ISRAEL PALESTINE CONFLICT

The absence of diplomatic relations with Israel for five decades left people in India with relatively little knowledge of Israeli thinking, about its neighbourhood. Moreover, India had little or no contact historically with the Jewish people in Israel and across the world. There was also little public understanding of the prevailing differences, aspirations and rivalries of people in West Asia and the Gulf Region who belonged to Judaism, Christianity and Islam — which all regard Jerusalem as their holy city.


Tensions are often high between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.Gaza is ruled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has fought Israel many times. Israel and Egypt tightly control Gaza’s borders to stop weapons getting to Hamas.Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank say they are suffering because of Israeli actions and restrictions. Israel says it is only acting protect itself from Palestinian violence.


The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger.


There are a number of issues which Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree on.
These include: what should happen to Palestinian refugees; whether Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank should stay or be removed; whether the two sides should share Jerusalem; and – perhaps most tricky of all – whether a Palestinian state should be created alongside Israel.Peace talks have been taking place on and off for more than 25 years, but so far have not solved the conflict.

In short, the situation isn’t going to be sorted out any time soon.The most recent peace plan, prepared by the United States when Donald Trump was president, was called “the deal of the century” by Israel’s then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But it was been dismissed by the Palestinians as one-sided and never got off the ground.Any future peace deal will need both sides to agree to resolve complex issues.The BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, says the latest round of violence in May was the fourth big war between Hamas and Israel since 2008.He’s seen previous wars end like this before: “Similar things have been said by both sides in claiming victory and then essentially the seeds of the next conflict are sown.”I can tell you one thing for certain – that if the status quo does not change favourably, there will be another round of this.”
What will happen next, and what should happen for things to calm down?


Hamas issued its demands when it first launched rockets at Israel over the Jerusalem crisis. Yet it is unclear what it could hope to achieve beyond a ceasefire and a return to the political status quo ante, at which point it will face huge physical devastation in Gaza, especially to its own facilities and capabilities, and to some extent also to its military capacity and command structure. The Israeli military claims it has killed at least 100 Hamas fighters, including commanders, so far, as well as its military research and development team. It posits that these losses, along with the fact that Hamas has used most of the rockets in its arsenal, will force the group to pursue a ceasefire – at which point Israel would need to decide what to do next.


Outside powers could help in laying the ground for a ceasefire. Turkey and Qatar enjoy proximity to Hamas, but Egypt, because of its longstanding interest in what happens on its northern border, is particularly well suited for this task. When the last major Israel-Gaza war happened in 2014, Cairo’s rulers were new in their seats, fresh off the 2013 coup deposing President Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member. They were in no rush to press for a ceasefire, seemingly content to let Morsi’s ideological confreres in Gaza take a beating. Since then, Cairo’s rulers have become more pragmatic, in part because of the Abraham Accords, which threaten their privileged status as Israel’s main partner in the Arab world. They have pressed for a ceasefire since fighting broke out, in an effort to divert attention from their internal challenges and demonstrate their relevance and diplomatic worth, especially to a new administration in Washington. But with Hamas focused on Jerusalem, and Israel bent on crushing Hamas, their effort so far has come to naught. At the moment, Cairo can give neither side what it most wants.


This new situation gives Hamas new leverage, but it also confronts the movement with a new quandary. Does it continue to press for substantial Israeli concessions in Jerusalem, which are difficult to imagine, or does it consider the sort of deal that in its past wars was unachievable but today might be more plausible and within Cairo’s ability or even Israel’s willingness to deliver, such as a more substantial relaxation of the blockade? Today, Hamas says such a step-back is off the table – that it has its sights set on Jerusalem and has rockets sufficient for a two-month war. But as time drags on, its arsenal is depleted, Gaza’s destruction mounts and, most importantly, the Palestinian death toll climbs, it might wish that it had looked for the deal that it had been unable to achieve in four previous wars.


As for Israel’s choice, if it wishes to prevent a slide into deeper civil strife, Israel should end categorical limitations on Palestinian access to the Holy Esplanade, in all but the direst circumstances, while Muslim religious authorities (the Waqf) should control stone throwing and other violent protest activities there. Israel also should immediately call a halt to evictions of families in East Jerusalem, or at least communicate privately to Egypt and other parties that it will indefinitely postpone any further action.


More broadly, Israel should denounce violence and incendiary hate speech, no matter the source, and mete out impartial justice to all. Israeli officials have a particular responsibility to combat ethnic hatred emanating from the Jewish far right and to make sure Palestinian citizens are protected from both police and civilian violence in the same way that Jewish citizens are. Palestinians leaders in Israel have a parallel obligation within their own communities. Many around the globe, and especially in the U.S. and Europe, have been surprised by the images of Jewish mob violence, but the sentiments they embody did not spring up overnight. They have long been cultivated and endorsed at the highest levels of the state. Tamping down ethnic incitement is a matter of self-preservation for the Jewish majority, because the alternative, a steady escalation of civil strife, is already on the horizon.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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