Territorial dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians is a never ending saga. It appears to me that the cycle of violence and truce keeps repeating every couple of years or so. Each time, the innocent Palestinians keep getting the shortest end of the stick. Whenever there are lives lost, it’s always easy to blame the Israelis for the Palestinian misfortunes; however, everyone share the responsibility whether they are directly involved or not.
What do I mean by everyone? When I say ‘everyone’, it becomes a vague way of pointing fingers at a whole lot of people. Let me provide a list to outline what I mean by ‘everyone’.
1. Israel – The expansionist policy adopted by Israel has been going on for a long time. As Israel slowly expands or solidifies their hold on disputed territories, more and more Palestinians get confined into regions surrounded by walls and blockades. At the same time, whenever Israel periodically initiates military operations with the excuse to weaken Hamas militants, the collateral damage is often unimaginable. Thousands of Palestinian men, women and children end up losing their lives. In addition, recouping the loss of properties become extremely difficult.
2. Hamas – Israel and its close allies consider Hamas as a terrorist organization despite being elected by the Palestinian people. Israel and its allies wrongfully try to block all aids to the Palestinians in an attempt to cripple Hamas. This is turn add more to the misery of the Palestinian people. On the other hand, Hamas continue to build tunnels or purchase new rockets for their anti-Israeli campaigns. Every now and then, the militant wings of Hamas start launching unnecessary rocket attacks deep inside Israeli civilian population. This types of actions provide Israel an excuse to launch indiscriminate military operations deep inside Gaza
3. Israeli allies – Many of the Israeli allies have been providing financial and military support to Israel for a long period of time. These long running assistance programs have made the State of Israel as the most powerful nation in the Middle East capable of initiating nuclear and chemical warfare. Whenever conflicts flare up in the region the allies turn a blind eye no matter how brutal and relentless Israeli actions may be. Thus making the conflicts completely a one sided affairs where Palestinians face the harshest of realities.
4. Arabs – Since the beginning of Israeli occupations, many Palestinians have taken refuge inside several Arab nations. Some of these people have been living in poor conditions in many refugee camps for generations. These generations of refugees are still treated like third class citizens by many Arabs. Sometimes, when Israeli-Palestinian conflicts arise or hope builds up for potential peace treaty, Arab nations fail to live up to the challenge in helping the Palestinians. Their halfhearted efforts have failed the Palestinian people and the refugees time and again.
5. Palestinians – How can Palestinians be responsible for their own sufferings? I can think of a few reasons. Palestinians need to realize that territorial settlement will never return to pre-sixty seven borders. So, they can’t be overly greedy when it comes to negotiations with the Israelis. It happened before, and let us not forgets the failed treaty during the Bill Clinton era. Currently, Hamas is an elected government and they have every right to function as a legitimate government without any interference. What Israel and its allies are doing to undermine Hamas by blocking aid and support is simply wrong. However, that should not give Hamas the excuse to build tunnels and drop rockets deep inside Israeli territory. In fact, Hamas is taking these actions right under the noses of Palestinian people. The people are either completely unaware of what the Hamas militants are doing or they are unwilling to prevent such actions. This almost makes the Palestinians guilty by playing ignorance.
6. Rest of us – I am placing everyone around the world who are not in the first 5 categories listed above, as the ‘rest of us’. In order to understand the ‘rest of us’ better, I am breaking this group into the following sub-categories:
a. Biased people – This group of people are die hard supporters of either the Israelis or the Palestinians. The supporters of each side are completely blinded by their beliefs. In fact the beliefs are so strong that they are incapable of listening to what the other has to say. In addition, these people frequently dig up conspiracy theories from the internet simply to justify some terrible actions.
b. Centrist people – These folks are people like me. We try to look at concerns of both the Israelis and the Palestinians with some level rationality. We believe both sides need to compromise and make difficult choices in order to achieve peace. Many Muslims who belong in this category will most like recognize Israel as a state.
c. Careless people – The people in this group probably could care less what happens in their neighborhood let alone in another country. Many of these people are probably unaware of recurring conflicts between Israel and Palestinian.
Regardless of our categories or our beliefs, we are not involved enough to make a difference. We cannot or unwilling to put pressures on our respective governments. As a result, our governments are not applying enough pressures on Israel, Palestine and their respective allies.
To summarize, it’s not a black and white situation when it comes to long running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I must point out that the Palestinians are not the only ones sufferings. Many Israelis are on the same boat as well. However, by looking at the casualties on both sides, Palestinian people seem to be in a far more painful situation than the Israelis. Most current Israeli-Palestinian conflict with scores of people dead on the Palestinian side is a perfect example. So, I feel everyone including the Israelis and the Palestinians are responsible for the sufferings of the Palestinian people.