The way life isn’t supposed to be in Israel and Palestine

Israel-Palestine-HandshakeIt took me about 30 minutes to decide how to start this post. I was not having a creative blocking or anything alike, because I knew what I wanted to write. It was just because this subject makes my heart hurt.

From all the international issues, the Israeli-Arab conflict was always the one that got my attention since I was around 15/16 years old. I am used to write about it in different perspectives (for example my master’s degree thesis was called the Israeli-Arab conflict and water issues: from scarcity to conflict) and I try to keep myself updated about the conflict as much as I can.

As most of you know a series of attacks from Israel to Palestine (and vice-versa) are being carried on. It all started with the kidnapping of 3 Israeli Teenagers (and when I say start, I mean that this event was the big red button that you are not supposed to push, as the hurting of people was on-going before that) by who knows who. Then a Palestinian teenager was killed in retaliation by again, mystery murderers. From there, it escalated very quickly (doesn’t it always?).

According to The Guardian, Israel has launched 1300 air strikes at Palestine, while the Palestinians fired 800 rockets at Israel. 166 Palestinians were killed and Israel didn’t report any fatalities. I suggest you look around and gather information from both sides to have an impartial idea.

As for me, I still think that there is a solution: a 2 state solution, where neighbours respect borders. But will it be possible? The hatred between Palestine and Israel is so much that I think that this will never end (I hope, I really do, that I am wrong). They grow up being taught that the other party is the enemy. I have friends in both sides… although they think they can live in peace, the distrust is there. How can we change this? There are some many violations of human rights (by both parts!) that I start thinking if this will ever end. In the end, they are all people, fighting for something that in 2014 shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

My main concern at this moment is how much more this will escalate. Will it end up in war again? Are we looking at a 3rd intifada or is this just business as usual? Since 2008 that there have been two situations like this one. They were mediated and they didn’t develop into something else, so hopefully this situation will be the same.

Never mind the politics or who is right or wrong. People are being killed. Where is diplomacy when we need it? What can UN do? What can we do?

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81 Comments

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81 responses to “The way life isn’t supposed to be in Israel and Palestine

  1. You raise good points. First I don´t think it will ever end. There has never been a Palestine State, throughout thousands of years it has been occupied by one country or another. It was the Romans who did kick out the Jews and named that land Palestine. After that the British where the conquering power until WW2. Then the Leaugue of Nations at the end of the War gave 54% of the ground to Jews and the rest to Arabs. I might add that up until the British conquered the sorrounding arab counrtries where the ones who had been conquering that land named Palestine. After the Estate of Israel was created by what we The leage of Nations now called the U.N, 5 arab countries simultaneously attacked Israel. And that´s when Israel for the first time in Humanity fought back as a cohesive nation State, got more land than was first given to it and it makes sense from their point of view, since the land they achieved after defeating 4 or 5 arab countries is of strategic military importance in case they are invaded again, or trying to get invaded.Mind you that the Jews just came out of the holocaust 6 million at least never made it.
    The incident you are talking about for me it´s a diverse tactic by Iran. Hammas get´s it´s rockets, and these are not little homemade rockets, the range they have is one that is able to reach all parts of Israel, these rockets are made in Iran, Iran has long been financing and training Hamas the objective of both the terrorist group and terrorist country Iran is simple, to whipe out Israel from the face of the planet. And today there has been a report of Hamas t.v sending armed drones into Israel. Drones made in Iran. So these two have stated publicly and that´s what their goal is. Kill Jews. It´always a tragic, when there is human life loos, I know it, been with the Spanish army in two screwed up countries. Had two friends in the Marines.

    Getting to the point, the U.N is incapable of doing anything, specially when you consider that Iran has been sitting in the Human Rights council(that´s a bit of joke if you ask me).

    Diversion-up until a few weeks, there had been an international gathering to try to impose what type of sanctions if Iran didn´t dismantle their nuclear facilities. The sanctions didn´t do much, so Iran pretty much came out of this one, as always, untouched and one step further to developing nuclear weapons. But they are under the watchful eye of the international communtiy, I would put “watchuful” between quotes. Now it´s quite normal for countries like Iran, to call up their puppets in Palestine and tell them to make a bit of noise so the focus shift´s to Israel. Since they know that in the eyes of the world Israel is the bad Goliath that just kill Palestines for fun. I can argue that, but it´s pointless who ever thinks it´s true they tend to have a deep misguided sense of morality and little factual historic knowledge.

    But the key here is that, for Iran to keep going on with their nuclear bomb making, while the focus in the world is in Israel.

  2. CarolinaCowboy

    “As for me, I still think that there is a solution: a 2 state solution, where neighbours respect borders. But will it be possible?” The Peel Commission in 1937 concluded the only logical solution to resolving the contradictory aspirations of the Jews and Arabs was to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Arabs rejected the plan because it forced them to accept the creation of a Jewish state, and required some Palestinians to live under “Jewish domination.” The Zionists opposed the Peel Plan’s boundaries because they would have been confined to 1,900 out of the 10,310 square miles remaining in Palestine. Nevertheless, the Zionists decided to negotiate with the British, while the Arabs refused to consider any compromises.

    The Arabs no more want Israel to exist today than they did in 1936, UN Resolution 181 recommended a partition of the territory from the British Mandate for Palestine into two states – one for Jews and one for Palestinian Arabs. But the rejection of partition by the Arabs left in place as the legally operative Mandate for Palestine, the 1924 Anglo-American Convention, and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter. All of the Arab countries, just as the Palestinian today, objected to the creation/existence of the Jewish state and fought a wars against its creation and existing.

    The “Palestinian Arabs” were rejected by every single Arab country, with the exception of the small percentage that ended up in refugee camps in Jordan where they remain to this day. They are forced to stay in Palestinian to be both a tactical and propaganda tool for the Arabs’ on going war to destroy Israel, and they will settle for nothing less.

    Hamas Reiterates: We Will Never Recognize Israel: Islamist movement’s deputy leader makes clear it won’t accept any of the Quartet conditions, even under a ‘unity gov’t’ with Abbas.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-05/10/c_133324196.htm

    • I am aware of these resolutions 🙂 However, what I meant was will it ever be possible? will the mentalities change to allow it? thanks for your comment!

    • The Irgun and the Lehi rejected the United Nations plan first, before they did. The entire war was fought in 1948 inside territory that the UN plan had planned for a Palestinian state.

      It is irrelevant after 2000 years that Palestinians never had “a state” as such. That gives no right to lands that they owned and lived in any more than it gives them the right to steal your household or raze it to the ground. Iraq and Kuwait and almost all the nations in Africa are colonial borders and colonial creations.

  3. Awesome blog. Hopefully this conflict does not end-up in a full blown war. I believe as well a 2 state solution would be the resolution but like you said, it may never happen.

  4. ledmany

    I really enjoyed the simple vocabulary of the post compared to the uninteresting articles you would find in the news. I am glad to hear your opinion as well. I was born in Iran but moved to the U.S. at age 5 and have been here ever since. I do not support the Islamic Government of Iran. I also believe that the U.S. and the international community can not just sit and let this happen. Israel is the Holy Land for not just Jews, but Christians and Baha’i’ Faith members as well, and that is why Palestine wants to destroy the state of Israel due to a barbaric idea of Jihad against any others who are not Muslim. Thank you and have a blessed day.

    • Hi! It is not so simple, Palestine doesn’t want to destroy Israel and vice-versa… I think it is the hatred between the two of them that is standing on the way of peace.

      • Reference “CAMERA: The Facts About Hamas” — Hamas may transform one day but it is for all intents kleptocratic Muslim Brotherhood enterprise determined to destroy Jewry worldwide but starting with Israel. It’s not doing as well as it may boast (or believe) and the truth about its co-locating its arsenals with noncombatants not only gets out into the world but, for once, may make its way back into Gaza. Standing up for Gaza today may mean standing up to Hamas and its similar associates.

      • Hi, I know what you mean. I don’t support Hamas, in the same way that I don’t support Israel’s military offences. I don’t support violence in general

      • Israel coordinates, provides, and puts through many services for Gaza’s residents despite the hostilities, but many may not know that or put the whole picture together — and those that do may not want attention from Hamas.

      • Yes, I know. I just don’t like to take sides and try to look at it from a neutral ground – both are innocent and guilty. We should look for the solutions not for the guilty

      • I use the concept of “malignant narcissism” as a key to understanding how some conflict and some forms in social organization — in politics, government — got as far as they have. The political psychology involved is worth some attention. I’ll leave it at that and otherwise look forward to reading more of your posts.

      • We’ll chat more, I’m sure.

  5. I agree totally. There always seems to be that “just one more hot button”, but the Jews and the Arabs have been fighting each other for years. There was a great quote, attributed to Golda Meir, that “…the Palestinians seem to hate the Jews more than they love their own Children”. Obviously, you can change the names (in that quote) too identify the co-conspirators.

    The sad part of it is that the average man or woman on the street wishes for peace, and an end to the violence; but, the governments on both sides seem to be controlled by “Right”-Wing Hawks. It seems to be like a fight to be the last man or woman standing–or, perhaps still alive.

    As the old song, from the 1960s anti-war protests finishes, “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

  6. I have always had the POV that UN will never have an effective intervention on Israel. UN is much influenced by the US and the US won’t go against Israel. I may be wrong but I really feel this way.

    The chances that both these nations will live with absolute peace is less, there will always be a cold war situation but I hope this stops.

  7. Reblogged this on Ace Friends News and commented:
    #AND2014 First class post and great read and share!

  8. Would love to hear more about your Masters thesis. It seems like a very interesting and unique angle to approach the Israel-Palestinian issue.

    For me, I find it especially interesting how this issue used to be referred to as the Israeli-Arab crisis and yet is now referred to as the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I think that there are multiple reasons as to why the issue has seen this transition in lexicon. However, I can’t help but feel surprised that the wider Arab world is apparently less concerned with the plight of the Palestinians than they were as early as 40 years ago.

    The issue of who owns what territory is a difficult one to definitely define. Though the Palestine of the early 20th Century was a British Mandated territory, it still counts as a Palestinian state. On the other hand, there is the question as to how much credence we give to the contemporary right of the Jews to a modern incantation of the historical holy land of Israel.

    Finally, even if a two-state solution were to be found, I agree with you in that the inherent attitudes of distrust will not automatically disperse. There are extremists on both sides who salivate over the opportunities to cause for disruption to any potential of peace. Take the far-right Jewish Home Party in Israel, or Hamas in Gaza. Hopefully, the more moderate voices will eventually prevail.

    A very tough issue to grapel with given all of the variables; whether they be historical, territorial, psychological, religious etc. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi thanks! The thesis is in Portuguese, but I’ve been thinking about translating it… But it is going to be a big translation, so I have to find time for it. It was a very challenging work, as there was not much written about it, besides papers/articles and two or three old books.
      About your comment, I guess it started to be called Israeli-Palestinian gradually, as most of Israel/Palestine hatred is directed at each other (you don’t hear much Israel-Syria or Israel-Egypt anymore and Palestine was always more or less accepted by the Arab world).

  9. Very interesting post. The middle east has been a powder keg of conflict for most of recorded history, the Israel-Palestine question is just the current nexus of conflicting forces – religion, politics, historical ownership claims and plain human intractability. In addition the Israelis have developed a fierce backs to the wall survival mentality and the Arab nations as a whole (despite anything said publically) just want rid of them. I too wish I could see a peaceful way out but the forces seem diametrically opposed ……..

  10. A very interesting post. However, I must point out one or two things:
    1) You wrote “As most of you know a series of attacks from Israel to Palestine (and vice-versa) are being carried on.”
    It would be more accurate to say “a series of attacks from the Gaza Strip to Israel (and vice-versa) are being carried out”, since the Israeli airstrikes are in response to a long period of rocket attacks by Hamas, from the Gaza Strip and only after a long period of self-restraint, when the Hamas terrorist rocket attacks reached the number of 70 or 80 rockets a day. The way you describe the tit-for-tat makes it seem as if Israel started it.

    2) You wrote “They grow up being taught that the other party is the enemy.”
    Technically this may be true, but on the “Palestinian” side, it goes much further than that. They are taught that Jews (not just Israelis) are the enemy, in their schools, they are indoctrinated with hatred, taught that it’s better to be a “shahid” (a holy martyr) than to make peace with Israel, taught that the “Naqba” is as great a crime as the Nazi Holocaust (and in some cases, are also taught that there was no Holocaust), taught that the Jews are descendants of Khazar converts and not real Jews, etc. Even in the wake of the Oslo Accords, the incitement on the Arab side continued. In Israel, however, in the wake of Oslo, I remember that the Ministry of Education provoked quite a lot of criticism from the extreme right, because they introduced all sorts of programs in government schools to teach the “Palestinian” view, and about the so-called “Naqba”, and to encourage co-existence. This NEVER happened on the Arab side, and any sign of “normalisation” was – let us say “discouraged”, to put it mildly. It still is – and certain Israeli Arab leaders (such as the Knesset members from Arab parties) also inveigh against any Israeli Arabs who want to enjoy the equality they have under Israeli law, and serve in the army or even do civilian national service (in short, BE ISRAELI), call them traitors and threaten them.

    BTW – thanks for visiting and liking my blog 🙂

    • Hi, thanks for coming by!
      I’m sorry if it seems that I am saying that the firing of rockets is Israel’s fault. Well, I don’t take sides. As I said in my post, I have friends on both sides, so I have a clear picture of both opinions.
      Regarding the hatred, I still thinks it happens on both sides. Of course, you have people that are more extremist than others but on both sides…
      Again we should be looking for solutions not for which country is guilty.
      Thanks for coming by!

      • Of course there are also Israelis who hate Arabs. What I was trying to make clear, however, is that this is not something which is taught by “the system”. Israeli children are not taught in school to hate Arabs/”Palestinians”. But have you ever seen “Palestinian” school textbooks? They are full of hatred for “the Zionist entity”, they are taught from childhood, by the official education system, that Israel has no right to exist.

      • Still, we should look at solutions and how to address this, not really what a part does or the other

      • Sometimes doesn’t a situation warrant taking sides? Occasionally there is a right and wrong party, or at very least a more right or more wrong party. I can know two friends that got into a fight and still be able to say “well Joe took the first swing”, its not so much taking sides as much as it is actually getting involved in something ought to be invoked in.

        Can you acknowledge that Palestinian kids are systematically taught to hate and even kill Jews on school and on TV? Can you acknowledge this does not happen in Israel?

        Sometimes blame needs to be assigned. Because it does no good to “seek a solution” from the innocent party. If I’m walking down the street and I get attacked, there is nothing o could have possibly done to “solve” the problem. The solution lays solely on the shoulders of whose to blame.

      • I am very sorry, but I don’t agree with you.
        Regarding being taught in school to hate, I am not going to disagree or agree, since I don’t have enough information to confirm its veracity. From my Palestinians and Israeli friends, I always got from them that they both were taught to hate each other. If it happens in school or not, I don’t know.
        I think the solution lays on the shoulders of everyone involved. Murders happen in both sides, and that is what worries me, the killing of innocent people, independently of their religion, or country or other.

  11. But the Israeli “the system” excludes its own Arab minority, who’s 1/5 of the population. And a substantial portion of the Israeli ruling coalition are on a quest to make Israel a “Jewish State” but constitutional amendment. Where would that leave the Israeli Arabs? Who are citizens too. Would that mean their own government thinks they have “no right to exist”? Or would that government just kindly ask them to leave? Or become Jewish?

    Racial hatred is peddled by both sides.

    • “Racial hatred is peddled by both sides.”. I completely agree

      • Sorry, but I don’t agree. How exactly does “the system” exclude the 20% Arab minority? From what are they excluded? They serve in the Knesset, their language is an official language of the State of Israel, they serve on the Supreme Court bench, they have the same rights as everyone else.

        “a substantial portion of the Israeli ruling coalition are on a quest to make Israel a “Jewish State” but constitutional amendment.” – I’m assuming you meant “BY constitutional amendment”. Israel is already a Jewish State. The whole raison d’etre of the Partition Plan was to create two states, a Jewish state and an Arab state in the area of the Palestine Mandate. But what does that mean? It does not mean that non-Jews would be deprived of civil rights which they now enjoy. As Ben Gurion stated long ago, it means a state whose general character would be Jewish, and of course, Jews would have the automatic right to live there, because that was the purpose of the state – to be a homeland and refuge for the Jewish people.
        BTW – as to your claim of “a substantial portion” – how many?

    • There is an entire region of the world that are explicitly Muslim nations. Are the few Jews left on the planet nor entitled to an official Jewish state?

      Do you express the same concern over Muslim nations? Or just get upset when Israel does it?

  12. “Still, we should look at solutions and how to address this, not really what a part does or the other”

    Well, what solution would you suggest – given the fact that the “Palestinians” refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of our own in what is our ancient homeland?

    • Not all Palestinians reject Israel, as not all Israeli reject Palestinians. We have to work with the ones that do reject each other. I believe in a two state solutions, but I know that it is not going to happen soon. Before trying that or trying to propose that we need to change the way both parts see each other. Both parts would gain if they worked together, not against.

      • I agree entirely that we need to change the way we see each other. For that reason, I participated with my choir, a few years ago, in a project called “D’Une Seule Voix”, in which Israeli and “Palestinian” musicians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, toured France together. As I wrote, in one of my earliest blogs, the hope was we would get to know each other, learn to create something together and reach a higher level of understanding of each other. My own (modest) hope was, that each side would learn that the other side was not “the devil with horns”.
        I believe we did manage to change the way some of saw each other, because on our last evening in Paris, one of the girls from Gaza (a Christian, not a Muslim) climbed onto our bus and began embracing each of us.
        This was in May 2006. I have to tell you that, by the next time we met, in Malta in 2009, there were only 3 members left of the group from Gaza, and they were no longer living in Gaza, the group having been disbanded by the Hamas leadership, and some of them having even been executed. Clearly, Hamas does NOT want to change the way we see each other.

        The Israeli government also believed in “changing the way we see each other”. This was the very reason that, following the Oslo Accords, they introduced educational programs in schools, presenting the Palestinian side of the story, teaching Palestinian history etc. (I may say, there was a lot of opposition to this from the extreme Right, but the Ministry of Education pressed ahead and did it.) Unfortunately, the Palestinians did NOT do the same, but continued the incitement against the Jewish State and educated their children that Oslo was just the first step to “getting back” the whole of “Palestine”.

        As you see – it takes two to tango, and, unfortunately, the Palestinians, as a group, have not really been ready to do so. So I would like to invite you to consider, how can we get each side to change the way they see the other, when one side is simply not ready to do so? I am not talking about the few Palestinians whom you may know personally, who may be ready to see Israelis differently. I am talking about the Palestinian leadership and an entire generation which has been indoctrinated to hate Israel and the Jews. Those few (or maybe even the Silent Majority, who knows?) are irrelevant, as long as they don’t make their voices heard. You may say that they are afraid to speak out. That may be – the reason they don’t speak out is also irrelevant. The fact is, they don’t.

      • I agree with you, it takes two to tango indeed… I guess I’ll have to wait until I can see both parts ready to engage with each other peaceful, then.
        But thank you, it is really good to get feedback and opinion from someone who is living this.

    • As you rightly state, the original 1947 resolution endorsed the idea of a “Jewish State” but Israel is not officially a Jewish State in the sense that Judaism is the only religion and all other religions are illegal. The 1947 Plan did not endorse the idea of theocracy. And in any case, the vast majority of Arab players rejected the 1947 plan, and accordingly it hasn’t created a stable situation since. This is the reason Netanyahu has made it a point that Abbas must recognize Israel as an inherently “Jewish State” as one of the preconditions for the resumption of full negotiations. He wants Palestinian buy-in to the religious separation you speak of. This idea is endorsed by Netanyahu, Lieberman, and just about anybody else that matters in the coalition. So if an Israeli Arab finds his government has turned the country into a theocracy, what does he do? Take the oath? Leave for Palestine? Change religion? Now granted, Abbas’ refusal is because he cannot endorse anything that goes against the theocracy he currently leads, but that’s beside my point, which is that racial hatred is peddled by both sides. Palestine is a theocracy. Israel’s ruling coalition wants to turn Israel into a theocracy. What’s the difference? In either case, the concept of a single religion state, with all the associated immoral traits, is what breeds the push button racial hatred, fed by both sides.

      • Israel’s ruling coalition does NOT want to turn Israel into a theocracy. I don’t know where you got that peculiar idea. NO-ONE, not even in the ultra-orthodox SHAS party (which is not a member of the coalition), has EVER suggested outlawing other religions. That is a complete and utter falsehood.
        In any case, that is not the meaning of “theocracy” – a theocracy being a state in which priests rule, in the name of God. I can assure you that Netanyahu, Lieberman et al. have no intention of surrendering their power as democratically elected representatives of the people, in favour of unelected priests.
        When Netanyahu demands that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish State, he is not referring to the religious aspect of Jewishness, but to the national aspect – that is to say, as the national homeland of the Jewish people as an ethnic group, not as a religion.

      • Furthermore, gentlebenno, you still haven”t answered my question. You claimed that “the Israeli “the system” excludes its own Arab minority, who’s 1/5 of the population.. I asked you how, in your opinion, the Israeli system excludes them. I’m still waiting for your answer.

      • “the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people” – Netanyahu

        You interpret this as an ethnic statement, I understand. But to me this means religion. And this is the exclusion I mean in reference to the Israeli Arabs. If Israel is made into a state “of no other people”. I think that means something very dark to the average Israeli Arab.

        I understand where you are coming from, you’re right that my choice of word in theocracy is probably too strong a word, but then you forget I’m also an idiot. I just don’t see how Netanyahu does this. Unless he has access to some sort of infernal machine that can fold space, time, and/or reality (entirely possible) or unless he knows something I don’t (virtually guaranteed), I just don’t see how he can make “one people only” and remain a true democracy. I think he has to pick one.

      • The State of Israel is a Jewish State in that it was created to be a homeland for the Jewish people – including those who are not religious. It has the character of a Jewish state, in that, for example, the Jewish holidays are national holidays. But non-Jews also have the right to celebrate their holidays, and the President and the Prime Minister, celebrate with them, have official receptions for Muslim and Druze leaders on Muslim and Druze holidays etc. – just as Christmas and Easter are official holidays in the UK, but non-Christians also have the right to celebrate their own festivals, and just as, for example, Christmas is an official holiday in the USA, but other religions have the right to celebrate their own festivals and the President hosts Muslim leaders each year, during Ramadan, to an “Iftar” meal for the breaking of their fast, and holds an official Seder for Jewish leaders.

        You say that for you and for Israeli Arabs, “a Jewish State” means the religion, not the ethnic group. This is precisely the problem. The Arabs – and people like you – insist that Jewishness is a religion only and deny our peoplehood.

        “I just don’t see how he can make “one people only” and remain a true democracy”
        He isn’t trying to.

        And, once again, I am asking you – what in the world has given you the idea that Netanyahu, or Lieberman, or anyone, either in the ruling coalition, or even in the Opposition, wants to make other religions illegal in Israel?

        And for the third time already – what are your grounds for your claim that under the present “system”, Israeli Arabs are “excluded”? From what are they excluded?

      • I don’t know where to go from here. I’ve already laid it out and explained my brain. You think one way. I think the other. We disagree. It’s all good. History will figure out it. It’s bigger than both of us. In ten years either you or I will be wrong. But unfortunately, I suspect we both will. History’s going to make fools out of both of us. Feel the fun. Or, at least we can both learn. Which has been the fun of this debate. Right on,

  13. gentlebenno- I do not debate for fun. This is not a game to me, or to anyone else living here.We disagree – but I would like to know WHY we disagree. You still haven’t answered me, though I’ve asked you several times, why you think that Israel wants to make the practice of other religions illegal. Since I have heard this accusation made against Jews in general (usually by those who claim that Jews rule behind the scenes all over the world), I would like to know its source. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. I like to learn. So – please give me a link to a source where you read that Israel wants to make the practice of other religions illegal.

  14. When we (the U.S.) fund Israel, we are funding genocide. Necessary food and medicine – and literally everything else – into the giant concentration camp called Palestine, are completely regulated. Eventually, it will be realized that education will be the best avenue to use to move society ahead. Not necessarily ‘formal education,’ but rather the distribution and sharing of the knowledge of how to live a good life, how to find contentment from within, how to lessen one’s desires so that resources will be available for future generations, how to recognize the sophisticated advertisers who take advantage of others and cause untold suffering because of their desire for profits, etc. We appreciate your unbiased approach. Keep sharing your knowledge and understanding. Those of you who have it, have a greater responsibility to humanity. Thank you.

    • Thank you, and thank you for coming by

    • Definition of genocide: “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.”
      See: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genocide

      If that were Israel’s aim, we wouldn’t be warning Gazan citizens in advance to evacuate their homes, because we were going to bomb them. We would simply have carpet-bombed Gaza, the way the Allies did to Dresden. We wouldn’t have continued to allow in essential supplies all the time they have been firing rockets at us. We wouldn’t have granted full legal, and civil rights to the Arab citizens of Israel. Nor would the population of Gaza increased from 368,000 in 1970 (see: http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636) to over 1,800,000 today (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_Strip).

      • It would have been a very interesting debate for a nice post on the subject if Shimona from the Palace wasn´t the only one to actually contribute to the debate. Unfortunately, this is my experience as well. While giving data/pragmatic information about the conflict (from historical, cultural, political and of course economical point of view), the other person simply talks from emotions. This is a problem and no, it certainly does not help reaching a solution (no war was ever solved with emotions). Hammas has mastered public opinion in the past 15 years. I mean, I would never think of marching with my dead son in the streets, what kind of a father is doing that, or letting my daughter go to school where my elected political party hides their missiles.
        There are so many arguments that the average newspaper reader in Europe disregards that is makes any debate a simple stage of mediocrity and irrational statements. For centuries the Christian commoners used to spread a rumor about Jews kidnapping a small Christian child and sacrificing him. This story can be found in the archives of many great cities (in Spain, England, Greece, Italy…). The story was similar with different details as crucifying him in one place and drinking his blood in another. The result was the same everywhere, riots and massacres in the Jewish community.
        Do you think anyone cared to know who is the Jew, their ethics, their morals? Not really.
        Why would no one asks Hammas why they spent so much money (coming from Europe) to built tunnels for terrorist attacks on civilians and not building hospitals (or even shelters being so close to a blood drinking Jews)? I do not agree with the right wing Israel politicians or some of the army leader but really, the pro-Palestians/anti-Israeli arguments pale next to the hard-core facts. Sure, now one can state the fact that the death toll is not the same (over 600 next to 27). Well, the answer for that is simple and said even in the European mass media (to my surprise), the difference in the mentality of every life counts and a Shaid (martyr). Hammas has no problem admitting it, the problem is that in the Western World, we are having trouble conceiving it.

        Emotions does not solve a conflict, the extent it.

        For anyone who has difficulties accepting some or all of my arguments just look at the other Palestinian side of the West Bank. Today, Ramallah is practically a Western city (without women rights).

        ps.
        It is very disappointing that as a response to a point well made about education (in Gaza they indoctrinate for hate) the response was: “Still, we should look at solutions and how to address this, not really what a part does or the other”. Education is one of the best methods for long and secure peace. If Europeans really want to make a change, they should go there and educate the children of Gaza by the Western morals, then we will see real change. Education and women empowerment, that is what makes a society grow out it´s middle-age mentality.

      • Hi, I am very sorry if I didn’t contribute enough for the debate, or if my answer disappointed you. I did an extensive research on the subject during my master’s degree and I tend to distance myself from these type of arguments when they start to get heated by emotions.
        For me is not all about education or women empowerment, altought these two things are essential. I think that we need a change of mentality of the UN and other international parties. When you can’t even get Palestine to be a full-state something is really wrong. Then, of course, you have to educate to change everything, including politics. But you also have to change politics to educate.
        We/everyone should respect the international treaties set decades ago.

        PS: I hear both sides, and I try to be impartial. And I still thing that we should look at solutions, not really guilty parts, because pointing fingers is not going to do any good.

  15. “I think that we need a change of mentality of the UN and other international parties.”

    As I have tried to explain, what we need is a change of mentality of the Palestinian Arabs. You want to look at solutions? That is the first stage in any solution. So far, they have rejected every solution that was offered, because these solutions involved leaving Israel intact as the Jewish state (and, once again, I wish to make clear that this means the national homeland of the Jewish people, with full civil rights for non-Jews – NOT a religious theocracy).

    • Hi! Sorry, but I keep my opinion that is the international community that needs to change, and that includes, of course, Israel and Palestine. But then again, I know nothing, so…I am a mere observer

      • OK. Let’s take this step by step.
        How, exactly, do you think the international community needs to change, and in particular, Israel and “Palestine”?
        What changes do you think are the most urgent?
        And please bear in mind that “the international community” is not a monolithic block.

      • The most urgent change needs to be the way the issue is addressed. At this moment, UN, EU and etc only try to solve the conflict when it is “hot”. After, the crimes that are being commited by both parts need to be condemned.
        I would like to leave a note that I am not trying to say I am correct and I am not trying to fight anyone.

  16. This is not about fighting, hence, saying that we need solutions and proposing some and then taking a step back excusing yourself is a MO that is a part of the problem. I meet many that rally in the streets shouting for this and that and when I ask them why they are there and what they actually know, a large majority is clueless (only there for the thrill and some sense of fighting for a cause).
    I´m glad you did your MA on this which is why I´m surprise you so easily say they need to be recognize in the UN. Who does? The Hamas of Fatah? Abu Mazen or Mashal? Would you so easily accept a country that it´s president rejoice for the death of young innocent children (as in the case here).
    How well do you understand the concept of human value in the Palestinian society? How well do you know how far they will go for conquering Jerusalem? More importantly, what do you think will happen if they will be full fledged member in the UN and have a complete independent country? Is there anyone who can be that naive to think that they will somehow become this peace haven Switzerland?
    “It will take time but yes, why not?” – you might say. Sadly my response is that anyone that might actually think that is nothing close to understand what is the situation.
    What would you do if your next door neighbor started shouting that he wants you gone and he will kill you and your children, randomly throwing knifes into your apartment? Will you say “oh, let him have this apartment where he is, it´s ok.”? Or you´ll call the police?
    It’s time to leave the innocence and empty ideals aside and start facing the real situation, otherwise there will never be any progress in understanding.

    • It will never become a peace haven, I’m not naive at the point to think that both parts will be best friends.
      I honestly think that Hamas is the problem in this case, as it is really radical. But also Israel is a problem. You’re not making a war with only one part at this moment. My solution is: lets make a two-state division. Palestine needs to be accepted and needs to accept Israel. Is not simple as that, but the ultimate goal has to be this.
      Regarding fighting, I am trying to give my opinion and listen to others, as my opinion is not static and I like to hear different things. However I am getting the feeling that people think that I am atacking someone. I only wish to promote a healthy debate. If I am offending someone, I will shut up.

      • Please don´t shut up! there is a need for people like you that speak up. People with more common sense that do not become Middle East experts after reading the local news. I´m sorry if I was too aggressive, it is the result of endless frustration living in Europe.
        The problem is not with your solution (which I share) but in what to do in order to get closer to it. In this aspect, I´m sorry to say, there is not much difference than much of the European public opinion.
        However, there is an important point: the reader here might think that there is a debate about blame and solutions where this is not the issue at all. For my opinion, this debate is about the disproportionate, irrational, destructive voice of the Europeans.
        The problem with Europe is that there is a lot of shouting and very little knowledge. Pay attention to the fact that both Shimona and I asked many questions (not very difficult ones) yet none was answered, none! Can it be that people don´t know enough? Yes, it can, and there is no shame in that. So why do they feel they can go and shout who is to blame, who is a criminal, and what is needed? (I´m not referring to you but to the European reader) Why do many Europeans feel they can “help” with bringing the peace to the region? Let me illustrate it with a personal example: I´ve been living in the Basque area in Spain for years yet I would never claim that I know what is going on with ETA and the Spanish government. So many details are involve that it´s simply not my place. I will feel like a complete arrogant foreigner to take sides (and that after discussing it with many people). Same with Ukraine and Crimea. Having both Ukraine and Russian (peaceful) friends, there is so many things in question.
        I will be more blunt and actually say that in the Israel Palestine conflict, Europe is more a destructive factor today than anything else. As long as Hamas knows that every front page picture of an innocent dead child is helping his cause what do you think will happen? Will it make them stop firing missiles from hospitals/schools/innocent family homes? Of course not. There are many documentation of those facts (plus Hamas never hides it) if only there were some interest to understand that point (for the least heroic it is). Hamas has no problem sacrificing children for the Cause (a cultivation of suicide bombers should have already make that point long time ago). They fire from hospitals knowing that the Israeli army will track the exit point and fire back to that location, all that is left to do later is to have all reporters at the scene filming it. This time it is no longer about unfortunate casualties of war, it´s methodological, planned events creating front page pictures for the Europeans. This time part of the blame is on the ignorant Ashaf scarf wearers of Europe. 170.000 dead innocent Sirians, when was the last rally about that??? Something is wrong with the Jewish issue, all so wrong.

      • Yes, I do understand your frustration, as I had endless debates on what is actually going on with people that believe everything that they read in Media. And of course, with colleagues that knew what they were talking about, and in the end the feeling is always the same: we can talk about it, we can study it and try to understand it, but we are not powerful enough to actually make a change. This is what frustrates me.
        Hamas shouldn’t be in the picture, I guess. I was shocked to know that they didn’t accept the cease fire, and even violated the one proposed to give humanitarian helpers time to take care of people. There should be a part more tolerant (At this moment, Fatah, I guess), that could engage in talks with Israel.
        I’ve started to realise some years ago that people see what they choose to see. And in this case, is what the Media shows them.
        I consider that I don’t know anything, honestly. As I was saying earlier, I may try to understand it, I studied it, but I was never in that situation.

  17. tmakashi

    A helpful way to understand the Israel/Palestine issue is to compare it to US/NativeAmerican history. The US (and Israel) claim Manifest Destiny so steal territory from Nat.Am (Palestinians) and relegate them to reservations (territories). This article helps explain 9 reasons why Hamas fires rockets. Google: mondoweiss rocket attacks

    • Your comment is not only intellectually lazy, it is intellectually dishonest. It is intellectually lazy because, instead of presenting your case, you simply refer the reader to someone else’s exposition, and you don’t even give a link, you expect them to do your homework for you and perform a Google search.
      It is intellectually dishonest, because you attempt to present Jews returning to the homeland of the Jewish people, as colonialists, by means of a false analogy between an indigenous people (the Jews) who returned from a long exile to the cradle of the Jewish people, and European colonists who simply “plonked themselves down” in a land to which they had no connection whatsoever.

  18. Pete Hulme

    Many thanks for this thoughtful post, raising as it does many important questions. I agree that culture, history and politics are key components of the continuing conflict, fuelling as they have the distrust, anger and anguish that underpins the relentless blood shed. It may prove to be the work of centuries to undo such lasting damage deep-seated as attitudes in so many diverse places have to change.

    As a psychologist, I have inevitably also found it illuminating to look at how we are to some degree wired to behave in these destructive ways unless we work very hard indeed to overcome our inherent tendencies. Jonathan Haidt is one of a number of psychologists who have attempted to address some of these hard-wired patterns. His two recent books ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ and “The Righteous Mind’ deal, amongst other things, with (1) how idealism, the sense that your values justify the use of any means whatsoever to promote them, has killed more people than any single individual’s self-centred narcissism, and (2) the effects of our ‘hive’ tendencies, which bind us closely to our in-group, have on our morality.

    • Thank you for your view… I didn’t know Jonathan Haidt, but I’ll have a look. I find it interesting to see different fields studying the same questions, as it allows us to look at it from different perspectives 🙂

  19. You are right. Must find some kind of peace for the child, woman and the old people. The poor pay the price of hate and war. Israel must stop.

    • Israel must stop what? Existing? Because that’s what Hamas wants. It’s written in their Charter.
      BTW – in case you were unaware of it, Israel also has children, women and old people. And poor people.
      And people who’ve been living under the terror of Hamas rockets since that terrorist organisation took power in Gaza.

      • A eye for eye world. All will be dead. Will the Jews be happy? Jesus said forgiveness. Must have the peace returned to the region. I’m Ojibwa. White man took my land 200 years ago. Can I have it back? Arabs and Jews must get along. Share the land and live in peace together. When blood demand more blood. Our children will be added to the death list because of old hate and revenge. He who delivered food, water and medicine are the peacekeepers. Israel is recruiting openly for trained killers to come and join them. When the prey because the predator. Who is the lamb? Peace, my friend. War and killing isn’t the way to peace.

  20. I can get on a whole discussion on this topic lol.
    It started back in 1948 when Israel was declared a nation and that they could have their own government.
    Since that announcement was made Palestine and other nations wanted to take Israel out because they believe otherwise.
    There’s been conflict between Palestine and Israel since than but like you said, it hasn’t escalated to the point it’s at now.
    I believe it’s getting to the point where enough will be enough and someone will be taken out.
    I’m sure they’re tired of fighting each other all the time and God speaks that Israel is not going anywhere.
    We need to ask ourself…when will this come to an end? because i believe it will but after how many more deaths.

    Cease fires take place for a period of time and than they’re right back at it and the last one just expired and the violence has continued yet again.

    • I do agree with you, I also think how many more people have to die so there is actually peace…I can’t see it in the near future, though, I hope I am wrong and that peace will happen soon

      • Peace would always be nice but it’s going to take both to make it happen.
        Hamas has already made it clear once that as long as Israel is a nation there will never be peace than not long ago he said in a statement that Israel needs to open it’s gates and of course stop the fire but Israel wants Hamas to drop their weapons.
        When there’s a cease fire in affect, Israel opens it’s gates to transport food, medicine, gas etc. but when it’s not in affect they’re closed.
        On August 19th Israel transported 256 tons of food, medicine and other general supplies, 175 tons of gas 864,198 liters of fuel.
        So to me i think it’s a good start.
        Anything is better than nothing…right?

  21. Pingback: Great post to check out | Biblical News

  22. Your article says: According to The Guardian, Israel has launched 1300 air strikes at Palestine, while the Palestinians fired 800 rockets at Israel. 166 Palestinians were killed and Israel didn’t report any fatalities.
    Isn’t that a bit misleading? Over the years, the Israelis have been hit with over 10,000 rockets and their entire population has been targeted with bombs. Now people are complaining that “innocent” Palestinian people are being killed!
    The “Innocents” have refused to leave target areas at the request of their leaders, and are therefore in support of being used as shields so they are actually “active participants”
    . Would it not be reasonable to believe that these are the same people who are training their children to kill indiscriminately? If so, then where are the “innocent” civilians? Perhaps the children, but they can, and will kill when they get the chance. This is Ugly, but it is a fact.

    • Hi, I am sorry if you found it misleading. At the time/date that I was writing this piece, I was just talking about the current situation, not about the whole conflict. Unfortunately, I am aware that both parts have suffered a lot of loses in the whole conflict.

  23. I think there is always more to war than meets the eye. There is the story for the public and the story for those in-the-know. Peace has always been an elusive term in our world. Even now there is a potential conflict in the horizon brewing between the NATO forces and Russia. Hopefully, there will be more people like you who empathize with others and wish to live in peace. Perhaps this outpouring of love will heal our world.

    • I think there is always more to war than meets the eye – you said it all. There is always something there, some benefit to someone, something for someone, that will always make wars go on and on. Hopefully, we will have a day where peace will be the most interesting thing to have.

  24. sooner or later the truth must be revealed 🙂

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