I don’t know Jack about the Middle East April 22, 2008Posted by olvidadorio in Humans.
Tags: gaza, hamas, israel, jimmy carter, middle east, palestine
However, I somehow was touched by Jimmy Carters mission to the Hamas, recently. So I tried writing him a letter. I doubt it actually reached him, so I’ll at least post it here.
Mind you, this is a very personal thing, so don’t take any part of this personal. Or as an official endorsement, that is.
Dear Mr President:
Thank you for your continued effort for reconciliation in the near- and middle east. As I have both Jewish and Arabic friends, living in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, this is an important matter to me.
It fills me with gratitude to see you use your position as a well-known and respected public figure to foster dialogue with Hamas. Not because I like Hamas, but because it is a powerful force in the region.
This winter, I visited Israel and the Westbank. It actually filled me with hope to see how calm, orderly and friendly the westbank was (provided one was not Jewish). The Palestinians I spoke to clearly said that they hated the Israelis. However, even Hamas supporters that I spoke to were all about getting a visa to go work in Israel! To actually work, not to blow themselves up.
It is important to consider the economic dimension; The economic breakdown in Gaza leaves me greatly worried both about Israel. Israel will have to deal with the angry pressure coming from their arabic neighbors in Gaza, either by negotiating or by turning up the heat. It most probably will not be feasible for the Israeli leadership to put up with the constant barrage north of Gaza.
Israel has demonstrated its willingness to stop attacks by building the fence all around the palestinian neighborhoods in the westbank. The situation in Gaza is however a bit different: No fence will hold out rockets. Effective, military action against those rockets involves invasion and bloodshed, ultimately an increase in pressure. This pressure will not just disappear; modern media and ideology enable opinion makers to maintain high levels of anger and fear in a whole population, and so it is happening on both sides of the conflict.
Basically, I see three options to resolve the tension that these aggressions create: a) Full blown conflict, ending in the anihilation of one party. b) Long-drawn conflict, untill there is so much suffering that the people just “get sick of it”, and policy makers have no more gain in continuing the conflict (examples from history: reconciliation Germany – France, after WWII, the 30-year war in Germany). c) Reconciliation and cooperation before all this happens.
I suspect, that the further things develop, the more entrenched positions become, the harder it will become for Israel to arrive at a peaceful solution, which it actually needs for its continued existence. Israel is probably not able of anihilating its neighbors (without causing serious damage to itself), so it has to cooperate. Presumably, quite a few Arab policymakers sense this – and are biding their time, at cost of the Palestinian inhabitants well-being.
Please continue your efforts for non-violent coexistence between Palestine and Israel!
Thank you, Gabriel Pickard