I Feel for Israel. I Also Feel for the Palestinians.
I’m conflicted about the situation unfolding in southern Israel. Hamas has invaded southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, is also launching an offensive in support of Hamas.
Hundreds of Israelis have been killed. Hundreds more kidnapped and taken into Hamas held territories. Thousands have been injured, some severely.
Videos of civilians and military personnel dressed in their underwear, bound and gagged, being led into the Gaza Strip bring the human cost of this attack into sharp focus.
It must be terrifying to be an Israeli right now.
One day, you are celebrating a religious holiday, and the next morning you find your country and way of life under attack from an enemy that hates everything about you and yours.
Notice that I have not used the word “unprovoked” to describe Hamas’ ongoing attack on Israel in my above remarks.
Generally, while Israel is a multi-lateral democracy in a region full of autocrats – more later on this – her presence on Palestinian land is, geopolitically, a destabilizing force.
This is not to say that Israel shouldn’t have been placed where she is by the British in 1948. Jews too consider the erstwhile Palestinian homeland their heritage and home and by rights, deserve to live in the same region in peace and dignity.
It is that dignity which Israel isn’t willing to confer on to Palestinians which makes her a destabilising force in the Middle East.
For example, a body of opinion holds that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and their treatment of Palestinians amounts to apartheid.
In essence, they are treated as separate and less than equal. Imagine the indignity of having to navigate checkpoints and live a life of no prospects in your ancestral lands. That’s what the average Palestinian endures today. (Add life expectancy stats).
Moreover, the settler community, hardline Jews who would rather take an inch than give one have made it clear to the rest of Israel that they have no wish to coexist with Palestinians.