August 05, 2014

Horse 1728 - Israel and Palestine (again)

I've been asked by someone who wishes to remain anonymous to write a piece on "what I think about Palestine and Israel". Usually when this happens I expect that they expect me to side with Israel, and this is is probably some sort of bait. Let it be known, that I am aware that I'm being baited and that this fish with bite anyway.
This is the bottom line. These are my two penneth worth.

If you support Palestine - you are wrong.
If you support Israel - you are wrong.

Hamas by its charter and by its actions has made it its objective to destroy the state of Israel. Hamas has also been designated as a terrorist organisation by 35 countries.
Maybe if Hamas bothered to pay attention to its own name, it might find that it is an acronym in Arabic for the "Islamic Resistance Movement". If it purports to be "Islamic" then maybe it needs to go back and look at the Qu'ran:

Recall that Moses said to his people (the Jews), “O my people, remember GOD’s blessings upon you: He appointed prophets from among you, made you kings, and granted you what He never granted any other people.
“O my people, enter the holy land (Israel) that GOD has decreed for you, and do not rebel, lest you become losers.”
- Sura 5:20-21

And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
- Sura 17:104

Likewise, Israel by its declared law and by its actions continues to be very belligerent towards Palestine. In Israeli law, it has openly declared that several countries including Palestine are declared enemies and that for me is as stupid as the Hamas charter. Israel currently isn't recognised as a nation by 32 nations, and in many respect acts as a terrorist organisation.
Maybe Israel bothered to pay attention to its own name, it might find that it is descended from the patriarchs Israel and Abraham. If it purports to be "Jewish" and the logical holder of the promises then maybe it needs to go back and look at the Torah and Tanakh:

Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
- Exodus 22:21

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
- Leviticus 19:34

The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
- Psalm 146:9

To be honest, I am beyond care as to who started what and who is at fault. I could care less but I honestly fail to see how.
What really bothers me is the people who suffer. We are talking about families, mothers, fathers, children, aunts, uncles, friends and whole networks of communities of people who should be going about their business in boring and quiet enjoyment. What is the actual difference between a Jew and an Arab, or between someone of the Jewish and Israeli faiths?

Maybe a rephrasing of one of Shylock's speeches in The Merchant of Venice is worthwhile:
Hath they not both eyes, hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as each other? If you cut them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die?

I refuse to see "Israeli" or "Palestinian" differences in this conflict. In my experience, people are pretty well much the same over the world and the vast majority want to just go home, enjoy time with their families; whilst they battle the everyday tasks of paying the rent, the gas, the electric, the water, the rates, keeping a roof over their heads and putting food on the table.
The fact that I wrote a practically identical piece two years' ago shows that precisely nothing has been learned in this whole stupid conflict (see Horse 1406).

On the news last night, we saw how various nations came together to remember the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. What did that war teach us? Nothing. War almost never teaches us who is right; it only teaches us who has avoided being blown to pieces and who is left.
9 million people lay butchered and for what purpose? A few borders moved a few miles. Big deal. If the leaders of Europe had just decided to meet in that rail car four years earlier, then everyone could have gone home again and it would have been game over before it started.

A hundred years later, Prince William addressed many leaders in Belgium:
"The fact that, Mr. Presidents, you are here today to represent Germany and Austria, and that other nations – then enemies – are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation. 
Not only is war between us unthinkable, but former adversaries have worked together for three generations to spread and entrench democracy, prosperity and the rule of law across Europe, and to promote our shared values around the world."
- Evening Standard, 4th August 2014

Are we likely to see such a speech invoking the "power of reconciliation" between Israel and Palestine soon? Not likely. It is both telling and incredibly stupid that the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly has had to be recalled over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no less than eighteen times. Just grow up people!
It always makes my blood boil that people decide to send other peoples' sons off to war and send rockets and bombs into other peoples' houses, without the faintest regard for them. Would it hurt the leaders and the decision makers from either side to stop and actually tour the areas of the places they've destroyed?

How about Benjamin Netanyahu pays a visit to the suburb of Jabalia and personally apologises to the people whose families have been killed. When he sees the pain and anguish writ large upon the faces of the poor souls who have to clean up and repair the damage from the results of his policies, would he think harder next time before ordering rockets be fired?
If Khaled Mashal were to tour hospitals in Tel Aviv or Sderot, would he take up the chance to explain the reasons why more than 3500 rockets have been fired, to those people who have been left injured or homeless, or have lost family and friends?
Yes, I know that I've successfully taken the bait here and written a stream of invective but at some point, someone has to yell "STOP" to the idiots who think that laying waste to people and their families is a price that should be exacted, merely because they happen to live next door.

We remember 11-11-18 because that's the day that the guns fell silent. In my opinion, that was the only truly sensible action of the whole war. I pray for the day that this conflict between Israel and Palestine because equally, the only truly sensible day will be when the violence stops.

If you support Palestine - you are wrong.
If you support Israel - you are wrong.
If you support and pray for innocent people - you are right.

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