Note: Before someone accuses me of “nutshelling” this issue, I recognize it is deeper and more complicated than virtually any political issue on the planet. There are intricasies which would take, have taken, volumes to even touch on. This is a short opinion piece, which hits highlights, and I in no way consider it a complete and thorough assessment of the situation. But I do welcome your comments, as always…:)
I am an avid supporter of Israel. I have empathy for displaced Palestinians. But the fact is, they would not be displaced if they would settle the homeland issue (as has been offered several times) to put the matter to rest.
I recognize that there are many who think Israel illegally “usurped” land that did not rightfully belong to them. Whether or not it belonged to them morally (which it did), they are in possession of it legally with the blessing of the United Nations, which every member (at that time) had a voice in. And parts of the territories which they have accessed since, have been spoils of war.
Now, regardless of which side of this chasm you are on, there are some things to consider, which I will elaborate hereafter, but first..
Israel is hated more than even we are by the Arab world. A good part of the reason the Arab world (and others) hate the US is our continuing and vocal
support of Israel.
Israel is our most staunch ally IN the world, it is certainly is the ONLY ally we have in a part of world which is completely hostile to us and everything we stand for. Ties with other countries (Arab) are diplomatic and tenuous at best, but cannot be trusted. Israel believes in the same basic principles that our own country was founded on.
I recognize that there are orthodox Jews who think that a “Jewish State” is an affront to God. The Jews have endured unthinkable and repeated attempts to annihilate them for centuries. It was time they had a homeland, and now they do.
That is not to say the Palestinians are not also entitled to a homeland. However…
1) They have consistently refused offers of a peaceful solution to create a Palestinian homeland because the “terms” were unacceptable.
2) They have consistently shown their disregard for human life by extremism which has cost lives not just of Israelis, but of Americans, Europeans, Asians, and others in their repeated low-tech but very effective terroristacts. Not ALL Palestinians, but a faction of them, fueled by extremists;
3) The people of Palestine refuse to police their own. I know they are often helpless to do so.
AND, before you say it, I know you are going to tell me about the heinous acts Israel has perpetrated on Palestine so they deserve what they get. But
Israel’s acts have been retaliatory or pre-emptive to end yet another more vicious attack, even if spun differently by Al-Jazeera.
Consider this. If a man lives on the street in a box, and he is offered a shelter which is much better than his box, a place where he doesn’t have to worry about his box being run over by street cleaners (bulldozers, tanks, etc)…or bullets and/or missles blowing his box to smithereens, and he refuses the shelter, what does that say about the man’s priorities?
The only reason there isn’t a sign posted on the rock of Gibralter today pointing east which reads “Grand Canyon East” is because the US and the UK have collectively kept the leash on Israel. Israel has better intelligence (mossad), they have a crack military which is capable of making a large hole
in the Arab world. They have nuclear capability. WE have kept them from using it indiscriminately, because, frankly, they’ve about had enough. It becomes harder and harder to keep them on the leash. One day it will break, or we will “accidentally” drop it, and there won’t be damn thing we can do about it but publicly reprimand them, and privately support them (as we have done in the past).
The most sacred and holiest places to those in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths are right in the smack dab middle of this boiling volcano. I would be the most furious girl on the planet if they were harmed and destroyed for future generations as the Buddah was in Afghanistan.
If the Palestinians do not force some moderate and thoughtful leadership, rid their house of extremists, and take the offers of a homeland where they may live in peace and prosper (like on Vulcan , they will be the next boat people. God forbid!
When Isaac and Ismael were born of Abraham, they went their separate ways at the insistence of Sarah, wife of Abraham. History tells us that from the seed of Isaac were born the Jews, and from the seed of Ismael were born the Arabs.
The thing that stands out about the story is that they came together to bury their father. It’s time that their descendants did the same.