Sunday, November 18, 2018

Israel & Palestine Conflict Continues On.

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( There’s been so much written about the questionable relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin that Benjamin Netanyahu’s influence over him has been ignored. The latest round of violence sparked by the murder of two Israeli police officers by three Palestinian gunmen outside of the Al-Aqsa Mosque puts this relationship back into focus.

The Israeli government responded to the murder of the officers by limiting access to the holy site and adding metal detectors. This is a logical response, but many Muslims have expressed anger over what they feel is further occupation of the Mosque. The current hostilities are another symptom of the greater illness: 50 years of Israeli occupation with no end in sight.

Tensions have been brewing over the holy site since the December United Nations Security Council’s decision to call the Israeli settlements illegal. This decision wasn’t received well by the Israeli government.

The 4th Geneva Convention was the basis for the settlements being considered illegal. One of President Obama’s last international acts was to avoid vetoing this declaration. In the past, the United States’ use of the veto pen only emboldened Israel to keep building on contested lands. In hindsight, the UN’s decision has been nothing to celebrate. Seven months later It hasn’t improved the quality of life of the Palestinian and Jewish people who live in the contested areas.

In the past Benjamin Netanyahu used President Obama’s diplomatic sensibilities and desire to be respected against him. Obama would criticize Israeli policies with kid gloves while Netanyahu would deflect those criticisms and publicly question Obama’s sincerity about his commitment to the American and Jewish alliance. This worked time and time again because of the outright hatred many conservatives had for President Obama and their uncritical support of Israel.

Donald Trump is a blessing to the Likud government. He’s an American rubber stamp on Benjamin Netanyahu’s agenda. His desire to be seen as an equal to leaders known for their strength is a weakness. He spends time bragging about himself while Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin allow the strength and confidence they exude do their talking. Almost six months into his administration he hasn’t laid out concrete policy to address the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. While some see this as a positive, I think it makes him clay to be molded.

This conflict is as complicated as it was 50 years ago. Critiques of this conflict and a possible two-state solution have ranged from technocratic policy papers worthy of a PhD to Twitter garbage worth less than 140 characters. The settlements must stop! The starting point for most discussions over who has the right to this land usually devolves into a game of Trivia Pursuit covering the last five thousand years and prophecies stretched across three religious books.

Too many people are trapped in the Sisyphean game of determining the chicken or egg of middle-east aggressions. I understand the need to historicize, but there are people who (in my opinion) place more importance on events of the 13th and 14th century than decisions made in 1947 and 1967. The dispute over access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque typifies this: my oldest brother was alive when Israel occupied it.

Israel can’t bear the full responsibility for trying usher in peace, but they have to be willing to extend an olive branch instead of burning them down. I won’t deny the existence of bad actors in the region. There are religious zealots who want to spread a global Caliphate; likewise, there are those in the Israeli government and the west who would gladly reduce parts of the middle-east to ruble. Both groups are foolish. Every security gate leads to a pat down; which creates tension; which leads to new attacks; which leads to mortar fire. This cycle works in any order.

Peace is at odds with justice. Peace is not the same thing as people suffering in silence. In 1967 Dr. King used the term No Justice No Peace as a unifying cry between protests for Civil rights and against the Vietnam war. 50 years after Israel took control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque it looks like it could be another 50 years before Justice has a chance to usher in peace.


“the Zionist argument to justify Israel’s present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history.”   Malcolm X


Staff Writer; Danny Cardwell

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One Response to “Israel & Palestine Conflict Continues On.”
  1. Aric bernard says:

    Shame on you! The map you included with your blog has been debunked as false and misleading at least 7 years ago. A little more research on your part and you could easily find an accurate map. See link below for an explanation.

    For one, your map assumes there was once a Palestinian state. There wasn’t, not ever. The land was part of the Ottoman Empire. Once the Ottoman Empire collapsed no state or country owned the land. Another point is your map doesn’t mention land bought from Palestinians as much of it was.

    Spreading false information like this only miseducates people on a conflict that demands accuracy. It’s false information like this that creates an undeserved animosity towards Israel. Misinformation only adds to hurdle of reaching peace. Please, next time research your information properly.

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