The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on for decades now. The conflict is rooted in the emotions of Middle East and it involves religion, history, territory, and most of all national identity.
Both sides have been vocal and physical about holding on to what they have. The conflict has been escalating for so long that both sides have lost thousands of lives and thousands of dollars in property.
International agencies have struggled to negotiate truces and bring the area to a peaceful resolution. However, situation has also resulted in a single step forward and a violent jump of three steps backward.
Leave It At That?
The level of hostility and mistrust that pervades the region usually dissuaded all but the most stubborn of politicians from jumping in to the fray. However, the US (as an international peace broker), European Nations, and the UN have set up a renewed drive to establish a permanent peace in the area.
Most Americans are weary with more than a decade of war involving Iraq and Afghanistan but the 9/11 situation demonstrated that no state can be an island. The rise of tyrannical states in Iraq, Syria and now Nigeria demonstrate that there are many people who would love the world to stay in permanent conflict.
Achieving peace in the area and the resulting stability could also deprive violent extremists of the chaotic environment that they require to generate international terror.
Overlapping Religions, Borders & Cultures
One of the reasons why peace is so difficult to achieve in the region is due to the overlapping religions, borders, and cultures. In recent years, President Barack Obama seems to have taken a step back from actively involving himself in the Middle East. Although the US is still a powerful giant internationally, the US bogeyman is far too busy with their own internal problems.
However, the key to peace in the area is not an international giant brokering harmony but mutual commitment from Israel and Palestine. President George Bush was the first to point out this fact. He stated that in order for the state of Palestine to be secure, recognized and independent, it requires Israel to step up and take the first vote to do so. And Israel has not done this at all.
In the last three months, Israel launched an extensive war on the Gaza strip in retaliation for student deaths that were attributed to terrorists located in the Gaza area. The continuous shelling resulted in a horrible worsening of diplomatic relations between both countries. Due to the horrific shelling, international support, for Israel has also waned substantially. It is in Israel’s interest, nay necessity, now to broker for peace.
In Other Words
A solution cannot be forced down on both countries. It requires both, Palestine and Israel to negotiate directly, but with the support of the United States. For Israelis in particular, the situation is critical. There are 6 million Jews living in between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In the same region, there are more than 5.5 million Arabs. The Arab birth rate is higher and in a few years, Arabs will be a majority. Israel is surrounded and quite frankly, out of support from the locals and with the world in general.
It’s about time that the angry old men of Israel sat down and established a peace that will benefit everyone.