I’m not an expert on the Middle East and wanted to learn a bit more and spent some time with Wikipedia’s entry on the history of Israel. It is pretty in-depth and can lead you down a lot of different paths on all of the different wars and attempts to peace over the last 100 years. Israel became an independent modern state in 1948, only 58 years ago.
The surrounding Arab countries have never been happy with this. Israel has had to repeatedly defend itself from attacks by Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. It has maintained its independence, frankly, though the use of superior military power.
The Arab governments have, over the years, made peace with Israel, perhaps most notably Egypt in the late 70’s. This unfortunately lead to the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president, by his own people.
This is all to say that this is a very, very tricky situation. In a nutshell, some Arabs feel, and will always feel, that Israel unfairly occupied their territory and then defended it only through the help of the UK and the US. Thus, in their minds, these three military powers, the UK, the US and Israel have unfairly used military might to create and defend Israel at the expense of the Arabs who had lived there under the Ottoman Empire for 600 years.
Israel, on the other hand, has been a recognized sovereign entity for 58 years. Regardless of the complexities of unraveling thousands of years of history and animosities, Israel should not have to repeatedly defend its right to exist. It does exist. Period. No amount of war will make it un-exist. Any modifications to borders or ownership of lands will need to happen via diplomatic negotiations. Like it or not, the US, the UK and Israel will not let it happen any other way.
So what’s the answer? What’s fair? What’s rational and what will address the humanitarian and political issues that this situation continues to create?
I’m idealistic, I know, but with irreconcilable differences, the only hope is compromise. That, unfortunately, means no one is happy. Everyone gives a little. I think the rest of the world is just aghast that extreme views on both sides continue to doom innocent people to die. How many more people have to die? How much more suffering needs to be inflicted? It’s not helping. The death and the suffering are not getting anyone any closer to their goals. It is time for both sides to compromise.
This is why Bush’s arrogant idiocy in invading Iraq was so stupid. This was already a super tricky situation and he sent the bull into the china shop. Now those Republicans idiots are using the latest conflicts between Israel and Lebanon to start their war with Iran. Meanwhile Israel, because it had tens of people die from renegade attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah, is killing thousand of people in return. They are invading another country.
Let’s face it: Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist assholes with their heads so far up their ass they can’t breathe. They continue to work against their own best interest at every step of the way. They get further and further from their goals and more and more of their people suffer and die.
But the other side of the story is just as bleak: the US and Israel have their heads so far up their ass they can’t breathe. They continue to work against their own best interest at every step of the way. They get further and further from their goals and more and more of their people suffer and die.
The crux of the whole thing is the fact that Israel has the Palestinians under their thumb. A two-state solution has to be figured out. It should have been figured out a long time ago. Bush has not only not tried to get such a process going, he has worked against it by inflaming anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments in the Middle East. I personally think that Bush wants this all to happen so we can continue to occupy more and more of the Middle East and, in his fucked up mind, continued to kill Muslims. They think this is a war that must be fought. They are wrong: it is a war that should never be fought.
So to recap:
1. Arab countries have to recognize Israel’s right to exist and must eliminate violent dissent from any internal organizations.
2. Israel, the US and the UK need to make a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict an utmost priority.
3. The Palestinians need to negotiate and agree to a two-state solution in good-faith.
It can be done. Some day it will be done. We need to work on making that day soon. Yes, it is very, very hard. It can be done.