Israel and Palestine: the Conflict Continues
literaryguru | May 30, 2011 at 04:51 pmby
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Israel, Palestinians and the Islamic fundamentalists that control the Palestinian agenda have been going at it for as long as we can remember. Most western citizens have given up caring about it altogether. But, there are always large contingents of faux-political pundits that pull up their socks, put on their thinking caps and wade into the discussion with the zeal of a vegan trapped in a butcher shop. Once the President speaks to the issue, they hurriedly brush up on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wikipedia, read a few articles from UTNE or Harper’s Magazine (memorizing any “facts” they can find on the issue in the Harper’s Index) and then, presto, they’re an expert! If they come from our University campuses, they may have also taken up an invitation from the cute Arab girl that sits next to them in Middle-Eastern Studies class to join her at one of the many pro-Palestinian lectures and rallies all over our campuses (with the secret aspiration that she doesn’t really ONLY date Muslims). Whatever the case, they feel ready, armed and passionate about the cause of the Palestinians and the oppressive nature of the Israeli war machine that keeps them interned. I mean, it is apartheid, isn’t it? That’s what the nice Jewish man told them it was at the lecture, so it must be true. With all this attention on campus and in the media, it must be the most important conflict in the world.
The reality of the situation is, these weekend humanitarians know very little about the conflict, its history, the players involved or how they came to the conclusions they have on the subject. One thing is also true: no matter what the facts are or how many layers of dynamics they are ignorant to, these folks believe they are right and nothing, absolutely nothing will change that. For them, the reality is that Jewish people poured into Palestine, displaced all the Arabs and put them in refugee camps and then slowly built walls around them, stealing the last of their land in increments using American money sent over from pro-Zionist empathizers and the American government itself. Palestinians staunchly defend themselves with rocks and the occasional rocket out of desperation. If you ask them how many Palestinians have died in this ongoing struggle, they usually cough, slow their voice to mimic their favourite history professor and tell you they aren’t sure but it’s probably in the hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions.
Now allow me to inject a few real facts into this discussion –facts missed in Middle Eastern classes tainted by Saudi grants or avoided in western media for reasons I will disclose shortly. Since 1948, there have been roughly 4000 civilian deaths of Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That number is not controversial on either side of this discussion. Moreover, between 1948 and the early 1970s, between 800000 and 1000000 Jews were forcefully expelled from Arab countries in the Middle East. Most of these Jews went to Israel. Syria, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and just about every other Islamic country and political group surrounding Israel has publically declared a mission statement concerning their quest for the complete destruction of Israel and the Jewish people in the region. They don’t just dislike Jews; they want them all dead –every single one of them. This intention is permeated throughout the region in Arab media, children’s shows, editorials, religious commentary by Muslim clerics, spray painted on walls, carved into buildings, whispered and shouted in mosques and it is clarified clearly and eloquently by political and military leaders from the top of the food chain to the foot soldiers at the bottom. This isn’t new either. Muslims have wanted to kill the Jews since Muhammad told them it was the right thing to do back when he was writing the Quran. Every major school of Islam agrees: the Middle East must all become an Islamic Caliphate under Sharia Law –no exceptions. It must be Dar al Islam. Well, to be fair, Jews don’t all have to die in some of the rhetoric. They can convert to Islam instead, or they can also choose to slowly become extinct if they submit to the process of Dhimmitude, where they can no longer build new (or fix up old) places of worship, hold political office or professional jobs and they must pay a special burdensome tax that makes their financial condition completely unsustainable, which would lead to their eventual extinction anyway.
In Southern Sudan, more than 2.2 million people have been killed by the Islamist regime in Khartoum in what can only be called a jihad against their minority Christians and animists to the south and any black Muslims that won’t play ball in the pursuit of a “unified Arab State under Sharia Law” for the region. 2.2 million dead people and hundreds of thousands more have been terrorized and sent into slavery; many of those slaves ending up in Muslim households in Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Why does this genocide take a back seat to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, even though it has such an unbelievably higher number of victims, human rights atrocities and obvious oppression? The answer is quite simple really. Western journalists, fresh from their Middle Eastern studies classes, eager to find work from their parent’s basements, find it quite easy to fly into Israel and stay in a comfy hotel, from which they can cover the plight of the Palestinians without fear for their lives. They can just hire a car and drive to the border, snap a few snapshots of nasty looking Israeli soldiers with big guns, facing off with stoic, strapping young Palestinian youth armed only with rocks. It makes a great photo-op –one that they can send back to that Arab girl, in case she’s changed her mind about the conversion thing. Going to Sudan would not be anything like this. Palestinians want this kind of coverage; the Islamist regime in Khartoum does not. Journalists know they could very easily end up dead in Sudan and being dead isn’t really that cool an option. In Israel, the girls are way cuter and the hotel has a bar, and, besides, who wants to end up getting beheaded in an orange jumpsuit on Youtube? To make this choice even easier yet, the President doesn’t ever say ANYTHING about Sudan and not a single newspaper, journal or magazine wants to talk about it either. It just isn’t as cool as saving the Palestinians these days. Palestinians are the new whales –didn’t you know?
There you have it; a few more facts, context and insight to ponder. I’m not saying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict isn’t a horrible situation for Palestinian families just trying to survive the best they can, or for Israeli families who just want to go to the market or to school without getting blown up. It’s terrible. However, the factors involved that make this such a difficult situation to remedy are incredibly complex and even a peripheral understanding of this situation requires years of reading the historical context, consideration for the Israeli political system, a clear understanding of all the Islamic factions at play as well as their individual intentions and international connections and, most of all, it requires a humbleness in the observer. This is not an issue that is made easier by absolute conviction in belief on the subject. There are dynamics at play yet to be uncovered, for you and for me. Of that, I am sure. Pay attention to where western-media and academic bias lies and why. Pay attention to greater conflicts ignored without apology. Pay attention in the years before and after the Presidential cycle comes to its Middle Eastern obsession. Pay attention and be humble about it.
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Arlington, Virginia, United States
Arlington, Virginia, United States
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