What is taking place is a conflict between an oppressor and the oppressed, says Ronald Benjamin. Until this is recognised, lasting peace will remain elusive.
The bombardment of densely populated Gaza of Palestine by the Zionist regime is clearly a dastardly act that deserves the condemnation of the international community.
Its leaders and backers should be brought before the international criminal court of justice for violating the Geneva Convention in their treatment of a civilian population.
It is obvious that Israel is playing the victim card when in reality it is an occupying power whose concept of security is to occupy Arab Land and remain a dominant power in the Middle East. It is difficult to comprehend how Israel is a victim in the current stand-off when it has killed almost 2000 people in Gaza while those killed in Israel number almost 70.
Israel’s obsession with security without any due consideration for justice for the Palestinians makes the so-called two-state solution and unworkable idealism that does not distinguish between the oppressed and the oppressor.
The despicable murders of Israeli teenagers – there is no concrete proof of official Hamas involvement – and the rocket attacks do not justify mass murder of Palestinian civilians.
The underlying repression – a seven-year economic blockade and the strangulation of Gaza by the Zionist regime – does not seem to bother the United States and Britain.
Hamas, by instigating Israel with its primitive rockets, has done greater harm to the common good of its people if one looks at the comprehends the death toll of the Palestinian civilians.
The so-called two-state solution has made Israel appear to be an equal partner of mutual justice, when in reality it is supported by a hegemonic power in the United States and is heavily armed against the Palestinians, whose arms consist of stones and primitive rockets that aim to resist the Occupation.
The international community is only deceiving itself if it believes that Israel, under a hawkish government and leader like Benjamin Netanyahu, desires peace when he continues to build settlements and occupy Arab lands – which is the root cause of its own insecurity and conflict with the Arab World.
There is a need to redefine the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as a situation between the oppressed and the oppressor, until Israel is serious in coming to the negotiating table. Israel has to be declared an apartheid state that continues to occupy land and deny freedom and human rights to the Palestinians.
While Hamas is regarded as a constant security threat to the existence of Israel, the foundation for durable peace will not be created without engagement with this group, which has substantial support among the Palestinians. The Palestinians’ support for Hamas had compelled the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) to initiate a unity government with its foe.
The peace process should also involve regional powers such as Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is a proven fact that the United States sides with Israel and is incapable of being an honest broker for peace.
Nations from the non-aligned movement and European nations that have no geopolitical interests should play a supporting role in the peace process. Diplomats from the United Nations should playa part in offering technical and diplomatic advice to resolve issues in line with United Nations resolutions.
If Israel wants peace, it has to work for peace with its neighbours and stop acting as a client state of the United States. It does not make sense for Israel to claim the right to exist while continuing to regard its surrounding neighbours as a constant security threat without resolving the underlying issue of occupation.
For all this to take place, conditions for peace should be created. A geopolitical shift is vital in the Middle East. Arab Nations such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Turkey have to take steps to stop their support for rebels in Syria. These nations have basically damaged the cause of the Palestinians by sponsoring extremist Islamic militants groups to topple the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, when resources could have been used to look for a solution to the Palestinian problem.
It is a diversion of focus, such as the Shiite –Sunni divide and support for Islamic sxtremism in Syria and Iraq, that has muzzled the aspiration for peace in the region.
Redefining the Israeli and Palestinian conflict as one involving the oppressed and an oppressor is required, along with a regionally inspired solution that has the support of the non-aligned movement and honest European states. This would cut off the influence of hegemonic powers and put a halt to geopolitical wars created by the rich Gulf states for regional religious and sectarian dominance – which indirectly benefits Israel. And it would be vital for a lasting solution in West Asia.