The same scenario is continuing. The firing of Qassam Rockets into southern Israel and the Israeli Army retaliation for this goes on unabated. At the same time the toll in human lives increases. According to a Haaretz report of 8th November 2006, 19 Palestinians were killed in Bet Hanun in Northern Gaza. The situation is so tragic and hopeless! If only all sides would stop this retaliation of bloodshed! Hamas and its allies must come to terms with Israel’s existence and lay down their arms. Israel must show willingness to negotiate an end to this destructive violence and tragedy which causes so much suffering to innocent Palestinian People and to Israelis as well. Israel is a strong country militarily and Hamas must cease its fantasies of destroying Israel! Time is on nobody’s side least of all on the side of innocent victims, Palestinian and Israeli, in this conflict.
Many of us see the heart rending photographs of wounded innocent Palestinian children caught up in the cross fire. It must stop! If we examine a study of Physicians for Human Rights, 57 unarmed Palestinian minors were killed since June this year by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). This does give course for concern. However, we must put all this in the correct perspective. There is no doubt that much of the blame for the situation in Gaza must be laid at the doorstep of Hamas. The extremist rhetoric of hate against Israel comes from there. The refusal of Hamas to become a responsible ruler of its people is a strong factor in promoting this terrible violence! Even in Gaza, there is factional fighting between Fatah and Hamas supporters which prevents any establishment of a national unity government that could rule the Palestinian People. The attempts to form such a government will remain futile for a long time. What we have in Gaza is total anarchy between rival factions with hate and non-recognition of Israel being a pseudo-unifying factor.
Hamas was granted a mandate by the Palestinian people because the previous Palestinian government was corrupt, inept and did not help improve the situation of the Palestinians. Hamas is following the same road of destruction of her people. Their philosophy is blood and hate of Israel! They use this as an excuse so that they can relinquish their responsibility of governing and improving the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian People. If Hamas would govern their people and their economic situation would improve, the motivation for Israel’s destruction would drop and this would weaken the extremists in the Palestinian camp. Now it suits Hamas to remain at the helm by blaming Israel for their inability to govern. This is what keeps them in power. It is bad for the Palestinians if they continue along this path of hate and violence. The Palestinian People will not receive the much needed financial help from the world, apart from Iran, Syria and various other regimes that harbor terrorists. The money that comes from these countries will be used for more terrorist action against Israel by arms-smuggling and establishment of more laboratories for manufacture of Qassam rockets! No money will come in for improving the economic situation of the Palestinians. The result – both Palestinians and Israelis, will lose more innocent people to violence. Suicide bombers will increase their activity because of Israeli military action.
The Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority, with its lack-lustre weak leadership under Mahmoud Abbas, is leading the Palestinian People to disaster and further suffering. The situation has reached a stage of almost total hopelessness. The scenes of violence and bloodshed in Gaza are awful and tragic. Where are the leaders of both Israel and Palestine? The cards are in their hands to negotiate peace and security for both peoples.
If we rely on the Israeli Olmert-Lieberman-Peretz axis and the Palestinian Haniyeh-Abbas regimes to negotiate peace, we are doomed to failure. Avigdor Lieberman is now acting Prime Minister of Israel! The moderate Labour Party has capitulated by acquiescing to Lieberman and his Israel Beitenu Party. He has non-compromising views towards the Arabs. Lieberman is on the border of being a racist (if he is not one already!).His inclusion in the Israeli coalition will doom any moves towards peace with the Palestinians even further! The only way to initiate peace between Israelis and Palestinians is to encourage the simple moderate people on both sides of the great divide to meet each other and create an atmosphere of dialogue which will build up trust. We must find ways to meet our fellow Palestinians and talk to them. We must understand each other’s tragic history and use that as a building block to strengthen our common resolve for peace and coexistence so that our tragic histories never repeat themselves. We must strive for an independent Palestinian State living in peace and dignity alongside Israel. The future Palestinian state must be able to ensure a future for its citizens so that they can prosper.
We must never forget that Israelis and Palestinians are bound by a common humanity! It is up to us to bring this to realization so that we can start a peace process amongst ourselves. Israeli people are not war mongers and do not have horns nor are all Palestinians terrorists or supporters of terrorism!