In order to morally create sustainable peace, we need to know what the Palestinian people want, and what the Israeli people want. We can then start organizing a compromise that is good enough to put guns down.
The way I currently see it, there are two snags getting in the way.
Snag 1: No-one knows what the Palestinian people want.
Both Arab Palestinian leadership factions, Hamas and Fatah, rule by intimidation and violence. Protesters are shot, people are randomly arrested and held without warrant, and torture is rife. Regardless of your opinion of Israeli-Palestinian relations, do not think that the Palestinian leaders represent the will of their people. See Talal Alyan’s +972 article for more.
Hamas and Fatah are both street gangs that do not allow their citizens freedom of expression. This must be overcome to find out what the Palestinian people want.
Snag 2: The Palestinian leadership won’t put their guns down.
Both the PLO and the PA (see Mazen Masri’s memo for the difference) are represented by flags that lay claim to the entire land of Israel. Their education and dialogue revolves around the Palestinian state violently replacing Israel, not coexisting with it. Fatah officially condemns terrorist violence, but government officials praise terror on their personal social media pages. The below comment was posted alongside graphic pictures of the Nov 18 massacre in a Jerusalem synagogue.
“Pictures from the scene of the heroic operation (i.e., the Jerusalem synagogue terror attack) at the religious Zionist institute, in response to the assassination of Martyr (Shahid) Yussuf Al-Ramouni ‘Abu Jihad.’”
[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member
Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Nov. 18, 2014]
Hamas, on the other hand, doesn’t recognize Israel, even with lip service. Any truce called with Israel would (in their own words – see here for more) only serve to prepare for war, the goal being to erase Israel completely.
Firstly, we need Palestinian freedom of speech and freedom to vote. Then we can build peace.
The reason Israel isn’t either of these snags, however problematic Israel can be, is that it does offer both freedom of speech and the freedom to vote. Israel has a government that is elected, a population that protests freely, and an impartial Supreme Court. All three of these groups have Israeli Arabs in leadership positions. This makes me confident that if the above snags are ironed out, peace will happen.
Now, how are we going to overcome the obstacles?
Right now, I’m leaning towards improving education.
I’m moving to Israel to learn, be involved with activists, and critique strategy. I could use your help.
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