 Jewish homes there sparked a sharp condemnation from EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. Israel captured Gilo in the 1967 Mideast war from Jordan. Then it annexed the area to Jerusalem in a move that has not been recognized internationally. This example is not a Palestinian issue but really shows the significance in the Israeli cause to expand in any given opportunity and not having much care about the International community at large.
It also doesn’t help the Israeli cause that a recent poll conducted October 24th 2012 and published by “The Age” reveals that many Jewish citizens of Israel support discrimination against Palestinians, with 69 per cent advocating preference for Jews over Arabs in government jobs and 74 per cent in favour of segregated roads in the West Bank. The survey, commissioned by a private foundation, the Yisraela Goldblum Fund, revealed what past polling had suggested – that Israelis “accept the policies of separation“, said Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion analyst based in Tel Aviv.
Media reports Israel is acting in self defense- despite knowing the struggles of the Palestinians living in occupation and segregation.
Yet we must remember such polling cannot and will not account for all of the people, as only 500-600 people were polled. I will not, and never will curse every single Israeli or every single Jew based on mere opinion polls. Israel DOES have a right to defend, yet it must go on the offensive only to those committing an offense and the people of Gaza for the most part, and the Palestinians themselves are not doing anything to deserve unbalanced retaliation attacks. We hear though from the United States and other nations that Israel has a right to “defend itself” and that no country should tolerate such random rocket attacks, yet one must beg the question- does the same calling for justice echo for the Palestinian people? What about their right for self defense? When Palestinians are having their olive farms destroyed by neighboring Israeli settlers… or When Palestinians are having their cars smashed in by rocks thrown by Israeli settlers… or When Israelis throw Molotov Cocktails at Palestinian taxis…or When spray paint that reads “Gas The Arabs” is sprayed by settlers in a Qurtuba girls school in Hebron… or When disturbing video is released of an Israeli war Museum where kids are saying “A dead Arab makes me happy” one must ask….When is it alright for the Palestinians to defend themselves without being branded as violent criminals and terrorists? This isn’t propaganda, this is really happening.
Bottom line is this, the stagnant nature of any peace process is part of the problem. We must understand that things need to change in that region and that their fruitless gimmicks and word games need to end. Civilians should never be part of a war that is fought between two political entities that are eternal enemies. Unlike many of my Muslim counterparts i will not call for the destruction of Jews, Israelis or anything like that for that matter. I still believe that most people from both ends would much rather live in peace, than live in fear every day. Yet i feel that people need to understand the Palestinian position more before branding them as terrorists, they are a people that are walled into a tiny area, who have their goings and comings monitored, who have restricted medical, social and employment opportunities and who face opposition and discrimination almost daily. Yes, i know the hatred goes both ways but with every actions comes a reaction and when people have their wings snipped there is no way they can say nice things to those who carry the nippers.
20 Palestinians and 3 Israelis have died thus far in confirmed reports.
Any people under such occupation, restraint and humiliation would be angry and would retaliate, but the sad thing is the media does not see the Palestinian frustrations as retaliation but aggression- which is relatively ironic seeming it is the Palestinians that are occupied. A drastic change needs to be made, whether it is a change of power, change of resolutions or even a change of connections. As all this suffering goes on and continue to goes on we learn it’s not what you know but who you know. Many nations that promise to care for the multitude of the Palestinians turn away from them. Nations fear speaking out against Israel thinking it will crumble relations and security. Many nations have an unbreakable “allegiance” to Israel which oversees the many International controversies conducted by them. At the same time you have Arab nations that are allies to the United States who would rather the economic and social comforts of such a relationship than helping their brothers and sisters in Palestine. The injustice is relatively telling. The media is already echoing the Israeli accusation of “Pallywood” – claiming that Gazans are faking deaths and injuries to get sympathy.
This “desensitization” program won’t work with me. In the midst of chaos and an explosion (buildings are on fire all around them) it is quiet common for men to carry people around and away from the fires. In the case of the above video what if the man had fainted? Or felt faint? It is very easy to combat these accusations that Palestinians fake their own deaths and injuries by giving you a disturbing truth: how about this image of Jihad Mashawari – a BBC journalist holding the body of his dead 11 month old son Ahmad, following an Israeli attack on their house on November the 14th. Are his emotions not real enough? Is this another “play”. I hope that baby is good at “playing dead“.
Accusations by the west and Israel of Palestinians using “Pallywood” (acting for sympathy) is damaging the actual heart and truth of this war & is a product of “desensitizing” to ignore the suffering of the Palestinians.
I just want the sick cycle to end, and it never will unless something drastic happens. We must remember that a full blown war would be rather catastrophic, especially knowing Israels disproportionate “retaliatory” attacks. Do we forget when Israel decided to do a “full blown” attack on Lebanon in 2006 it resulted in the death of over 1,000 civilians? When you look at satellite imagery of Beirut before and after Israels “retaliation” for the capture of a handful of Israeli solders (and the death of one)? Such a war on a compact, tight and penetrable area like Gaza would be catastrophic, no matter how many leaflets you drop- the Palestinians have NOWHERE to go.
Israels disproportionate attack on Beirut in 2006 – The city before and after the “all out war” of which it plans with Gaza which will be on a much more critical scale. (Click on image for Animated GIF)
I hate the concept of war and i am more Pro-Palestine than i am Pro-Israel but it has nothing to do with my background, but it has plenty to do with the facts that have been displayed and the international outcry against many of Israels policies and aggression against other nations like Iran. The condemnation coming today is telling Hamas to halt their rocket attacks, yet has anyone ever thought if the occupation ended, if the aid blockade to Gaza ceased and if genuine peace talks were in place would we then see a change? It hasn’t been tried before. Call me crazy but could i be equating a halt to rocket attacks perhaps once there is a halt to the occupation? It’s as easy as 1+1 but most are dissatisfied with such a simple calculation.