It’s been a few days since the war between Israel and Palestine began again, and just like old times, lots of Palestinians have died but who’s fault is it this time?
The story that we know, is that 3 Jewish settlers were kidnapped and killed prompting other Jewish settlers to kidnap a Palestinian boy and burn him to death. In retaliation, Hamas decided to launch missiles into Israel and in self-defence, Israel counters with their own form of offensive which has killed more Palestinians than ever before.
While the anti-Israeli movement and overwhelming sympathy has poured out to Palestine, not many have questioned the legitimacy of the story or have given thought to why this even occurred in the first place.
So, over the past few days since the exchange of fire began, I began asking my friends as well. Not just any friends, friends who are directly affected by this situation. Friends who are living in fear and who are more well-informed than any media because they live there.
And this is what I’ve been able to gather:
– The 3 Jewish settlers weren’t kidnapped. They did die. They died in a car accident. The cause is yet to be known. I don’t suppose anyone is going to bother to investigate it at this juncture.
– The parents of the 3 Jewish settlers claimed/alleged that their children were kidnapped and killed by Palestinians.
– The rest of the story remains true. Hamas fired first before Israel, in self-defence launched an all out air offensive, attacking targets believed to be where Hamas was hiding missiles. Unfortunately, these targets were homes of people.
Nevermind who’s to be blamed for this problem we have at the moment because the problem right now is that Hamas does not have the capability to cause any serious damage to Israel compared to what the Israeli forces are able to do. Not that I’m suggesting Hamas should be shooting if they had better weaponry.
Going by this, Hamas has to apply all logic to stop, in order to save civilian lives. They shouldn’t have even begun firing those missiles in the first place but as an extreme political power, they decided to retaliate, shooting missiles from underground bunkers where they are safe.
THIS IS STUPIDITY. THIS IS NOT THINKING FOR PALESTINIANS.
Yes. You get angry when your own gets kidnapped and burned alive. There is no question about that but this is where you need to learn to RESPOND and not REACT.
One wonders how over decades of being in such a disadvantaged position, these guys still have not learnt how to respond but instead, continue to react, putting their own people at a disadvantage OR is this could simply be a trick that Israel is pulling to launch an offensive OR a trick that Hamas stupidly came up with.
Now, it’s easy for me to say this but the reality of the matter is that these guys live separated by a large wall. A wall so large that the other has no idea what is happening, and when either side does not have an idea what is happening, both sides have a lack of trust that each once to make peace, but instead wants to take up arms to end the others’ lives.
That is the reality of what it’s like.
That is what I know based on experiences shared by students from the Olive Tree Initiative, a group of students in Universities who have an interest to learn and understand about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Students who travel to Israel and Palestine, and talk to locals and academics and politicians to gather information before they try to make any conclusion out of it. Most of the time, it leaves them even more confused and this is where they learn that fighting for a side, will not help the cause.
But this is war and like it or not, death is still death. Death in a warzone does not recognize your faith or race, but the pain of having a loved one die is the same. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Palestinian or an Israeli, because when a loved one dies, you feel that pain, the same pain.
This pain and disdain for war is what drove the bereaved parents of the conflict from both sides to come together to work towards peace. They call themselves, The Parents Circle and they have a message that they want to send out,
“Don’t take sides. This is not a soccer game. This is real. People die.”
The experience of listening to them share their experience of losing a loved one to the conflict and then forgiving the other in order to come together to work for peace is a powerful message that I’d like to share with everyone, and I hope you’ll share this too.
If the parents of those who have lost a loved one to the conflict, can come together to work towards Peace and Reconciliation, why are we taking sides other than for Peace?
So, regardless of the religious group that we belong to, in this conflict, there is only one side that we need to take, PEACE.
Without peace, we can’t learn to build trust and trust is one of the building blocks of any positive relationship.
Without trust, we can’t sit down on the same table to begin discussing plans on how we’d like to move forward.
Without plans, we can’t see what are the potentials that we can create for future generations.
And there are groups within Israel and Palestine itself, who believe that the only way to solve this conflict, is to move towards a two-state solution. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day? A recognized Palestinian state living in peace with the state of Israel because let’s face it, the reality is that the state of Israel is here to stay, and until we can all come to that page, this conflict will never end.