Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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LOS ANGELES, July 21, 2014 — The murder of three Israeli teenagers by Palestinians was the spark that ignited the latest round of missile and air strikes between Israel and Hamas. That led to the latest Israeli Defense Forces incursion into the Gaza Strip.

The phrase “cycle of violence” is often used to describe the conflict, but it is a totally inaccurate description of events. Cycle of violence creates a false moral equivalence that lays equal culpability to both parties.

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Both the Israelis and Palestinians claim the same land as their own. The archaeological and historical evidence shows that Jews did live in the lands of Judea and Samaria two-to-three thousand years ago. While Arabs dreamed of a land called Palestine, that has always been an aspirational goal rather than a real state.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) came into existence in 1964. In 1970, Jordan’s government murdered 10,000 fellow Arabs who were trying to topple it.

Many of the surviving rebels fled Jordan. Other rebels fled Egypt. Unable to return to Jordan and Egypt, they needed a new home. Led by Egyptian Yasir Arafat, they declared themselves Palestinians and the land of Israel their homeland of Palestine. There is no evidence of their existence before this time.

With this in mind, claims and terminologies used by the “Palestinians” should be taken with a grain of salt.

Cycle of violence: Every single round of violence has been started by the Palestinians.

The Israelis have responded, but never instigated the fighting. Palestinians believe that Israelis stole their land, so Palestinians wage a fight to the death to get the land. By referring to a cycle of violence, the Palestinians can avoid being blamed for wanting, supporting, and insisting on escalating the violence.

Illegal Occupation:

Palestinians constantly refer to the “occupied territories” and the “illegal occupation of Palestine.” What they never do is define the precise land that is being occupied. This ambiguity is deliberate.

READ ALSO: Three more Jews murdered: Should Palestinians exist?

While Palestinians bemoan their miserable circumstances in Gaza, this area alone cannot be considered occupied by anybody except the Palestinians themselves. In 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon uprooted all 7,500 Jews living there. Those Jews were relocated to the West Bank and Israel proper.

Since then, not a single Jew has lived in Gaza.

Even if one believed the idea that the Palestinians only were focused on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the declaration of occupied territories is not accepted by both parties. Israel refers to those lands as “disputed territories.” Israel won them in the 1967 Six Day War, a war initiated by Egyptian President Nasser and his partners in Syria, who planned to “drive the Jews into the sea.”

Nations who win wars usually get to keep the land. In that war, Israel took the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan heights. It deliberately chose not to annex those lands in the hopes that eventually returning them to the Arabs would bring about peace. It returned Sinai and the Golan, remaining only in Gaza and the West Bank. Even if Israel never returns these lands, they were obtained legally.

The charge of illegal occupation goes beyond the disputed territories.

One Palestinian chant is “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” That area compromises all of the land of Israel.

Palestinians see Palestine as the West Bank, Gaza Strip and entire area comprising Israel proper. A refrain of Arabs and Muslims from modern Israel’s creation in 1948 has been to “drive the Jews into the sea.” This means wipe them off of the map and forever out of existence. Israel was born on May 15, 1948, with much less land than it occupies today. On May 16, the surrounding Arab nations attacked, unable to accept so much as an acre of Palestine under Jewish rule.

Checkpoints and Blockades: 

While there are no Jews remaining in Gaza, Palestinians claim that they still have no autonomy. They are subjected to humiliating checkpoints; they face blockades enforced by the Israeli Defense Forces. These restrictions make it difficult for Palestinians to conduct simple tasks like go to work and engage in commerce.

What the Palestinians do not acknowledge is the reason for these restrictions. Palestinian terrorist groups including Hamas keep trying to murder Israelis. The restrictions have drastically reduced Palestinian suicide bombings and the smuggling of weapons. Every time the Israelis ease the restrictions, Palestinians take the opportunity to arm and terrorize.

The fact that most Palestinians are not terrorists is irrelevant. The restrictions are necessary to save Israeli lives.

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