No to war… Yes to peace
We are not beasts and we shall not be… We are humans and shall remain
I shall continue to confess blunders each time the people commit them. The only tyrant I accept in this world is the 'still small voice' within. And even though I have to face the prospect of a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority. (M. Ghandi; YI, 2-3-1922, p135)
1 – Let’s rest a little bit and think
Because nothing can be created from vacuum!
It is obvious. As it is obvious that the tragedies we are living actually in our area didn’t come from vacuum. And that we – as well as the others – bear some of their material outcome and ethical responsibilities.
Especially these conditions resulting from major disasters, like hurricanes or wars. So let’s put aside our emotions, and think quietly about what is happening around us. Like this current war that we are living today and its disastrous results that are reflected through terrible atrocities on the destinies of our people.
Yes, let’s rest a little bit gentlemen, and think honestly, quietly and with responsibility.
Because this atrocious dirty war that the fully well armed Israel is launching on “Hamas” in Gaza today, and its price that is been paid by our unarmed brothers there, is not the product of a day, but the result of interactions and accumulations, in which we bear and share part of a responsibility that the major part of it is Israeli.
Because, if the responsibility of Israel on what is happening today in our region in general, and in Palestine and Gaza in particular, is clear and obvious and say that:
- Israel didn’t cause only the migration of most of the Palestinian people but prevent them from returning. This created a thorny problem which still needs to be solved.
- Since its occupation of the entire land of Palestine in 1967, Israel has applied and continues to apply, a policy of domination and settlements within the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian population is still subject, in the event of alleged terrorist attacks, to further inspection, oppression, disciplinarian measures and limitation of movement. On Palestinian is applied also the principle of an eye for an eye and a merciless collective responsibility.
- Since its inception as a state, Israel didn’t encourage the moderation neither in Palestine nor in the region. But, for expansionist purposes maybe, the policies of Israel directly and/or indirectly encouraged the extremism of the other side instead of trying to find a common language for a mutual understanding. On this context, the extension of fundamentalism, nationalism, Ideological or religious extremism, in the Arab world in general, and in Gaza especially can be regarded mainly as direct repercussions of its clumsy and short-sighted policy.
On the other hand, we Arabs, share also our part of responsibility for the destructions and losses that were inflicted on us and on the area due to our mishandling policies since the beginning of the Palestinian problem. Since 1947, we didn’t even try to handle the problem calmly. And accordingly, we play the game of the others by positively reacting to all their provocations, starting with the calamity of 1948, the disaster of 1967, and till this date. And our mistakes in this respect are countless.
Accordingly, and so that to understand what is happening, we shall not recount what became very well known to everybody, but shall point to some main facts on the ground:
- Israel’s existence is an accomplished fact. And the Arabs have neither the intentions (nor the ability) to abolish it, or to “throw the Jews into the Sea.” Accordingly, the claims of some on this concern are just worthless.
- Israel is the superior military power in the region, and if it is our interest to be prepared to face it in case of conflict, we have no interest to try to enter with him in an arm race that will lead us both to nowhere.
- International interests are not exactly in harmony with the Arabs interests in general nor with the Palestinian interests in particular, which is why most countries are so willing to turn a blind eye on the current tragic events in the Occupied Territories, or weakly denunciate the Israeli occupation and oppression.
- Arab leaders (Our leaders that are from us and like us) are too weak and unwilling to do anything effective in this concern as on any others.
- Much of our moral and legal condemnations of Israeli occupation are based on the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a sense, this puts us in a position where we are expected and required to be better representatives of the ideals comprised by these documents. Especially because
- At the end we claim that we want Peace which is in our interest as well as in the interest of Israel.
This means, that it is in our interest, so that to be able to preserve our dignity, to think quietly, deeply and with responsibility to deduce the correct results and solutions that should preserve our dignity and our interests.
2 – On conclusions and expectations:
And these say if any of these facts mean something, that we cannot be righted completely as we aspired. In other words: the wrong done cannot be righted fully. A state has been created in our midst and at the price of our dreams (and all too many lives). We have to accept this situation and live with it if we want to get out of this vicious circle and work for the progress of our countries and our people. The aspirations of others had conflicted with ours at a certain moment in time, and, at least in a material sense, we lost. This is another fact that we have to accept. But, and here is where our hopes lie, as we cannot get justice completely, we did not lose completely either. Because, in spite of everything that happened, and is still happening
- After all, we are still on the ground, many of us still live in the Occupied Territories, and in the midst of Israel which cannot neither now, nor tomorrow, nor in the distant future, and specially in this area that gave birth to diversity and its coexistence, (cannot) become a state with a single religious and ideological nature.
- We have not been crushed by our “defeat” and still can aspire to improve our lot and to strive to get something better, much better, than what we have, something more commensurate with our dreams and human dignity.
- Israel that seems till this hour to be the strongest militarily did not fully win the battle and cannot win it. The simple fact that it ghettod itself behind a stupid wall is the clearest proof of the defeat of its expansionist aspirations. And also
- The world that seems not supporting us fully is, if we look more carefully, also not fully supporting Israel. All evident points show that the world is fed up from us as from them. The world now aspires and works for good to impose a real peace that is necessary and beneficial to all parties.
This means in block letters, that any extremism (was not and) is not by any means in our interest nor in the interest of anybody. Peace has become the must and the only real solution to all.
This means now and so far we are concerned as Arabs in general, and as Palestinians in particular, that:
- If we really want to support our brothers in Gaza, we have to apply our efforts to stop the massacre by calming the situation. This means very frankly the solidarity with the international efforts to stop the Israeli aggression, and not to give it any pretext. This means very clearly to stop launching “rockets” from Gaza and to lift the blockade.
- Hard work has to be done to reach a united Palestinian and Arab position for accomplishing peace.
As to Israel, with whom the peace talks, with Syria and the Palestinians, have stopped because of the actual situation on the ground. And its relations with the Arab countries deteriorated to its lowest level. He should reconsider in depth its policies and positions if it really wants to live in peace in a region that is still rejecting him, and where it did not succeed in getting even a single friend. Commenting on the above…
3 – As a conclusion
I remember a historical study that became one of my favorite books, a book that was written by a famous Israeli historian and lecturer at the Hebrew University Joshua Prawer and titled L’histoire du Royaume Latin de Jerusalem in which he studied very deeply the reasons that led to the collapse of this kingdom that existed for 200 years. And these reasons that should be very deeply considered by Israel show that it collapses because it did not succeed during the 200 years of its existence to have normal relations with its neighbors.
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 - Retired Engineer. Co-owner of, and Editor at, the Maaber webzine