Many people in the western world look at the conflicts between Israel and Palestine as a religious war that has been raging for centuries and feel nothing but apathy, after all why should anyone care who slays who when they’ve been killing each other for so long.
The truth is, it’s not about religion anymore and hasn’t been for quite a while now Since the 1967 six day war, Israel has controlled and occupied to one degree or another the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Mostly as they say for security purposes.
More than four decades have passed since that war and not much has changed. A couple of peace treaties with two of its neighbors Egypt and Jordan have been positive. On the other hand, forty years of occupation and limited Israeli offensives have given rise to armed resistance groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas who rely on terrorist tactics as they are unable to match the might of the Israeli military. Hezbollah and Hamas have since gained power through politics.
The vast majority of the masses around the world are ignorant to the fact that Israel has never wanted peace. The faÃ§ade has always been there, but the motivation has not. Going as far back as the seventies, Israel has rejected time and time again peace terms with the current borders of the time and before the two intifadas.
Israel has more UN Resolutions against it than any other country; more than forty (see the list here). This count would be twice as high if the United States did not continually use its veto power on the UN Security Council to protect its interests. After going through these lists it’s hard to imagine this country ever wanting peace. It has always been about expansion and keeping the Palestinians in line.
Throughout the past few decades, Israel has carried out countless raids, bombings, assassinations and cross-border kidnappings. There have been over 750 000 Palestinians that have passed through Israeli prisons since 1967, about 1/5 of their total population. Nine thousand remain including about three hundred children. Many have never been charged with a crime.
Israel has also relentlessly been building Jewish settlements over the years in the occupied territories. These settlements deemed illegal by the international community have continued off and on throughout the occupation and most peace negotiations, making it hard for any credible consensus to arrive between the two territories and Israel. Building in East Jerusalem has been particularly constant.
In 2006, Israel started construction of the West Bank barrier, an illegal wall boarding off the entire west bank to prevent “terrorists” from entering into Israeli territory. It remains illegal largely due to the fact that the wall route substantially deviates into the occupied territories thereby annexing more land for Israel.
In that same year, Hamas came to power through democratic elections. Although the elections were monitored and fair many countries, mostly allies of Israel, did not recognize the results and infighting soon started with rival faction Fatah. Hamas soon overthrew Fatah in the Gaza Strip and Hamas members were dismissed from the PNA government in the West Bank in response.
With Hamas gaining de facto control of Gaza, Israel started its blockade of the whole strip in 2007, effectively turning the whole territory into a giant prison and remember it all started with a fair democratic election. In 2008 a coalition of human rights groups stated that the blockade of the territory had caused the humanitarian conditions in Gaza to have reached its worst point since the 1967 Six-Day Warâ€¦ then came another war.
With Hamas firing rockets into Israel in retaliation for military excursions and the blockade, Israel launched a military offensive that wound up killing over a thousand people, destroying four thousand buildings and damaging twenty thousand more. When the troops withdrew, the blockade stayed intact with few supplies getting in to rebuild and treat the sick. In fact, most people had to use mud and wood to rebuild their home because concrete is banned as it can be used to make bunkers.
Now, after reading all this (and there is plenty more examples) is there anyone out there that isn’t a Zionist that is surprised that a rogue state like Israel with mandatory military service, a three billion dollar check each year from the United States and a history of censoring reporters and activists had the IDF raided the peace flotilla in international waters killing about ten people and injuring dozens? Israel has always done what it pleases and with the help of the United States no less.
I might be Jewish, but I’ll never be an Israelite.
Sites of interest: