Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is it time for US to take a different stance against Israel?

First of all I want to predicate this blog post by stating that I am neither Jewish nor Arab. Nor do I confess to know every detail about all of the Jewish-Arab conflicts. As far back as I can remember when I was a child, to me Palestine and their people, the Palestinians, were portrayed to me as terrorists. Our media portrayed the faction PLO as an extremist group that solely attacked the State of Israel. Yasser Arafat always was the face of the PLO. My impression of him equated him to the likes of Idi Amin or Omar Kadafi. He led a terrorist agency and should be a hunted man.

Then in the 1990’s, I remember this same person sitting down for peace talks with President Clinton and Israel. He actually won a Nobel Peace Prize as a result of these talks. At this time I thought that Palestine was ready for change with Israel, but that lasting peace would only come as a result of the Palestinians, not as a result of Israel. I thought whenever peace was broken, Palestinians were the cause and Israel was taking action as a result of this.I know that Hamas has since taken over as the Palestinian's leading party. They have a more extreme point-of-view about these settlements and they have not stood quietly with their objections of these peace accords. 

Now my stance on this issue has changed. What we are really talking about in these issues is the land. Palestine and its people appeared to me to be the indigenous people from this area. Throughout the late 1800’s and 1900’s, Jewish settlers slowly started to overtake this region. These areas have a deep religious history and appear to be at the root of the conflict. Palestine just wants a place to call their own, but Israel wants to time and time again to redefine agreed upon boundaries.

I am not na├»ve to think that Palestine and its people are innocent, but I can honestly say that I can sympathize with them when it comes to the attacks on Israel. Israel barricades Palestine settlements from Israel. Since Israel surrounds most of Gaza and the West Bank, most everything must travel through Israel before it gets to Palestine. So even though they are supposed to be autonomous, they must still rely heavily upon Israel. I think that is the most contentious part of this peace process. Israel backs Palestine in a corner and then gets upset when Palestine gets upset and takes action. Sure rocket-propelled grenades or rockets are extreme, but I can see their justification for using them. I am not condoning violence, I am just saying here that I can see why the violence (at least recently) continues.  

As an American, I wonder if our country should be backing Israel. Over this past weekend, Israel attacked a flotilla that was supposed to be providing aid to Gaza. Instead of taking less lethal means to stop a boat, the Israeli Army opened fire and killed 9 people. I hate to say or even type this, but maybe, at least in this instance, I can truly see why Iran would want to protect itself and expand into a nuclear program. No one can confirm if Israel has nuclear weapons, so I would not doubt if we have already given the weapons to them.

Even though I believe that Iran’s President has major mental health issues, I feel slight sympathy for Iran. If Israel has nuclear weapons, who would they use it on? I am not in favor of anyone, even us, having nuclear weapons, but I can see why Iran has taken this stance and is not in favor of the UN inspecting their weapons if Israel, India, and Pakistan are not subjected to this same scrutiny.

To me I see Palestine as a caged animal. If you poke a stick into the cage, it’s going to try and attack you whenever it has the opportunity. Palestine is backed into a corner and cannot get out. Israel knows this and is taking advantage of this ever chance it gets.

Because Israel is refusing to change course, should we, the US? If we stop supporting Israel, the Middle East dynamics would change significantly. Most Middle East countries that are against us are because of the resolve that we have shown for Israel. By formally withdrawing support from Israel, would Al Qaeda still be planning our destruction? Maybe, maybe not. I know that this is an oversimplification of this problem, but maybe we need to re-think our alliances.

I know that the US has a large population of Jews in it and that is a large reason that we stand behind them, but should we stop wagging our finger at Israel and start taking a harder stance against this country? I think we should.  I am not writing this to anger anyone that is Jewish, but Israel is acting like a rogue nation. Is what they have done over the past couple of years any different than what Iran, Iraq, or any of the supposed “Axis of Evils” has done?  Your thoughts?  

2 comments:

  1. you should learn your history before writing such a post. in 1948, the U.N. divided the former british mandate of palestine into two states, one jewish, one arab. the surrounding arab states rejected the partition, and attacked israel in concert. their action made the palestinians refugee's in both the west bank and gaza. west bank came under the control of jordan, gaza under egypt. neither country ceded this land to the palestinians, but rather keep them pawns with a continuous promise to destroy israel. israel took control of both territories after the 1967 war, in which israel won the sinai. in a peace treaty with egypt, in exchange simply for peace, israel returned sinai, which is three times larger than israel itself. bill clinton repeatedly states that peace could have been achieved had arafat agreed to the deal, with israel even giving back jerusalem. he didn't because, like hamas, they still don't accept israels right to exist.

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  2. It was a flawed plan in 1948 and 1967 as well. How can you divide two "independent" states within a nation? You have to expect revolution to occur. It is like throwing a lion in a cage. When the lion attacks the handler, we want to kill that animal.

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