25 November 2023
It is hard to see an end to the Palestinian conflict.
Zionists believe that God gave the Jews the historic land of Palestine, and this idea has been supported by some Christians who took the Old Testament literally.
After WW2, the Zionists did terrorist attacks on the war-weary British who let them return to Palestine. In 1948 they ‘Declared the State of Israel’ when they were about a third of the population, killed a village of Palestinians, which made the others flee. They then said that no land title prior to the State of Israel existed and all land titles had to be re-registered and all unoccupied land belonged to the State. They have then declined to register Palestinian-owned land, so they can give away farms in the West Bank or even unoccupied houses in Jerusalem. Settlers, especially from Eastern Europe, are willing to fight to retain land that they are given on the West Bank.
In Jerusalem, the Palestinians had the menial jobs, which made it hard to pay the high rents there, and more recently Sri Lankans or others are given the jobs, so the Palestinians have to go to Ramullah to find work, which does not pay as well, so they have trouble paying their Jerusalem rent. If they move out or do not visit much, as checked up on by their electricity, water or phone location records, their houses are ‘unoccupied’ and given away. The bottom line of all this is the Palestinians being gradually squeezed out of the West Bank and Jerusalem. If they ever leave Israel they may not be permitted to return.
The settlements on the West Bank are now in a pattern on the high ground linked by roads so that the Israeli military can support any settlers troubled by the Palestinian farmers, now defined as terrorists, who try to defend their land. In Jerusalem, Jews own the West side and now take houses in Palestinian East Jerusalem, house by house.
As all this has gone on incrementally for years, Israel has pretended that it has a ‘two state’ solution, as it put the 700,000 settlers in the area that could or would have been Palestine. In other words it was happy to pretend that there was a ‘two state solution’ as they systematically made it impossible.
Hamas recognised that this was a nonsense. They won the elections in Gaza because the Palestinian Authority was corrupted by land deals. Israel bullied Jordan and Egypt into compliance then started making wider friendships with Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia and started to talk about ‘regional solutions’ to the Palestinian problem. It looked like the ‘solution’ for them was to go as refugees to anywhere but Israel. This is why Hamas struck. Naturally everyone is upset about this, but no one suggests what they might have done as an alternative. Perhaps just attack an Israeli military base?
Now Israel has struck back. It is hard to see that flattening Gaza is a rational response. Netanyahu, being personally corrupt, has retained power by sharing it with evermore dodgy coalition partners, from the fanatical Zionists to the fanatical Right wing. He has also tried to undermine the judiciary to avoid personal corruption charges. Now the much-vaunted Israeli spy network has been caught off guard, probably because they relied on AI tracking of Palestinian communications networks, which Hamas, sensibly enough, decided not to use. Netanyahu, who was in trouble already and will now be blamed for the Hamas success has hit back to be the strong man. But simply flattening a city with all its civilians may be revenge, but it is not a solution. He has flattened the Northern half of Gaza, while telling the citizens to move to the South, but cut off all food, water and medical supplies. Now he is bombing the South as well.
Where to from here? Israel seems more bent on revenge than having any rational policy. The other possibility is that they will make Gaza unlivable, and force the US and UIN to allow the Gazans into Egypt as refugees, which will start as temporary and become permanent as Israel does not rebuild Gaza, or let them return to Israel. Israel will be pariahs, but they are already, and the refugees will be someone else’s problem. Numerically there are as many Palestinians as Jews and even if the Gaza population were moved, the West Bank Palestinians would remain.
The other alternatives are:
- The ‘Two State solution, with Israel either moving its 700,000 settlers from the West Bank, or getting them to live with the Palestinians sharing the land that they once owned or
- Israel grants equal rights to Palestinians within Israel, admits it was an apartheid state and has a reconciliation process based on the South African model.
In that the ‘Two State Solution’ and the ‘Apartheid reconciliation’ model both look absolutely impossible with the bloodshed, killing and bitterness that has been rekindled as never before, it is very hard to see a solution. Yet there are still those who want Israel forced into a ‘Two State solution’ by sanctions, as seen below: