It will be hard for you to have missed the events that have been going on in the Middle East for the last few weeks, and it came to now surprise to me that Israelis and Palestinians are at loggerheads again. And despite a huge International call for peace, things just don’t seem to get any better, but that is no surprise either, they simply will not so long as things remain the way they are.
Officially, Israel has no problem with the Palestinian people; its focus of this conflict is against Hamas and terrorists who make the repeated attacks on Israeli targets. Understandably, this would annoy the Israeli Government but what they don’t understand that it’s their own behaviour that has let this problem get out of control. The Palestinians have been reduced to the level of second class citizens within their own country, and are in many ways being persecuted by the Israeli Government’s blatant discrimination. Examples of this are the re-housing of Palestinians, the numerous checkpoints and the construction of walls which, in essence, segregate the Palestinians. Ironically, you would have thought that the Israelis would be the last to behaviour in this manner, but unfortunately not. Palestinians are in many ways prisoners in their own country, and Israel’s attitude to them is paramount to ethnic cleansing. And this attitude is not limited to the Government, but many Israelis hold them too, echoing claims that it is their country and that the Palestinians shouldn’t be there.
Much of this was brought to light by various Channel 4 programmes, but many still turn a blind eye to this. Israel’s behaviour to Lebanon is very similar, and the lack of consideration is explicit in this conflict too, in both cases Red Cross and UN buildings have been destroyed by Israel. Yet this bullying attitude of Israel continues with only mild criticism, and ineffective UN action is due to, in my view anyway, Israel being an ally of the US. The ‘model’ democracy is utterly hypocritical when it enforces democracy on the people of Iraq, yet refuses to acknowledge the Palestinian’s choice to support Hamas. The fact they do is because of their treatment by Israel. The moderate voices are being drowned out because the only party that seems to be of any help to the Palestinians is Hamas.
Israel’s actions in Gaza will be doing nothing to change that either. Even if Hamas was wiped out, the Palestinians would just turn to another: Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda, for example. What is significant is that the Palestinian people, or at least some of them, believe that violence is the only way to change their situation. If Israel or even the rest of the world wants peace in the Middle East then its treatment of the Palestinians has to change, and for the better. Persecution is only making things worse. It is driving young men to violence, to Hamas, just as the War on Terror is pushing young Muslims to extremism. Things will not change until Israel realises this, until then more will die as the rest of the world simply just watches. Will they ever learn?