• author
    • Matthew Najmowicz

    • August 6, 2014 in Columnists

    Israel and Palestine — both sides are guilty

    As of right now, Israel and Palestine have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire which will probably be violated as fast as I can say Manischewitz.  The absolute hatred between Palestine and Israel existed long before I was born and I am sure will continue when I am put into my grave.  The reasons why this hatred perpetuates itself are numerous, well-funded, and have deep political roots abroad and here at home.

    The American government has taken the stance to support Israel and Israel’s policies concerning Palestine.  Anytime you hear a politician talk about Israel inevitably the words “Israel has a right to defend itself” are uttered to any microphone or TV camera.  Virtually every national politician is in lockstep with that sentiment.

    Does Israel have a right to defend itself?  

    Well my question would be simply: defend itself against what?

    Look at the current armed conflict between Israel and Gaza.  According to CNN 1,800 people are dead from news sources in Gaza.  On the Israeli side, 67, and most of them are soldiers.  It sounds like Israel is well-defended.  Hell, with all the USA-made miltary weaponry, killing the perceived enemy shouldn’t be a problem for Israel.  America knows how to make weapons that kill effectively.

    As of this moment, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) are declaring mission accomplished.  They claim in the four-week campaign they were able to destroy 32 tunnels that Hamas allegedly smuggled weapons in and out of areas.   We should take heed and be skeptical when anyone declares mission accomplished.

    Can there ever be peace between Israel and Palestine?

    In order to even frame a solution we have to come to an agreement on certain prerequisites for attempting peace.

    1. There must be a two-state solution.
    2. The US must stop military and financial aid Israel for the over-abundance it does.
    3. Palestine must recognize Israel as a legitimate state and its right to exist.
    4. Israel must agree to stop building settlements in accordance with UN Resolution 194.

    To say that the Jews “must go home” is out of the question.  Look, the Israelis are there and you cannot turn back the hands of time before they occupied part of Palestine.  Instead of worrying about throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water, just worry about the dirty water — you will not be getting the baby (just a Palestinian state).

    One of the most egregious features of this conflict is the exclusive US support for Israel.  In our political rhetoric we continue to call Israel an ally, a functioning democracy in the middle east, we are friends of Israel, and so on.  Why?  Campaign cash and American Israel Public Affairs Committee.  To campaign on behalf of Israel is a very powerful political issue, and there’s a lot of cash to be made for “defending Israel.”  Sometimes it’s as easy as just following the money.   

    Sorry Israel, the poor boy routine is wearing thin.  Make no mistake about it, Israel is well financed, well connected politically to America, and has the weaponry to pulverize what they can.  In fact, there has been a campaign called boycotts, disinvest, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel  as a way to combat Israel’s political and financial clout.  The Presbyterian Church recently voted to disinvest from Israel.

    However, the simple fact that Palestine refuses to even think that Israel has a right to exist is troubling.   The Palestinian National Charter is not only controversial in terms of addressing the existence of Israel, but also the legality and legitimacy of such a charter is also under question.

    It’s hard to live peacefully with your neighbor when you don’t believe your neighbor should be living next to you.

    Right now at this very moment, the rockets have stopped dropping.  The sad part is to acknowledge this 72-hour cease-fire is nothing more than a bitter peace between Israel and Palestine.  I have no idea if they can ever achieve peace and come to any sort of resolution.  All I know is people live in fear on both sides.  All I know is both sides are just as guilty as the other.  All I know is in order for peace to be achieved, America has to stop meddling in the affairs between Israel and Palestine.

    America cannot be a broker of peace while handing a gun to one side to shoot at the other.


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