During class this week a majority of the discussion has been centered around the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and what the average person on both sides faces on a daily basis. After reading the readings this week as well as watching the movie I was interested and decided to look more into what is going on. It is clear the Hamas is very much against the Israeli people and it would appear that they would like nothing more than to rid the state of the Israeli people. And on the other side the Israeli government in turn do not like the Hamas and demand that they would recognize the Israeli state. When looking at the news this is the main message that is told over and over again and you don’t see much more. To make things worse some of the prominent Palestinians in Israeli jails have been going on hunger strikes which has in turn caused the Palestinian people to participate in more demonstrations. I believe that although things are looking and have looked bleak for a good amount of time if you look hard enough there is silver lining to some of the current events that we have seen on the national news in the last couple of months.
It appears that through the brokering of Egypt these two sides that have hated each other for years appears to be participating in a series of negotiations with each other through a third party. It seems that in these quiet talks that have been taking place Israeli officers have been talking to Egyptian counter-parts while at the same time the Egyptians have been talking to the Hamas leaders. This is a good start and in a very clever way because it allows for each side to be heard by the other but to not make anything official and to just see what the other side is going to do. This is a very unusual way of discussing peace but maybe that is what is needed in this situation. These two sides have been fighting each other for so long that it might take an unconventional strategy in order to better the conflict that has been raging. While this is very far from being even a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel it does show that these two sides are trying and thus gives hope to people that have been living without hope of a change for a good amount of time
Another newer situation, which has developed recently, was that the Saudis reminded a diplomat that peace offer of King Abdullah was still on the table. The peace offer that is being referred here is also known as the Arab Peace Initiative, which was initially proposed in 2002 and would allow if completed the recognition of over 50 states of Israel. This peace initiative calls for the complete withdrawal from the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, as well as “just settlement” of the Palestinian refugees following UN resolution 194 which calls for the Palestinian people’s right to return to their homes or be compensated for what their home. This initiative has been brought up briefly since then every once in a while but each time is overshadowed by something else. However, as time has gone by more and more people have looked at this initiative and put more thought into it before outright rejected it. With both the Israeli government and that of Hamas very much divided on their opinion of the initiative. The latest news on this is that the US is thought to have added to this at least in some part to its Middle East policy. So while things are still looking bleak there at least are proposal for peace being created that can be lead to real peace with time and effort on all sides.
The most recent event that has happened, that should give a bit of hope to the beginning of an end to the conflict is Obama’s visit to Israel. In which one of his main messages was that the Israelis need to put themselves in the Palestinian’s shoes. That they need to realize that they are not the victims in this conflict and that their country has devastated the Palestinian agriculture since they have been there. This is a good thing because it goes to show that while the United States is still a firm ally of Israel, the United States also realizes that there needs to be lasting peace in this region. This will not happen overnight or anytime soon but hopefully with time and patience and more people getting involved that through working together there can be some sort of end to this conflict that is alright for all involved.