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Talpur: Thoughts on a Tiresome Issue

June 25, 2011

My first piece is a simple look at a topic both controversial and frustrating. I have been observing the Israel-Palestinian peace process (if we should even call it that) for a long time, these are my thoughts and ideas that are basic blueprints to actually achieve something. Yes, I also understand that this is significantly easier said than done.

 Perhaps the last few months of revolution and insurrection seen throughout the Arab World has taken some of the attention away from the “Kingdom of God”, but along with rogue despots who rule Mideast nations it remains the most contentious issue preventing peace and stability in the region. For the last century or so, the world has witnessed a conflict plagued with arrogance and intolerance from the part of the leaders of the sides directly involved.  We also cannot ignore the intrusion from other nations who seemingly perpetuate this issue.  It is the constant diplomatic bickering and whining from both sides along with outbreaks of violence that seem to increase the apathy that I’ve encountered amongst my generation, towards a problem that looks to never be solved. But with a new Spring there is hope, and in order to prevent even more antagonism between Israel and its neighbours there need to be ideological changes and sacrifices have to be made. I feel that before we look at a two-state solution, there should be at least some sense of stability and security in the region before we make yet another border-altering leap (we’ve seen how those have shaped through history).

When it comes to ideologies, in this modern world, we need to get over the underlying “God gave us this land” philosophy that propagates and attempts to legitimize the arrogance, land grabbing, and violence that comes from both sides. It is annoying seeing people defend launching rockets and building illegal settlements due to alleged divine ordinances. This is the issue that seems to make the conflict an endless one. In turn, we see many parties around the world take sides, from the Evangelical lobbies in the United States who argue that Israel needs funding and support in order to fulfill Biblical prophecy or the Arab and Islamic nations who use Palestine as a rallying cry rather than fixing their own domestic problems while refusing to engage in any reasonable diplomatic talks. Let’s look at this conflict for what it really is; two sides who blatantly disregard life and property, and create terror and frustration in the lives of innocent people.

I also think it is about time that Hamas change its charter. The blockade that continues to hamper Gaza’s progress is due to their philosophy of delegitimizing and disestablishing the Israeli state. Hamas basically needs to face reality and see what they are facing; a fully functioning recognized state that has already crippled any possible economic advancement for its people. This change may result in the removal of this blockade and finally allow Gaza to grow and be self-reliant. The Israeli government also needs to face the fact that Hamas has been a significant provider of social programs and benefits for Gaza, and imposing a blockade would not take away from Hamas’ legitimacy through Palestinian eyes and would only infuriate them further.

As for the international community, we need to look at this multilaterally, without bias. Instead of using the Palestinian cause as a rallying cry and distraction from domestic problems and civil unrest, Arab nations need to actually do something instead of sitting on the sidelines and complaining about alleged Israeli oppression. Although whether or not you agree with Obama’s 1967 solution, he has restored at least a little faith in Gaza and the rest of the Islamic world by merely looking for change. With that being said, US financial support for Israel also continues, which in my opinion, is a good multilateral approach to this issue. Harper’s unconditional praise and defence of Israel on the other hand, has a different tone altogether and takes away from Canada’s credibility in the Middle East. Yes, go ahead and support the state’s legitimacy but at the same time, come up with some ideas and solutions and involve the other side instead of what seems to be blind support.

Yes, I realize that I am asking for too much but even if some of the above solutions are implemented in anyway, there will be at least a little progress. Along with others from my generation I am also beginning to grow tired of the seeming endlessness when it comes to this conflict. But with what seems to be a change in convention and direction in the Middle East, we can perhaps see a better future in this region. Yes there is a risk that the younger generations may continue to harbour the same animosity of their ancestors, but we have also seen that they have grown tired of sitting idly by and watching their region’s deterioration. In addition it is good to see that the people in countries like Egypt wish to avoid a theocracy and fall back into the same patterns that plagued them before.

Ultimately, I feel that this is a complex problem rooted in ancient rivalries and perpetuated by old reactionary politicians who cannot keep up with the changing trends in the region. I also think that the results of the Arab Spring will determine whether this conflict will ever be solved, either the new establishment will wreak further havoc on Israel, or we will finally have a change. I have grown increasingly indifferent throughout my years of scrutinizing failed attempts at peace and if you have observed this conflict as long as I have, you would also be fed up. I hope that the involved parties will soon realize sacrifices need to be made, and until then I can only shake my head at the belligerence I usually see from this region.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jumbo permalink
    June 27, 2011 1:24 pm

    I must disagree, the US has failed to be an honest broker. Until this imbalance is rectified, the US will bolster the staus quo. The Arabs have not stood by, they provided the Saudi Plan / Arab Peace Initiative, which will soon be 10 years old.

    During that decade, Israel has experienced an all time low in terrorism, while those in the West Bank have experienced an all time high in terms of settlement growth, made all the more grotesque when not a bag of cement nor a pane of glass can pass into a bombed out Gaza without being contested.

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