The Palestine Israel Problem

I wish I understood more about the history and root causes of the situation in Palestine and Israel. It is a huge understatement to say it is complicated, but it is complicated. There are factions and interests both local and global. There is history and neither France nor the UK comes out well.

I am not going to give a history lesson. I can’t. I don’t understand it at all. There are plenty of articles and libraries you can go to if that is what you want.

Israel feels under threat and I understand that, but nor is an average stateless Palestinian well placed. When I was in Dubai I met many and over a shisha, they would try to explain their plight. I tried but could never fully understand what it felt like not to have a home country. I can travel on my British passport almost wherever I want. Try and do that when you only have Palestinian papers.

Yesterday 58 Palestinians were killed in Gaza while Israel says it was defending its borders, but you need two sides to fight a war and the PLA and Hezbollah, based in Lebanon are not without fault. They have fuelled the conflict.

Surveys suggest that there is support from the populations in both Israel and Palestine for a two-state solution. It seems obvious but as ever politicians are being held hostage by their own ambitions and fringe supporters.

There was a time when America might have been ‘an honest broker’ between the warring parties, but that is now past. The USA, in moving its Embassy to Jerusalem has shown bias and allegiance.

And there lies the problem. We walk on eggshells when we criticise Israel and run the risk of being labelled antisemitic. We have to get over that, but we can’t. Jerusalem is not just the centre of Israel but a global religious centre. It has importance for all faiths. Israel cannot be allowed to claim it for just the Jewish faith.

First and foremost, this is a humanitarian disaster of potentially epic proportions. With the increasing problem in Iraq and Iran, the focus of the Middle East wars will move away from Syria, widen and has all the signs of becoming global.

I am not going to take sides. Wherever you look there is fault. While I carry on in my cosy, insulated life, today, I feel sad.

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