Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PALESTINE: TIME TO START AGAIN

At some point the current war action in Gaza will stop and Israel will return to a fragile peace. Without any doubt violence will flare up again, may be in Gaza or the wider Palestinian territories, perhaps in the Lebanon, it could be a regional conflict or in Israel itself. What is certain is that it will happen. It will happen because the very creation of Israel was born in violence and until those real or perceived injustices are sorted out violence will remain to the forefront.

It is time to start again.

The Zionist movement was calling for an independent community in their historic homeland of Palestine back in the 19th century. Britain declared its support for the concept in 1917 and in 1920 the League of Nations placed Palestine under British administration. From that point on there were disputes between Jews who wished to settle there and indigenous Arabs who opposed their arrival.

Back in 1937 Britain proposed separate Arab and Jewish communities, this was accepted by the Jews and not the Arabs and the fighting started. My father was stationed there at the end of World War II. In 1947 the United Nations, which had succeeded the League of Nations, supported this concept. Hence when in 1948 Britain ended its mandate the State of Israel was proclaimed with David Ben Gurion as prime minister.

This saw neighbouring Arab states send forces to crush the fledgling Israel but they failed. In 1949 a cease-fire was agreed but by then Israel controlled more land than was originally allocated to it. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled to Jordan and the Lebanon and Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, although its status is not recognised by the UN.

Within that mishmash of events you have the birth of the tragedy that continues to this very day and will carry on its bloody way in to the future.

It is time to start again.

There is no doubting Israel’s right to exist. However to start to live in peace with its neighbours Israel has to put past wrongs to right. That is not achieved by killing innocent people in Gaza or negotiating with the Palestinian leadership with the sole objective of giving nothing but demanding everything in return.

In the coming weeks Israel will elect a new government. Yet I see nobody in that country or on the international stage with the will, skill and determination to take this problem by the scruff of the neck and sort the problem out.

None the less I say - it is time to start again.

2 comments:

John Edwards said...

If I am not mistaken Israeli was born on the back of terrorist activity on the part of the Jews - what goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

I am following your blog and share your sentiments re the Middle East. Beyond that, the current situation in that part of the world, again raises deep concerns about the United Nations in it's current form. Perhaps it's structure is where we have to begin to begin!