A Full-Blown War Again?

by Paul I. Adujie

Again, it is Palestine, Israel, as in Arabs and Jews that are at each other’s throats! These groups of humans, who are essentially cousins, have managed, yet again to bring the Middle East to a scalding boil! This is more than Palestine and Israel, it is regional.

The perennial animus between Arabs and Jews is apparently approaching a new crescendo. Israel is carpet-bombing Lebanon, the Arabs will be compelled to act.

There is now a high probability that those in the Arab world who are in sympathy with the plights and predicaments of Palestinians would soon join armed Palestinians’ efforts to challenge Israel. So far, Hezbollah in Lebanon have joined the fray. This may in turn elicit the participation of Syria and Iran, whether directly or indirectly.

It is increasingly beginning to look like de javu, or the Arabs versus Israel war of 1967 all over again. The gory situation is expanding exponentially. If there is about to be a Third World War, it surely will begin in the Middle East.

The present catalyst is the killing of a Palestinian family by Israeli soldiers, on the beach in Gaza and the subsequent taking of an Israeli soldier as hostage; Additionally, Hezbollah, acting independently, killed 8 Israeli soldiers and took two as hostages, as bargaining chips. The crux of the matter therefore, is the holding of thousands of Palestinians without charge or trial.

As I write, there are about 10,000 Palestinians and Lebanese in Israeli detentions and prisons without charge or trial. These 10,000 humans have been in legal limbo for several years. This is surely unacceptable and intolerable. Even as we recognize Israel’s security needs. Israeli’s safety. We must also pause to recognize the humanity of Palestinians/Arabs who are routinely arrested, detained, killed or whose property rights are summarily violated by Israel, without recourse to a semblance of due process or the rule of law. The United States has been criticized for holding terror suspects in Guantanamo for about four years without trial, but Israel has held some Arabs without trial and for much longer periods! And the world seems to ask no questions of Israel?

The issues between Arabs and Jews are intricately complex and complicated, but yet, very simple. Israel needs and deserve the right to exist, Israel demand assurances as such.

The Arabs on the other hand, demand their lands, as defined by the pre-1967 boundaries. Palestinians needs and deserves their territories, which are currently occupied by Israel. Palestinians demand a right to return to their lands and their homes.

Antecedents of both Arabs and Israelis, appear to justify their current attitudes. But their fates are linked forever, interminably linked! I would not want to be an Israeli, who is required to worry about violence and suicide bombing from Palestinians. Just as would not like to be a Palestinian, whose life, liberty and property are subject to the seeming arbitrariness of Israelis who are often engaged in targeted killings of “militants” as defined by what process? Israelis whose job it is, to ensure that Palestinians endure daily humiliations and indignities. Israelis, who must decide where Palestinians are born, live, work, die and where Palestinians, even as prominent as the late Yasser Arafat is buried! Israelis, who are liable to destroy Palestinian properties in summary manner; It is, certainly the case that suicide bombers, do not of course resort to due process. Suicide bombings are plausibly acts that are desperation driven.

If Palestinians can justify their actions, so can the Israelis! Hence the endless cycle of violence and retaliations. Arabs and Israelis must realize that meaningful good faith negotiations are the road to peaceful cohabitation and coexistence, side by side in the Middle East. The parties must negotiate, even if they must hold their noses!

The intractable crisis between Israelis and Palestinians, by extension, all Arabs, has escalated in, and during the past couple of weeks and it is getting regrettably worse.

The multiple variables of the Palestinian and Israeli crises have been exemplified in recent times by attempts to undermine, marginalize and subvert the elected government of Hamas, with concerted efforts that have been joined by the US, Europe and Israel. Acting in concert, America, Israel and its allies engaged in aggressively vigorous efforts, as they sought to undermine Hamas, Palestinian Authority, by depriving it of much needed tax revenues and foreign aid. All this, even as Hamas seemed to have imported American style democracy, hook, line and sinker!

Right before that, there were attempts by some, to question whether the people of Palestine had a right to elect members of Hamas as the legitimate representative Palestinian people. Even though it is public knowledge that Hamas has been responsive to the needs of Palestinian people. Hamas provided schools, hospitals and other social services, more than the Palestinian Authority could. Despite all these, there were attempts by outsiders to make ineffective, a legitimate government led by Hamas. But engaging in those sorts of actions, aimed at thwarting Hamas or to dampen its popularity, such actions created the impressions that those engaged in it, were superior to Palestinians and would seek to impose puppets or some sorts of Palestinian “leaders” on Palestine. The “leaders” who have not performed in the past and may not necessarily represent the genuine aspirations of the Palestinian people now, but were preferred by outsiders.

Palestine and Israel must commence some constructive engagements. Intransigent and belligerent attitudes on both side, have stalled meaningful negotiations.

And meaningful negations will in the end be the solution that endures and stands the test of time. If Israel hopes to carpet bomb the Arabs to submission, it is a forlorn hope.

Palestinians justify their kidnap of an Israeli Soldier, by pleading the case of over 10,000 Palestinians and other Arabs who have been in Israeli detentions without trial or recourse to due process and the rule of law and unfortunately, the world seems to just look elsewhere or ignore these harsh treatments of Palestinians!

Palestinians have no state or standing army, air force or any form of military force.Palestinians only recourse, it seems, is the Kamikazees or suicide bombers.

Meanwhile, Israel has the most sophisticated military in all of Middle East region.The struggle is clearly unequal.

The act of suicide bombing is extreme, in concept and in practice or in thoughts and action. It is fueled and driven by poverty, hardship, frustration, desperation and extreme hopelessness. Therefore, I strongly believe that Israelis and the rest of the world ought to reexamine the conditions and thought processes, that culminates in the final fatal act of a suicide bomber. We a

ll ought to be asking, what exactly motivates a suicide bomber?

Is it the love for violence for its sake? Is it the fabled and simplistic hope for virgins, this of course, reduces and minimizes abject conditions to the desire to fulfill mere vulgar orgies of sex.

Is suicide bombing driven by lust for crude barbarity, I will say not. Or is it actually as a result of abject desperation and hopelessness, indignities, humiliations and deprivations in Palestine? The world ought to reexamine these issues and proffer lasting solutions.

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