For decades, conspiracy theorists warned of another World War brewing. What appeared to be alarmist rhetoric is trending towards immutable truth as 2023 winds down.
If you live off-grid, you know that the Middle East is currently a powder keg. Israel and Palestine are in the midst of a bloody battle which is nothing new for that region. However, the events on the morning of October 7th hint at something far more dire.
To say the case between Israel and Palestine is a tricky one is a gross understatement. Both sides despise the other and their hatred stems from ideological differences that would take generations to eradicate.
For centuries, the Middle East has been a contentious part of the world due to the mosaic of ethnicities present. One look at the city of Jerusalem highlights the complexity of the region. Different religions intersect with the hope of peaceful coexistence.
HAMAS ATTACK AND ITS TRICKLE EFFECT
When Hamas crossed into Israel early on October 7th, 2023, a clear message was sent to the nation of Israel.
After decades of an expansionist program that uprooted tens of thousands of Palestinians, effectively moving them into an open-air concentration camp, the militant group said ‘enough’.
Worth noting that I am a racialized minority who knows what war can do to innocent lives. My family fled Lebanon in the early 1980s due to a bloody conflict. I have close friends who are both Jews and Arabs.
Translation; I have no allegiance when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As with most things, I am a centrist and approach global events with objectivity. Walk through the forest and all you see are trees. Fly above the canopy like a drone, and you see things for what they really are.
Therefore, to evolve and make gains, sometimes we need to hold uncomfortable conversations. Were Hamas’ actions on the morning of October 7th justified? Of course not. Murdering innocent Israelis is barbarism any way one cuts it.
Yet, it is important to ask what contributing factors drove Hamas to commit such heinous acts. By doing so, we better understand all sides to any given conflict.
ISRAEL SAYS JUMP, AMERICA SAYS ‘HOW HIGH’
It’s no secret the United States is Israel’s staunchest supporter. For over seventy years, the U.S. has clearly aligned itself with Israel. Much of this is due to the strong Jewish lobby in D.C.
Jews are a model minority who attain positions of influence through intelligence and hard work. Jews draft legislation designed to preserve Israel and its influence in the Middle East. In short, they do their part to protect the state of Israel from its Arab neighbors.
Until recently, it’s proven to be a mutually beneficial relationship for both sides. Israel has the backing of a global power with unrivaled military prowess. The U.S. gets a satellite nation in Israel to patrol potential threats in the region like Iran and Turkey.
When those with influence attain positions of power, it’s only natural to assume they will push their own interests. The same exact scenario would likely occur if Palestinians had more power in the Western world. Of course, this is merely hypothetical. Palestinians are dealing with far greater stakes as their struggle to exist under Israeli occupation continues.
THE TELEPHONE GAME: TWO DIFFERING NARRATIVES
Ask a Jew or Palestinian to clearly define the hostility between them, and chances are you will hear two starkly different narratives. This happens because emotionality clouds judgment and makes the easily discernible less so.
With detachment and objectivity, we better comprehend the state of the world. Perhaps one latent positive from this latest unrest in Gaza is that for the first time in years, we are hearing from both sides of the conflict.
ISRAEL, THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’
Technology is transforming the state of the world minute by minute, second by second.
For much of the 20th Century, information was controlled by the mainstream media. Presidents were elected, wars were waged, and even military coups were aided by the news those in power pumped out.
Control what people see, and you indirectly control how they think. Control how they think, and you shape their behavior.
The internet and smartphones by proxy, turned the game upside down. With a click of a button, a Palestinian in an outdoor internment camp can document the atrocities the Israeli government is committing in real-time. In addition, they can upload the footage to any number of social media sites for the world to see.
This phenomenon, particularly on the Chinese-created app TikTok, is exactly what’s happening with the war in Gaza.
An entire generation is demanding change and calling Israel to task for how they’ve treated the Palestinian people. They say video never lies; the thousands of videos emerging out of Gaza are showing the world what Israel has been doing for decades.
PLENTY TO CAST THE BLAME ON
Both sides are culpable and have blood on their hands.
Palestinians and much of the Arab world scoff at the notion of Israeli statehood. They speak openly about ridding the world of Jews, not only in the Middle East but in all corners of the globe. This is an inhumane worldview, and there is no place for it in modern society.
Consequently, the Israelis aren’t without their own warts. Every decade, Israeli settlers take more land from the native Palestinians while Europe and the West say nothing. Gaza and parts of the West Bank have effectively been Apartheid states.
Yet, a glimmer of hope. Cries for a cease-fire for the betterment of humanity grow louder daily. War-mongering hawks like Netanyahu are relics of a time long passed whose time under the sun is over.
Bibi and company sense this, hence their last-ditch efforts at a full-scale occupation of Gaza.
COUNTERPOINT: DON’T BE FOOLED, IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT LAND
Think of this conflict like the board game Risk.
The name of the game is expanding one’s own territory at the expense of a weaker nation. It’s a phenomenon as old as time and Israelis aren’t the only ones playing it.
Put a microscope on any conflict throughout the world and the root of it is land. Many will posit religion, ideological differences, or resources as their etymology. Such contentions, though sincere, are foolhardy.
The most valuable commodity in the world = land, even more so than information. Any conflict involving two nations always involves the quest for it [land].
Israel’s response post-October 7th is no different. On the surface, Israelis will say this is about protecting themselves from evildoers. They will go on for hours about how a terror organization like Hamas will cease at nothing to strike terror inside their borders.
On the surface, this sounds plausible enough. However, look at what they do and not what they say and their plans will reveal themselves.
Israel has their eyes set on the whole of Gaza. Its central aim is to rid all Palestinians from Gaza to expand their territory. There is a bevy of resources in Gaza that most media outlets seldom mention.
Hamas set the wheels in motion that fateful morning in October but Netanyahu and company are the ones driving the bus. Look for who benefits from any given circumstance, and you will always uncover what’s really in play.
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE: ALLIANCES
As the conflict in Gaza rages on, heavy hitters throughout the world have drawn their line in the sand.
Turkey’s controversial President Erdogan has been highly vocal about his criticism of Israel. Erdogan has gone on record referring to Hamas as “liberators” despite their grizzly acts. Turkey was one of the first countries to send aid to Gaza by way of planes filled with medical supplies, food, fuel, and other vital supplies (Gaza is currently suffering from an Israeli blockade).
Turkey’s military might and influence in the region are overlooked by many. Most Western eyes focus on Iran as the true player in the region but in recent years, Turkey has closed the gap. Surprisingly, The Turkish Armed Forces is the second largest standing military force in NATO, after the U.S. Armed Forces.
The list of nations who have been vocal in support of Palestine and Gaza include Russia, China, Canada (shockingly), Egypt, Iran, Qatar, and Sudan.
Those who support Israel’s right to defend themselves include the UK, Australia, France, Norway, Austria, and of course, the U.S.
When a clear divide like this occurs, a global war with ramifications from coast to coast and ocean to ocean is on the horizon. Turbulent times lie ahead. Heed this as a tempered warning and not the alarmist ramblings of a basement-dwelling neophyte.
Should Israel have the right to exist and defend itself from terror? Yes. Does Israel have to redefine how it treats the Palestinian people? Yes. The issue is not binary.
Israel can’t continue on the path it’s been on for the better part of fifty years if it wishes to exist harmoniously in a predominately Arab world.
Compounding Israel’s dilemma is the tremendous wealth Islamic states have amassed in recent history. With such wealth comes influence and a seat at a table that wasn’t there as recently as half a century ago.
The world is plastic and ever-changing. If Israel wishes to live harmoniously in a hostile part of the world, it too must change. It can no longer treat the Palestinian people the way it has for the better part of half a century.
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