Thursday, November 29, 2012

Palestine one step closer to full recognition--timely?

How often have we seen images of death and destruction on our screens in the area around Israel that loosely goes by the name of ‘Palestine?’ Many years ago another new state was created and the UN voted in favour to make this happen. New Zealand was amongst those who backed the move. Israel was born and ever since there have been wars to change this, simply because no real move was made to create a homeland for the Palestinians. Both people claim some of the same land and while one peoples’ aspirations are not met, how can there be peace? Promised has been made to both groups in the past that could not be met, because once again, the land claimed was promised to both.
Now, we see only too regularly these frustrations played out with ‘violence’ being the main actor. Surely, both deserve a place in the sun. Neither is willing to make compromises and it seems nigh on impossible for them to coexist in one nation.
Israel is a reality and it has had to fight to keep its foothold in the Middle East, with the Mediterranean at its back and millions of potential enemies placed on the land borders. Some of these nations have made ‘arrangements’ with Israel that go a way to keeping peace, but others, further away, have stated repeatedly that they wish to cast the Israel’s into the sea. Obviously this has led to Israel’s strong military stance, backed up the USA.
Israel can never be at peace as long as the people of Palestinian descent do not have a homeland, fully recognised by the UN and comprising land that they have held for countless generations. Unfortunately much of that land is now occupied by the State of Israel. Two small areas; Gaza and the West Bank could be the basis of a new nation. Jerusalem, the city held sacred by the ‘three religions’ is a difficult issue. In the past it has been something like an ‘international’ city. It is where compromise must be made. Gaza and the West Bank must also somehow have a corridor linking the two enclaves to help make the new nation viable.
None of this will happen as long as either side lops missiles, invades the other, drops bombs on targeted individuals or continues a cycle of violence that makes discussion impossible. Violence begets more violence and extremist views take hold, further pushing back any chance of peace.
Both the Palestinians and Israel have a right to exist. If both deny that right to the other, then there is no basis for consensus. A real mind change from the leaders of both and a move away from extremist views, held by both sides must happen or we are doomed for more wars; ones that could drag in other nations. Must we see the dire predictions of an Armageddon in the Middle East come to fruition? The choices are there to be taken.