Once again, for 11 days during the month of May 2021, the sempiternal Israeli-Palestinian conflict has erupted in flames. According to many sources, at least 254 Palestinians were killed in this round, including dozens of children, and close to 2000 civilians have been wounded.
The Palestinian Hamas government launched about 3,300 rockets over Israel; 13 people were killed in Israel by those rockets.
Blaming equally “both sides” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bloodshed—like many are doing—is no less deceptive than Donald Trump blaming “both sides” at Charlottesville. On one side you have the Palestinian people resisting their oppression, and on the other side, a powerful State using overwhelming bloody and deadly force to maintain the status quo.
The fundamental injustice is the Israeli occupation and the repressive, debasing treatment to which the Palestinians are subjected on a permanent basis. At the same time, we recognize and lament as well the collateral victimization of Israeli citizens, who are fed the lie, since 1948, that their security and wellbeing depend on the subjugation and oppression of another people. Which makes it all the more imperative for all the peoples and powers of the world, including the Israeli citizens themselves, to demand the end of the occupation. Equally urgent is the call to end of the episodic, recurrent massacres of Palestinians every two or three years, and the bloody destruction of Gaza and the West Bank that ensues.
Some of us remember the many years when only three nations in the world continually voted together against almost every resolution or decision proposed by the United Nations Security Council or General Assembly about Palestinian and African human rights: the United States, Israel and South Africa under Apartheid. The latter is no longer in existence, but the unconditional, instinctive support of the United States for Israeli atrocities remains unchanged. That is the aberration that needs to be changed today.
These words from Tanbou’s July 2014 editorial are still relevant: “Killings and destruction have barely managed to maintain the status quo; they don’t bring security. The best rampart for Israel’s security is the establishment of a two-state solution that respects international law and the Palestinian people’s national rights, one which provides redress for injustice, and fosters a politics of mutual respect and good-neighborly coexistence.”
May all consciences of the world contribute toward the search for peace and for equitable coexistence between the two peoples.