Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The other problem...


As promised here is the other side of the big debate that is, 'How to help Gaza.' In the earlier post I spoke thoroughly about how people can try and bring Israel down to earth by cutting off it's supply of money and arms from the USA. Not that the USA is a bad guy, NO, but just possible solutions of slowing down the pace of a war machine. In this post I'm going to focus on the Arab/Muslim/non-Israeli/non-USA side of it all, the benefits and the problems.

It's quite plain to see that the oil rich countries here in the Middle East have never hesitated to offer any kind of financial aid to the Palestinians. Ideally I wanted to give you a statistic of how much Palestine had received in donations (to help rebuild Gaza). I tried to find some ready data, but what I found was mostly older articles on how much some of these nations promised to give, how much they gave individually, or how much they gave in single events. There were far too many for me to try and compile the data, so suffice to say that, yes, financial aid has almost never been a problem.

Unfortunately, I'm of the opinion that throwing money at the Palestinians is not the only kind of support they need. My main issue with some people is not that they don't want to help the Palestinians. My main issue is that many people are far too close-minded now to figure out a solution to a problem that's been more than half a century in the making, in recent history, and for hundreds of years throughout history (Jerusalem has been a religious and related issues hotspot for centuries) [but yeah you guys knew that already I'll just go on now shall I..]

I guess it'd be easier for me to relay I'm trying to say with an example. It's a personal experience that I had, and it was the single moment where I saw what I was doing wrong to help improve this crisis. In 2005 I attended the Global Young Leaders Conference in New York & Washington DC. Throughout it, we had various workshops and attended various lectures by fairly influential people in the political circles of the USA and the UN. It was at this conference that I became an alumnus of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, which is the same council that invited me to President Barack Obama's Inauguration, 6 days ago. Pity I couldn't go :(

One of the lectures was at a hotel where the speakers were an Israeli Advocate, a Palestinian Peace worker and a moderator to prevent anything from going terribly wrong. The way things were run, once both speakers had finished speaking, the students were allowed a question and answer session with the speakers. Back then I had a lot more josh in me. Moment the QnA session popped up, I ran down to the front of the queue, and I was one of the mid-line questioners. When it was my turn, I strutted right up to the mic and said, "Hi my name is Muhammed Ali. I'm a Muslim from India, living in the Middle East, and my question is directed to the Israeli Advocate. How can you consider your country a legitimate body if, in the pure essence of it all, you dropped your bags in Palestinian territory and decided to set up shop? Is the Accord of Camp David really your excuse?"

In my defence I was an angry young kid, who wanted to get back at the big bully.

To my surprise, the Palestinian Peace worker spoke up, and boy, was he mad. I'm going to try and remember exactly what he said, for more emphasis.

"What is the point of bringing that up over and over again? We are beyond that stage and crying over spilt milk isn't going to help anyone, not us or the Israelis. Forget what happened and now focus on stopping the war and the killing."

I'm sure he said more, because I remember when he was done, I felt like an idiot. I guess what he was trying to say that the best way to approach this sitiuation is like a doctor would (my cousin also said the same thing). If a doctor sees an illness, he'll administer medicine and treatment and will wait to see if your symptoms disappear. If what he gives doesn't work, he'll switch to something else. If that also doesn't work, he'll switch to something else, and will continue doing so until he's found something that works. So many countries here in the Middle East still refuse to accept Israel as a nation. Maybe they think it will help, but on the grand scale of things, if you want your neighbour to stop being a certain way, you have to stop giving it the cold stare. I'm not saying Israel is justified in it's actions, but we've tried and seen that what we've been doing for so many years does not work. So then why not try something different? Sure there are extremists in Israel who won't settle for anything less than complete domination of all Palestinian territory, but then aren't there extremists on this side of the fence too, who won't even acknowledge this country's existence? How can a country apply political pressure on another country that it refuses to even acknowledge? How can any Arab country expect peace from Israel, when all you see is them throwing mud on them, calling it names, and refusing any dialogue with them?

Yes, the Israeli army and some of it's leaders are doing terrible things. But what if they were given no reason to be bitter anymore? Simple example, if Hamas stopped firing rockets into Israel, then, on paper, Israel would have no reason to attack anyone or anywhere inside Gaza. They would not attack Hamas Headquarters or the like, because they now have no reason to. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure this won't happen because through generations and generations of hate breeding, and witnessing the massacres first hand, many Palestinians won't even want to see it any other way. Sad part is, you can't even blame them. That's what sucks though. The Palestinians refuse to learn from their mistakes and keep throwing bombs into Israel and then when Israel hits back (albeit responding tenfold) they get all whiny and mopey.

Another thing that really upsets me is the spiff between Hamas and Fatah. It's RIDICULOUS. If BOTH these parties want the same thing in essence, ie peace, then HOW IS ATTACKING EACH OTHER GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN?! Gosh, the infighting amongst these two parties is so stupid at times. There were rumours floating around that Fatah would leak info to the Israeli Army to help them attach Hamas. I hope they were just that, because if they weren't then that's just low. Very very low.

Moving past the Palestinians, I just want top see some pro active steps from the countries here in the Middle East in trying to attain a sustainable peace in Israel. You've tried the cold shoulder technique and it BOMBED (no pun intended). And I understand that it might be against our morals or ethics or even pride to accept Israel, but maybe that's one way to start a process that might lead to a self-sustaining era of peace for the people in BOTH Palestine and Israel. It's the mindset that has to change, on both sides.

More importantly, the problems of today can not be solved by those who created them. The problems of today can only be solved by the leaders of tomorrow. That's why I think the best way to do this is to educate the Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, Jewish and Israeli youth into believing that a vocal and acceptance approach is more likely to attain peace than guns and rockets.

I don't know. Maybe I'm still as naive as I was 4 years ago. I just really, really think that education of the youth, allowing them to change their predefined emotions towards the other races will really help make that difference that peace still needs.


M


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20 comments:

biscuitinabasket said...

First of all - well written as always!

I don't think it is naive to say that education will help. Infact I think it is the way forward. If the histoy is outlined, and "accepted", then the only way forward is to figure out how hoth states can exist in their own right.

I think it is fair to say that Israel cannot be removed from the map - there is too much support for them. So the doctor analogy will have to stand, and peaceful methods have to be found to get this region up and running again. If only Arab leaders could take the innitiave though....

MaliZOMG said...

I don't think it's a question of support for Israel anymore. 'Removing' Israel is just a dream that many Arab leaders had back in the 60s and 70s. You can't 'remove' Israel as a country, it's beyond comprehension.

And I don't think that, that should even be on the agenda.

Thrice said...

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Mars said...

i totally agree with what you've written. regardless of whether people like israel or not, they're here to stay. if anyone follows history, no country lives indefinitely. they turn into bigger or smaller nations.

the only way to get any peace over there now is come to an agreement to allow israel and palestine exist amicably.

the thing that irritates me most is the fact that people are fighting over a piece of land. your life isn't worth it, nor can you take it with you when you're dead. i know it's more than just land, but then isn't it running after something materialistic in this world rather than trying to make your life better for the Hereafter?

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Joey said...

Well you've definitely gotten me thinking....

good post.

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