“A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”
Well, with 697 dead, 3,085 wounded on the Palestinian side and 10 dead, 187 wounded on the Israeli side, it is about time for the world community to take action. The French and Egyptian brokered cease fire is long over due , and the lack of American action coupled with President Bush’s attitude of , let Obama take care of it, oh, my friend these are dark days for the USA. ( see Huffington Post – Matthew Lee article)
This conflict is the keystone to middle east unrest, it feeds the sense of injustice that many people in the area have experienced including Israelis.
Neve Gordon author of “Israel’s Occupation ” spoke on Democracy Now ( streaming on the web) the other night and stated that the root of the problem, and I am paraphrasing, is not the rocket fire from Palestine (as Condeliza Rice stated the other day) but the conditions that the Palestinians have been living under since Israel left Gaza.
Lack of food stuffs, electricity and water, being unable to move freely in their territories , “they are in a prison” as Mr Gordon said.
Now to the solution: neither rocket fire nor trying to imprison an occupied population then bombing them is productive , these two neighbors need a two state solution as Mr Gordon said.
When President-elect Obama takes office I believe he will begin to take steps towards that goal but he is going to need all the help he can get. If we really want this world to change “We The People”, all of us, need to think of new ideas to augment and jump start the political processes which currently exist.
One idea that I had was to convene a peace conference on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict ( perhaps at the Carter Library) but the participants would consist of soldiers who have been in conflicts from all over the world, who better to understand the limitations of war, their ground experience would be vital to synthesizing fresh solutions .
There are already several organized groupings of soldiers who are working for peace ( including one Israeli and Palestinian soldiers for peace) , www.combatantsforpeace.org ) that could be invited.
Peace is around the corner , all we have to do is look for it!
(Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions )
Note: Neve Gordon is Chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.