Between Occupation and Liberation

Occupation and liberation are dependent terms that do not stand on their own. These are titles one attaches to himself, whether he is the occupier or the liberator. The western world is appalled by the arrogant statements of the “liberators” of Aleppo in Syria, and the Assad regime’s national television broadcasted expressions of support by his “liberated” victims.

Aleppo has turned into the symbol of malice; of a cynical occupier who uses measures such as genocide in order to terrorize entire populations. The Syrian conflict constitutes a vivid example to the nature of wars in our region, and the artificial states that were formed following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 21st Century.

Wars in our region are mutual wars, tribal and religious wars. These states, that were formed in our region, were never even gotten a genuine opportunity to function as states. They have no national solidarity, no united ethnic identity, and no religious tolerance and synergy among internal parts of the population. This is the case in Iraq, in Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Bahrein, and in many other countries in the region that gained independence under the interest of different western powers, and were left internally conflicted, without a foreseeable promising future.

The wars of our region are blood-soaked, since it is driven by deep urges of vengeance, which are fueling the flames of rebellions and internal conflicts. The Iraqi 1958 coup d’état serves as a good example of how the bloodshed did not end with General Qasim’s succession and murder of the royal family, but was followed by a blood bath, caused by further internal instability and political executions, that included Qasim himself who was sentenced to death by his partner to the revolt, Colonel Arif.

For the first time since World War II the world is facing crimes of genocide – of physical extermination of minorities over their faith and religion. In the cradle of monotheism, the Middle East, the eradication of the Christian minority is being violently executed, and the Christian world together with the free world stand indifferent in silence just as in the wake of the horrible Holocaust against the Jewish people. After the Holocaust, these forces were full of remorse facing the many victims scattered throughout Europe.

The entire humanity stands and observes passively while ongoing crimes are committed, and do nothing. Not even for its own brothers and members of faith.

The west, which expresses condemnations and shock to the horrible events in Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan, Syria and Lebanon – bears responsibility for these occurrences. It is the west that has created the complicated and impossible to reconcile systems that rule the region, and it is the one to give birth to the dead-end challenges that trouble our region and affect the whole world.

The massive waves of immigration that flood the west today are not merely the outcome of the tragedy that takes place in our region, it should warn against the contemporary common practice that judges only intentions without results, and that puts the whole world in danger. The lack of responsibility demonstrated by Europe in its politics in our region eventually places its very own existence in growing danger.

On a second thought regarding Israel’s proximate area – the debate between occupation and liberation over the parts of Eretz Israel, is a meaningless discussion. Israel did not open a war of conquest but was attacked. If we didn’t emerge victorious in the war of June 1967, and then again in October 1973 – the sights of Aleppo could have definitely be part of our own reality. The solution to the conflict should seek to stabilize the proximate area and not be governed by subjective terms of occupier or liberator. Moreover, plans of mixing populations that cannot co-exist with one another – are also a definite recipe for a Middle Eastern reality that might be realized in our small piece of land.

Third conclusion and as important – we shouldn’t take advice from proclaimed friends, or from those whose advice has already resulted in a catastrophe. Solutions for our challenges and for our future must be found within ourselves. An attempt to create an internal discussion and shared basis should lead to complete separation through mutual respect and in natural borders that will allow each nation to live in complete independence, without being required to divide the undividable. Time is not working in our favor in the attempt to reach solutions, and no one else can hold the wisdom to find the right key but us, ourselves.

About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center
Related Topics
Related Posts