The conflict is raging, people are being killed and lives ruined, but how can we understand what is going on?
The conflict between the Israelites and the Arabs is not new, it can be traced back generations, however this new incarnation is the most deadly yet, with the advance of modern technology the scale of death and destruction is overwhelming, it causes emotional responses in even the most hardened of individuals. The issue remains though, can we put our emotions to one side and try to understand the conflict rationally?
The first point is to understand that there is a scale to good and bad, so when someone harms another person it is bad, and if they harm them in a more severe way, that is worse. So if someone threw a stone at a man and it just missed him, it would not be a just response for that man to then kill the stone throwers family in retribution, yet that is exactly what is happening to the Palestinians. In this conflict Hamas are firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and that has to be wrong, if a young Israeli child is killed that has to be unjust. However Israel’s actions are disproportionate and in fact not even relevant to the rocket attacks, the chain of cause and effect is so long and twisted many have given up and set their perspective to include only the last year or so. For those willing to wind the clock back far enough, they will have the luxury of understanding that the Palestinians have been oppressed since the initial occupation of their land, and therefore all subsequent actions are on the basis that they are trying to liberate their homes and allow their refugees to return.
Therefore the underlying issue is Israel’s apartheid approach to the Palestinians, they fence them in and treat them like animals, then recoil in shock when they are bitten, except the Palestinians are not animals, but human beings, and the way they are treated is polarising global opinions. No where more so than in the Muslim community where Israel’s actions are fuelling the rage that is not just aimed at Israel, but at the deafening silence from the leaders of Muslim nations and wider Arab world. So when the media mention that Israel has a right to defend itself, we should ask, did Nazi Germany have the same right? Or how about the Native Americans? It seems this selective understanding of self defence is neither logical, nor will it stand the test of time, as with Israel, history will testify that they were in the wrong, the media bias never lasts, the truth will be known in the end.