Saturday, July 26, 2014

When we shall have peace

A ceasefire just started in Israel, which hopefully will continue, but given the scope of the destruction in Gaza and who is currently leading both sides I doubt it will last. The beginning of this conflict was justified, but the way IDF went about it was completely unjustified with targeting non-military targets. If the IDF had only targeted the military base of Hamas and used their immense intelligence gathering effectively there would be absolutely no doubt that Israel would have been on the right side of the conflict. Instead there have been far too many attacks by the Israeli government on civilian homes which brings them down to the level of Hamas in how they target non-military targets and they blew it big this time. There are now pending charges for crimes against humanity on both sides which I have no doubt are legitimate and hopefully will remove military support from both sides.

The Israeli government has continued to breed extremism with their latest onslaught on houses in Gaza but have not targeted military targets, with most of the deaths being those of civilians. This is a war crime and there needs to be justice. As long as Israel continues to bomb Palestinian homes in these events and evict them to build settlements in the West Bank without due compensation young Palestinians will continue to have nothing to lose. As long as the blockade on Gaza prevents them from trading with the outside world (For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World ~ US Declaration of Independence) and preventing food and medical supplies from reaching the people who need them and preventing the development of the Gazan economy people will have no other option but to revolt against the Israeli government. Trade is invaluable to people because it brings opportunity. The other major barrier to peace is the taking of Palestinian land without compensation which no wise government in history willfully takes the land of people who live on their land because if they steal too much there will be a  revolt. It unfortunately worked in the Americas because disease killed the Native American population before they could fight back (which is the largest genocide in the history of the world) but the Israelis don't have diseases that will kill the Palestinians before they will fight back against the evictions. All of these actions make people look for any way to improve their well being and this is how groups like Hamas are able to get people to follow them because they offer a way to get people's homes back, even though their ideology is extremely misguided and historically doomed to fail.

One important point is that Israel is a democracy and when center-left parties have been in office there have been improved relations with Palestine. The attacks on Palestinian homes occur when either Likud becomes the government in Israel or Hamas becomes the government in Palestine. Attacks by Israel like the one this month are invariably linked to the leadership of the right wing. Attacks on Israel (such as the Yom Kippur War) are of course rightfully defended and every state has the right to self-defense. This means if there is to be peace in the region the government of Israel needs to return to the center-left led by Kadima which will almost definitely lead and sign an armistice agreement with the Palestinian Authority. This is essential to any path to peace,

There needs to be an agreement that the UN will defend any side that is in the defensive given a resumption of attacks. There needs to be a right to education for all people in the area. Property rights need to be absolute and if either government takes land from anyone there must be just compensation. Access to courts is absolute regardless of citizenship.

Also, Israel needs to change their laws and have real freedom of the press which currently doesn't exist under a system of gag orders which exacerbate extremism and lack of information for Israelis increasing the power of their extremist government. This policy is contrary to the claim that Israel is a free democracy because no nation can be free when you need the government's permission to publish information that doesn't have to do with things whose release would threaten national security, such as nuclear passwords.

The cost in Israel of these extremist governments increase the number of Israelis who support these sorts of policies. Racism is increasing among people on both sides of the conflict of all ages. There is no global leader today, except maybe Pope Francis, with the cultural clout to help bring people back to a place where we can live together in peace. This is what we need. The world needs leadership and we have no one who is willing to use their power effectively. I hope President Obama will prove me wrong with his current actions on the Southern Border which has become a humanitarian catastrophe, but given 6 years of compromise (which historically was the bringer and keeper of slavery in the USA) it will take a lot more work which I hope will come. We cannot afford to have a humanitarian crisis in the Middle East with either side getting annihilated which is what the current Government of Israel will cause if they continue the actions they are doing with disproportionate attacks.

We also need to increase communication between people on both sides of every conflict. Peace cannot happen without dialogue and once there is dialogue we will realize we are all people and that war is a pointless endeavor.

With all of this we need strong treaties that are proportionately reinforced and strong leadership that can bring people together to recognize that we are all brothers and we are all our brothers' keeper. Only then can we have lasting peace. Otherwise war and suffering will continue.

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