Monday, January 5, 2009

Trouble in Gaza

Why is the problem in Palestine made so complicated? Its simplicity is crystal clear to me. The Palestinians were forcibly pushed off of their land and compelled to live in exile refugee camps that, in the case of Gaza, amounts to a huge prison camp. Their children suffer from malnutrition and are deprived of even the simplest essentials of life. Their humanity has been systematically taken away by one of the most powerful military structures in the world supported with billions of dollars from the US government. They have fought back against these conditions in ways that we can always expect an oppressed, poverty ridden people to do; with everything from stones to rockets. It is, no doubt, dangerous to a small number of Israelis, but it is also rather sad and pathetic. Israel and the US may condemn the militants of Palestine for their sometimes deadly tactics but Americans and Israelis would do exactly the same thing if they were robbed of their homes and forced to live under such conditions.

There has always been a small number of Israelis who understand that peace can only come with a decent and prosperous Palestinian state with the original UN boundaries. But there is also a group of Israeli militants who believe that they have a God-given right to all the land of Palestine and in pursuance of this goal they do anything to maintain the conflict with the Palestinians in order to give them the excuse they need to slowly destroy the Palestinian infrastructure and eventually take all the land of the region. They sell this agenda the way fascists always do; through fear. And thus they have effectively convinced the majority of Israelis that they are the victims and that they have the right to do anything to fight back. Of course, on the other side there is a certain number of Palestinians who don’t want peace either because they need their own excuse to fight against what they consider to be an illegitimate Jewish state. But the only way to beat such militancy is not through militarism (which only feeds such madness) but through prosperity and peace. Take away the constituency of the militants and it will fade away. In other words all you need for peace is to make the Palestinians stake-holders in peace and prosperity and they will become partners with the Israelis in the struggle against militancy. This can be done with a genuine commitment from Israel; peace is in their grasp if they want it. This simply illustrates a truism that everyone should understand; that the more powerful party in a conflict always has the upper hand in the struggle for peace. Unfortunately the Palestinians, being the weaker and significantly more vulnerable, have no such power to bring about peace because even those among the Palestinians who want it cannot stop those militants among them, whose numbers continually grow through their conditions of live and lack of freedom.

It is a very simple lesson that union activists have understood since Robert Owen illustrated it so effectively; give employees a stake in the success of a business, make them feel as though they are part of the process, empower them and make them part of a collective effort for success, and you get loyalty, compromise, and prosperity.

There is no doubt that the individuals in Hamas who have shot rockets into Israel have killed individuals. But the militants of the Israeli state have attempted to kill an entire people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

awesome- thank you