The Conflict Between Israel and the Hamas will Have No Winners

I can't imagine living in a situation where missiles are being fired in my direction on a regular basis.  This is how the people of Ashkelon, Israel feel as they are targeted continuously by missiles fired from Gaza City.  Israel has installed an Iron Dome system that can explode most of the missiles heading toward this city but the unease and tension felt by the residents is real.  People are poised to evacuate to bomb shelters and underground areas.  I do not think it is a safe situation in which to raise a family or try to make long term plans.

The people that live in Gaza are being subjected to a return of fire from Israel as I write.  Gaza City has a population of 1.5 million people in an area about the size of Detroit.  In 2010 it had an unemployment rate of approximately 40%.  The city is 99% Muslim and the Hamas Party is taking the revolutions initiated during the Arab Spring to new heights.  The casualties suffered by innocent civilians are the real tragedies in this present conflict.  As a leader of this group, I would have some reservations about subjecting citizens to an expected onslaught of return fire from Israel.  I am trying to thik of the expected outcome of continuing to fire missiles at Israel.

During 2009, a three week offensive by the Israeli Army killed at least 1,400 Palestinians.  Once again the fighting was precipitated by missiles being fired into Israel by the Hamas Party.  It is three years later and the stakes have changed dramatically.  A newly elected government in Egypt is sympathetic to the cause of the Hamas Party.  Their have been some recent skirmishes between Israeli forces and Syrian rebels.  Many in the Arab world are looking at Israel as the aggressors in this situation.  A cease fire has been proclaimed by Egyptian President Morsi but the fighting continues.

Israel was formed in 1948.  It is still a very young nation.  How did we get into this present situation of back and forth violence?  Some facts follow:

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the early 20th century.[2] The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between the Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman and then British rule. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements,[3] Palestinian freedom of movement[4] and finding a resolution to the refugee question. The violence resulting from the conflict has prompted international actions, as well as other security and human rights concerns, both within and between both sides, and internationally. In addition, the violence has curbed expansion of tourism in the region, which is full of historic and religious sites that are of interest to many people around the world.

One of the goals that I would aspire to in trying to resolve this conflict is that of mutual recognition.  The Palestinians have rights and a need to express them.  The citizens of Israel have rights also and the need to protect its citizens and borders.  There is lingering tension because the Palestinians feel that Israel was formed on land that belonged to them.  They are in constant search of land to call their own.  Israel has built settlements in disputed territories and this also causes angst among the Palestinian citizens:

Israel has had its settlement growth and policies in the Palestinian territories harshly criticized by the European Union citing it as increasingly undermining the viability of the two-state solution and running in contrary to the Israeli-stated commitment to resume negotiations.[31][32] In December 2011, all the regional groupings on the UN Security Council named continued settlement construction and settler violence as disruptive to the resumption of talks, a call viewed by Russia as a "historic step".

Israel has become home to Jews from throughout the diaspora.  They have welcomed Ethiopians and Americans who have emigrated there to become Hebrews.  Subsequently, they have had to build housing for their new citizens.  Some terrible attacks have occurred on settlers and Israel scaled back some of its planned construction.  Israel is bordered by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.  Most of these nations are sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians.  Almost none of them would settle for their citizens being fired upon by an aggressive neighbor.

I hope that the present conflict can be resolved with a minimum of casualties.  There has been tremendous bloodshed to this point in the formation and history of Israel.  It has a right to exist and to live in peace.  I do not foresee a situation like when the wall was torn down between East and West Germany.  Peace will have to be negotiated and citizens should live with the results of the negotiations.  I hope something can be done to address the high level of unemployment in Gaza city.  Almost any revolutionary talk, regardless of religion, will have a captive audience with nothing else productive to do. 

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