The official position taken by many governments is that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict will bring peace.
Immigration into Palestine had been occurring for decades, having been prompted by the formation of the Modern Zionist movement in 1897 as a result of endemic antisemitism in Europe and the US. Israel was created by outside powers trying to prevent an influx of Jewish refugees into their own countries, perhaps because of that antisemitism despite their opposition to the Nazis.
However, just dumping settlers into a land already occupied by others, and giving them power to enforce their own religion is just asking for problems, especially since the land in question was already a mecca for multiple faiths. But this reflects the simplistic colonial arrogance of those powers at the time. The Arab nations were already distrustful of the British since being fed false promises by T E Lawrence (of Lawrence of Arabia fame) about being helped to gain full independence from occupying Ottoman forces.
Since then, there has been a systemic segregation of Palestinians out of full equality, buoyed by the support of the West as a bulwark against Arab interests. Similarly, the Palestinians have been seemingly supported by the Arab neighbours, but really left out to dry to further their own resentment and opposition to Israel. Amid all this false diplomacy, supposedly for their benefit, the Palestinians have become the focus for conflicting economic and political interests in the middle east and beyond.
Israel is the poster child of a repressed and persecuted peoples becoming triumphant, by becoming an economic powerhouse. But the bullied has grown into a bully, leveraging their own suffering to justify their abuse of its power, cheered on by those who see it as a champion of their own interests in the region.
Displacing a peoples to some undesirable land, moving them again when that land does become desirable, reducing their freedoms, and systemically overreacting when some actively resist, is apartheid. The oppressors have become like the Nazis that oppressed their peoples a few decades before. Unfortunately, separating foes is not a solution, but just a delay until the real problems are dealt with. Meanwhile, hostilities boil over.
Israel supported the precursor to Hamas to counter the growing influence of the more secular and less militant Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Their idea was and is that the militancy of Hamas would remind Israeli citizens of why Palestinians had to be kept under control, even if it meant that the occasional Hamas rocket would kill citizens. Such is the psychopathic reasoning behind keeping the Gaza strip as a prison and hotbed of Hamas resentment and militancy, and Israeli citizens in fear. Those decisions have been exacerbated by recent shifts right, leading to the latest outbreak.
While not endorsing the actions of Hamas on , if people are oppressed, publicly and privately humiliated, with their suffering and pleas for justice ignored for years, decades or even centuries, when they have the opportunity to be heard, outside of the institutions that should have protected them, they will take it, especially when they have the safety of numbers.
Their voices will be angry, their actions sometimes reprehensible, but if we dismiss them, without remediating the gross injustices that have been deliberately and repeatedly directed towards them, their only recourse is use the weapons – speech, injustice, or even guns – that have been used against them, thereby perpetuating the cycle of injustice, with which we will sow the seeds of our own demise. Until justice, fairness and respect is universal, through sustained remedial actions and repealing of discriminatory laws, we cannot expect people to behave with civility.
Unfortunately, the conflation of Jewishness with Zionism by the Anti-Defamation League and other Israeli-backed organisations in an effort to browbeat and silence Israel's critics is only serving to bolster antisemitism because it implies that all Jews support what Israel is doing. Such conflations can lead to harm against Jews around the world that don't even support Zionism or any Jewish ethno-state.
But that may be Israel's goal, as it can serve to create fear in those Jews and generate more support among them for its government. Israel is using world Jewry as a shield, and putting them at risk, in the same way they claim Hamas is using Palestinians as a shield, and putting them at risk. Such is the manipulative psychopathy at play here.
Many try to frame that peace in Israel only involves having a sort of permanent ceasefire, but not really changing anything about the living conditions and oppression practiced by Israel that has herded Palestinians into horrible living conditions shared with the only political gang that is Hamas. If really wanting to deal with Hamas, let all the Palestinians out to have an equal share in the governing and prosperity of Israel, including reparations so they can rebuild the homes that they were forced from. Then the only ones left to deal with will be Hamas. Freedom has to happen first.
But then, the Israeli propaganda would have us believe that all Palestinians in Gaza support Hamas, so that justifies all Palestinians being treated as combatants, with their genocide the obvious solution. Lumping everyone into being the enemy is a common trope used to justify oppression, but rarely is support so universal. There is democracy for Jewish Israelis, and largely they chose those who were clearly intent on oppressing Palestinians, whereas when Palestinians voted for Hamas in 2006, they were generally hoping for less corruption and more effective advocacy. Support has dropped since.
Peace only exists when there is real peace, with trust and respect for others to live their own lives without undue interference. It does not happen when the situation is overloaded with others' political and economic expectations. Religion is just the excuse for these real drivers of the interference, as it is the focus to rally voters around. Israel has the chance to be a real poster child for how peoples of varying beliefs can live together, but to do that it has to shrug off being influenced by internal and external partisan interests that work against the best interests of its own peoples.
It is time to stop pretending that segregation is in the best interests of anybody except those wanting to exploit disenfranchisement for their own gain. Peace requires those who hold power to have peace in their hearts, and be willing to share that peace with all. One nation, many peoples, many beliefs, living in tolerance and trust. That is peace. It takes real courage to make that happen.
There are two camps of thinking as to why Israel is supported by the US no matter what they do.
Some claim that there is a powerful Zionist lobby in the US driving US policy on Israel. While such a lobby could be powerful in Germany who is responsible for the attempted eradication of Jews, any lobby in the US would not seem to really have that moral power in the US. The main industries in the US that have had a significant Jewish presence are money management and entertainment, reflecting the historical prejudices in Europe and the US that excluded Jews from any other. Even then, both those industries have since gone global with less Jewish domination at the top.
There is a vocal but large minority of Christian evangelicals that want US support for Israel, but not for Jews to be powerful. Israel features in their supposed future as their ultimate victory with the second coming of Christ, which will require Jews to convert. While that lobby has some whacky ideas, even they would not want an Israel that is so powerful that it could severely disrupt their endgame.
That leaves geopolitics and US empirical domination of global power structures as the possible main driver. Certainly, the US was built upon Western European values, and it has risen to be the principal global exemplar of those values. It has a history of being proactive in creating discontent in countries that choose to make their own way, and then installing dictatorships to ensure US hegemony. It has the support of those Western European countries that have been colonial exploiters and oppressors, and still exploit their former colonies economically.
The US and other Western powers want a pro-Western state in the middle of the Middle East, as it suits their political and economic interests, mainly in breaking up having a solid land-connected Arab block. Also, having Israel behaving badly towards Palestinians is a distraction from themselves. They don't really care about Israel or any people there. As senator Joe Biden said in 1986,
It is the best $3 billion investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.
With Netanyahu invoking a biblical hero, but an obviously genocidal psychopath, in their campaign to obliterate Palestinians, the world is now seeing how dysfunctional the whole situation is. The plan was never for peace, but to keep Arab states under Western control, especially once oil was discovered everywhere there, as it spurred Western industrial development. With Western leaders doubling down on unconditional support of Israel, they are rightly being widely condemned by their own citizens, who will hopefully examine their other policies more closely for the damage they really do.
Israel has been holding the Palestinian territories as a bulwark against threats from its neighbours, but can that really save them?
Israel has concentrated its principal cities along its Mediterranean coast, but the narrowest part is only 15km wide. All those cities sit on a plain, overlooked by the hills of the Palestinian territories, hence why it needs them for its supposed protection. The problem is that it can only keep them and maintain a Jewish ethno-state by suppressing Palestinians and taking over their territories by allowing Jewish settlers into them, and preventing any challenges to them. The Palestinian population is growing much faster, so the situation is a race for control.
Any attempt to rapidly reduce the Palestinian population, by forcing them to take refuge in other countries, or just killing them, both of which are taking place in Gaza right now, will likely generate more than just mild condemnation from other countries, but also a growing number of Israeli citizens who can see that it is just plain genocide, and so makes them complicit in war crimes, much like the people of Germany were complicit in the Nazi attempts at extermination of Jews. The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is morphing into a Nazi-like state, as previously predicted.
While genocide in Africa and elsewhere has largely passed under the Western press radar, there is so much publicity about Israel's crimes from social media that they cannot cover up, at least not without totally destroying any credibility they have. Their economic viability will dictate that they have to report the situation in Israel more accurately to their Western audiences. Citizens in Western-leaning countries are already engaged in the largest demonstrations that many have ever seen, and it will not take long for politicians to shift their rhetoric, even if only to keep their positions.
While Israeli lobbyists have been successful in getting politicians and even legislation to oppose opposition to Israel and divestment of money from their industries, it cannot stop the ever-increasing evidence of genocide that people are seeing. If it continues, Israel will begin to suffer popularly-supported sanctions and divestment that will hurt its ability to resist being forced to capitulate, perhaps in ways that will definitely not be on its own terms.
Israelis now have an opportunity to keep trying to pretend that they can have their cake and eat it too, while turning into the monsters that they feign to oppose, or step back from a precipice of its own making and choose a peace that will require becoming a true democracy for all people, including all Palestinians. That will be hard after decades of oppression, abuse, mass expulsions and killings, but it is the only way forward that allows there to be a nation with any Jews in the Middle East. The alternative is eventually an exodus of Jews like what they are now forcing on the Gazans.
Israel, as the apartheid genocidal state that it is should cease to exist if there is to be peace. In its place there needs to be a secular multicultural state that treats all people within its borders with respect, and favours no particular ethnicity in granting citizenship. As for a name for such a united country, it should be Palestine, as that is the name of the land that used to share different faiths and peoples. That should not be seen as a loss by existing Israelis, but as a chance to be truly free.
The world is changing, with a division occurring between those who want democracy and true freedom, and those who want a world that they can control. The latter have pushed out a huge amount of propaganda to persuade people to support their lifestyles and wealth, but the inhumanity on many fronts that results from their policies is becoming increasingly clear to everybody. Many pretend that it can be ignored, but that is increasingly more difficult except by drifting into a delusion. Israelis and the rest of the world cannot afford to continue to choose delusion.