Israel and Palestine: The Case for a Just Peace

Published on 16 May 2021 at 12:41

The ever-escalating crisis which has emerged since hostilities between Israeli armed forces and the Palestinian minority ensued, has led to widespread condemnation and international outcry. Talks have since shifted from discussing ceasefires to seeking a permanent solution to the issues which continue to face the most complicated region on the planet.


Yet in the meantime, as the international community remains likely to merely decry the conduct, they are viewing without taking any true action. Innocent men, women and children remain likely to suffer and die from the violence we are now failing to prevent. Behind each and every figure and statistic which we view in the coming days and weeks, is a person who may have had loved ones or dependents for whom their loss will be absolutely devastating; this perspective is important to maintain in order to prevent the apathy we are now witnessing.


When it comes to such geopolitical issues, I have always tried to seek out the opinion of someone who is either from the region or has more experience with such events than myself. As well-informed as I try to keep myself on such wide-ranging geopolitical crises and potential issues, their personal experience will always outweigh the mere statistics and headlines I have consumed. In this instance in particular I have been moved by the personal perspectives I have been lucky enough to garner.


The sheer unwarranted cruelty and apparent unending nature of a conflict which has already taken away the lives of so many, was an aspect I could not have truly understood had I not been effectively informed of such. Whether it is Hamas dissidents firing on population centres or the airstrikes which the Israeli armed forces have responded with, the coverage and misconception of the conflict as a war, is one I bought in to a certain degree. This is however no regular conflict and has not been since the effective dissolution of Palestinian sovereignty so long ago.


In perpetuating this war narrative, the media does a disservice to the outright terror and suffering which has been wrought upon the civilians of this conflict. The notion that Israel is simply responding to over four thousand rockets being fired in to its territory and treating Hamas as a standing army with similar capabilities as the IDF when they are for all respects and purposes nought more than a terrorist organisation, is a massive misconception which must be dispelled.


The people of Palestine have been left without a nation for generations at this stage and should not be characterized as being represented by an organisation willing to use their own compatriots as human shields. Likewise, Israel cannot be allowed to hide behind the defence of counter strikes of a tactical nature, as they are effectively treating a large minority of their population as a terrorist organisation in and of itself.


The Middle East was not always like this. Prior to the carnage wrought by the European superpowers of the post-World War One era by way of the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the Middle East was a region of peace and exceptional calm. Yet the burned-out husk of a geographical area that the West left the East following the achievement of the goals they maintained for this sector, has effectively caused the death and destruction we are now witnessing.


War is not the answer and can never be one, as what is being waged right now is a conflict with which there can be no winners and the losing side will always be the innocents caught up in a violent outburst they never asked for. The only true solution is a diplomatic one, beginning with the Israeli government admitting their missteps and taking the first gradual movements towards making a sustainable future for both peoples. Returning the land they have occupied, ceasing to treat the Arab members of their society as second class citizens, and ceasing the hostilities which have come with a high human cost to date.


This is not an aspirational set of goals for the Israeli government, but rather the only true method in which they can atone for the years of failure they have shown for the peoples of both sides of the divide. The violence and suffering comes from both sides that is undeniable at present. Yet as the only true “government” directly involved in the conflict, the burden falls at the feet of the Israeli elected officials to fulfil their moral obligations and take the path of peace for the good of all involved.


While the conflict is a two-sided affair, it is important to remember that what has occurred in the past few days, is not reflective of the majority of either ethnicity. Most are now weary of what has passed beyond the realm of a generational conflict and borders now on the effective ethnic cleansing of a people who have inhabited the region for centuries. Yet when you take the view of those whose perspective is the most vital, it is very difficult to see the importance of the history or necessity of this conflict, when you are forced to flee for your life in the face of ever escalating violence and threat of loss of life.


Now is the time for the international community to hold those who perpetuate violence for account, the time for strategic interests keeping the voice of morality silent has passed. As was often stated following the Chicago Riots, the world is now watching and what comes next will be directly in our hands to influence and effect the change we want to see in our world. The current situation cannot continue for the sake of the most vulnerable who suffer the most. It is time for things to change and for reconciliation to begin; no matter how hard or long the path may seem, it is the only one left in order to end the wanton death and destruction which has engulfed the nation for far too long.

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