History and Palestine
The conflict surrounding the contested borders of Palestine is reminiscent of the Roman gladiatorial games of yore. The contestants find themselves, literally, in the centre of the world arena, locked in a mortal struggle. Meanwhile, the spectators watch and egg them on from the comfort of their seats.
If the convoluted history of this region is anything to go by, it should be sufficiently clear where it all went wrong. Too much meddling, and this too often, by the many cooks (read world powers) who mixed this broth is what got it into the stew it is in now. Anyhow, history will take care of itself, while we must deal with the present: the current situation in the area of Gaza is what should be of the utmost concern to those who wish to re-assess their ideological allegiances.
Stats that matter
Regardless of what either side has done in terms of disrupting general life in the area, it is the Palestinians who have suffered the heaviest losses in terms of civilian deaths.
Statistics covering the ongoing unrest suggest that nearly 1500 out of the 2131 deaths on the Palestinian side are civilians. A third of these victims are children and a further sixth are women. In comparison, only 5 Israeli civilians have lost their lives in this ongoing collision between the two military forces. This shows, quite clearly, that what the world takes to be an even-sided battle is actually a skilfully masked bullying, and apparently reluctant mass homicide.
From a lay perspective, it is the bigger picture that matters. And the bigger picture is that in the grand scheme of things Palestine has been dealt a lousy hand. And, not least of all by their very own military organization, the Hamas. The very evident but generally disregarded fact is that, the Palestinians living on disputed territory are stuck without any option of moving out. Passports are denied to those settlement dwellers unlucky enough to be living on internationally illegal land. And they, caught in the crossfire – are powerless to do anything about it.
Is Israel winning or is it winning?
Israel is clearly the one that holds the power in the region. And frankly, the only one that has a chance at making peace a possibility. It is certain that a majority of both parties want and are fighting for peaceful co-existence. But in this unequal war, one side may be fighting for survival itself. Israel must actively defend its borders and has every right to do so. Yet, the future of the region hinges on how it decides to use its power. And such a grave responsibility cannot be shirked.
The misogynistic and bellicose Hamas are just as much at fault, if not more, as Israel for perpetuating this unnecessary strife. Yet, it is the people of Palestine who will pay the price. The blame falls not only to the callousness of those who can make a change, but also to the neutrality of those who don’t care enough.