by Jerry Alatalo
“Look gently on each other, and behold the world in which perception of hate has been transformed into a world of love.”
“The holiest of all spots on Earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.”
nder-Secretary General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Geoffrey Feltman addressed the Security Council recently about increasing tensions and violence between Israelis and Palestinians. These developments come one year after last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, where for 51-days Israel’s military carried out what some have come to perceive as genocide against the Palestinian people living in Gaza.
After the killing, violence and bombing stopped last August, over 2,000 Palestinian men, women and children had perished, and when United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon saw the results in Gaza he thought the destruction was like something out of World War II. The Secretary General, speaking at a meeting of the world’s nations for raising the billions of dollars required to, once again, rebuild Palestinian homes and businesses after massive bombing and destruction by the Israeli military, told all who attended the meeting, “Let us make this the last time”.
Only a small percentage of the billions of dollars pledged at that meeting have actually been delivered, and very little reconstruction has taken place in Gaza in the twelve-month period since Operation Protective Edge ended in August 2014. Palestinians in Gaza have over the past twelve months lived in extremely harsh conditions, the international community has not honored commitments made to provide financial help to rebuild, and now people in the region face the risk of a repeat of Operation Protective Edge and the seeming bi-yearly Israeli military bombardment of Gaza.
The Palestinian people could be compared to the boxer in movies who receives blow after blow after blow on the ropes, but refuses to lose no matter the pain his opponent inflicts upon him. Boxing metaphors aside, the United Nation’s Geoffrey Feltman is entirely right to say “We can no longer accept this reality”.
Mr. Feltman points out that Israeli decades-old illegal destruction of Palestinian buildings and homes, forced displacement of Palestinians, and construction of settlements in the occupied territories has continued despite calls for a halt of illegal actions from an increasing number of people from around the Earth.
Many long-time observers of Israel and Palestine believe the United States government has the power to end the 70-year confrontation by sanctioning Israel through the cutoff of $3 billion/year in aid (primarily military), but, instead of taking that action to bring about a lasting resolution to the conflict, recently upped the annual aid to Israel by $1.5 billion.
One can only describe circumstances related to the recently negotiated P5+1 Iran nuclear agreement as astonishing in that the country of Iran has long-renounced possession of nuclear weapons because such weapons are in direct contradiction of Islamic law, while most observers understand that the state of Israel possesses anywhere from 100-400 nuclear weapons. Part of that astonishment derives from the fact that President Barack Obama, when asked if Israel possesses nuclear weapons, was unwilling to respond with the truth and say “yes”.
Given another instance of increasing tension and risk of escalating violence in Israel-Palestine, as well as ongoing and seeming endless war in the Middle East region, the number of people around the world who agree with Geoffrey Feltman that “we can no longer accept this reality” is growing rapidly, and that includes finally resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, ending war in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc., and establishing a nuclear weapons/weapons of mass destruction free zone across the entire Middle East region.
Under-Secretary General Geoffrey Feltman said the following about the once-again precarious, current Israel-Palestine situation, but his sentiments also apply to the region as a whole. Mr. Feltman spoke to the reasons for repetitions of violence in the West Bank and Gaza, and strongly suggests the time to end the violence is now.
“(Recurring acts of violence are the) inevitable product of the failure to make the tough choices necessary to resolve the conflict. They are the ramifications of the failure to prioritize the pursuit of a shared future built on trust rather than fear. We can no longer accept this reality. It is time to reverse the perilous tide we are now facing, and restore – to Israelis and Palestinians alike – the hope that is in danger of being stifled by those promoting their hate-driven agendas.”
Men, women and children in the Middle East have been on the ropes taking punches through wars for far, far too long. Literally millions have perished over time, while many millions more have become forced to live their entire lifetimes with the horrific consequences. If powerful moral action is not taken, many more will die and suffer.
Humanity must now rise to the occasion and become like the referees who, mercifully, place their bodies between the boxers – to end the suffering.
(Thank you to Nizar Abboud at YouTube)