In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving
The horror I have been witnessing in the Holy Land is beyond words…it is very difficult for me to absorb what has been happening. The images in the U.S. press are starkly more laundered than that in the Arab press, which show – almost nonstop – the images of dead and injured women and children as a result of the Gaza carnage.
At the same time, I must note that the suffering of the Palestinians gets much more airtime in the Israeli press (especially in newspapers such as Ha’aretz) than Israeli pain from the rocket attacks in the Arab press. Some may not like that I mention this, but it must be said, nonetheless. No, the Hamas rockets are not like the Israeli bombs and missiles, but they do terrorize Southern Israel.
It seems that the solution to this mess in the Holy Land is so elusive, judging by the actors on the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Israeli foreign minister says Tzipi Livni “We want to live in peace,” but the actions of her government say otherwise, which includes the little noticed and mentioned 18 month blockade of Gaza, which has caused a humanitarian disaster in the Strip.
Same with Hamas: continuing rocket fire into Southern Israel sends the signal that it does not desire co-existence. Wherever I read in the Israeli press (and I do read it quite a bit), they keep mentioning the rocket fire into Southern Israel, even though the Israel Defense Force (IDF) has admitted that it overestimated the Hamas rocket severity.
From here, however, the solution to this ugly conflict seems so simple. Why don’t both sides acknowledge the pain they have inflicted on the other and just end the conflict? Why can’t both sides agree to live together in peace, which is what both peoples actually want? Former Carter national security adviser Zbigniew Brezinski outlined a very workable framework for an eventual peace:
— No right of return for the Palestinian refugees. This is a very
bitter pill for the Palestinians to swallow, though it can be sweetened by an
international acknowledgment of their suffering.
— Jerusalem has to be equitably shared as the capital of two
states, Israeli and Palestinian. Admittedly, this is a bitter pill for the
Israelis. But the fact of the matter is that no peace will be viewed as
equitable without this.
— An equitable territorial arrangement based on the 1967 lines, with
some changes permitting the incorporation into Israel of some heavily urbanized
communities beyond the 67 lines. In return, the Palestinians would be
compensated with other territory, perhaps in Galilee and the Negev.
— A demilitarized Palestinian state with the deployment of American
troops along the Jordan River, thereby insuring Israeli security…by providing
Doesn’t this seem simple enough? Isn’t this a workable solution to this conflict? Won’t this put an end to the endless cycle of violence, destruction, and suffering that has emanated ad infinitum from the Holy Land?
It seems so simple from way out here, in the United States, where Muslims and Jews live and work together in peace and harmony. Some of my closest friends are Jews, and this is possible because we live in America; because we are Americans.
It seems to me that ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and letting both peoples live in peace and harmony is the only way the madness will stop. And to me, it seems like such an easy fix. Why can’t both sides just agree to this framework of peace and end the conflict? All this “shock and awe” and “all out war” and “fight to the bitter end” brings is death, destruction, blood, and suffering. Why can’t they just agree to stopping the violence?
It seems like such a simple solution…from way out here.