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article imageOp-Ed: The correct narrative For the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Sami Zaatari     Nov 19, 2012 in Politics
Gaza - Throughout the latest bout of violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a narrative has been put forward by the Israelis, a narrative backed and supported by several western governments.
This narrative given by the Israelis paints a picture in which Israel is simply defending itself against constant rocket fire from Gaza militants, as many Israeli politicians often ask, “what would you do if it was your city”?
But is this the actual ground reality of what’s happening? Now it is true, rocket attacks are being fired into Israel, but the question is why are those rockets being fired? And this question leads us to the main point, which is the occupation, and it is the occupation that is the prime cause and motivation behind Palestinian attacks towards Israel.
So when Israeli politicians try to compare their situation to that of other countries, the analogy is false, because most other countries are not militarily occupying another nation, Israel on the other hand is militarily occupying a nation. When it comes to the Gaza Strip, Israel has enforced a major blockade against the coastal strip, Israel seals off the sea, the air, and enforces a very strict border closure directing what can go into Gaza.
As a result of this tight blockade, the Gaza Strip has suffered immensely, and the economic situation has deteriorated sending a large percentage of the population into poverty. And it is precisely these acts by Israel that drives many in the Gaza Strip towards violence, such as lobbing rockets towards Israel. The occupation is the root cause of the violence, whether one views the violence as morally justified, or morally unjustified, it is the occupation that is driving Palestinians to commit such acts, and one has to take that into account.
The solution to this conflict must be a diplomatic drive to end the occupation once and for all, the latest conflict we have seen has been nothing new, or unique. Short-term ceasefires that fail to solve the underlying issues, such as an end to the blockade, and an end to the occupation in general, do nothing to bring a long-term peaceful situation for both the Palestinians and Israelis.
Bringing an end to the occupation is in everybody’s interests, not just for the Palestinians, but for the Israelis as well. If the root cause of the violence were down to the occupation, then the obvious logical step to take in trying to end the violence would be an end the occupation. Bringing more violence, such as Operation Pillar of Defense is not a long-term solution to protect Israel’s national security interests. We were in a similar situation just a few years ago in Operation Cast Lead, which was deadlier than what we have currently seen, yet the rocket attacks continue towards Israel, so from a military and security stand point, Israel’s previous operation has failed and hasn’t made Israel any safer. If anything Israel’s latest onslaught is bound to breed more Palestinian anger and contempt, thus continuing the cycle of violence which doesn’t benefit Israel’s national security interest.
Israel’s main concern is to end the rocket fire on and security threat to their community. The best way to solve and address the Israeli concern, would be for the Israelis to sit down and reach a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians once and for all. This should be the main international diplomacy drive to end the conflict, and until there is a serious and sustained diplomacy drive in that direction, the violence we see will inevitably continue hurting both Palestinians and Israelis.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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