In a recent interview; Shimon Perez; President of Israel was asked about the Syrian conflict. When the subject of refugees came up the interviewer asked President Perez if; due to the problems refugees are having on the borders of other Arab nations; the State of Israel would be open to receiving refugees from Syria.
The President answered with a definitive; “No” and added that any “refugees” entering Israel armed, would be subject to aggressive defensive action from the Israeli Defence Forces…..
………..Now you know me. I’m no diplomat nor am I privy to any inside information from either side of the Arab/Israeli conflict. That; I believe is the only way to know what is really happening on either side. All we get here in America is the sanitized approved story. Approved by Israel for sure and approved by the American Jewish community who have huge political clout here. So what we get is the Israeli side of the story and only some of that.
Arabs have almost no political clout here and so you and I never hear the story from their side.
You know what though? Even a cursory look at the history of that conflict is enough to determine that the violence; lies; political manipulations and grandstanding have amounted; in the end; to one gigantic “Clusterfuck”.
I mean; does anyone remember the last serious effort to make peace?
Do you remember when Shimon Perez, Yaser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin were awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1994?
I remember both. I remember how I felt about it both times. And I remember particularly how I felt when it became clear that both of these efforts were a sham.
The 1994 incident called the “Oslo Accord” was; as all treaty type documents are; complicated to the extreme with endless time spent over the wording of such things as the Letters of recognition where in the Palestinians and the Israelis agreed to allow each other the right to exist and stop killing each other etc.
Of course in the end; the killing went on and goes on today; if a somewhat slower rate.
In 1978 Sadat and Begin negotiated a peace between Egypt and Israel.
The peace has held but there is daily rumor that the Egyptian people may not want peace with Israel; may never have wanted the treaty to begin with and might just like to do away with it and go back to a state of war.
The conflict has served to elevate some men to positions of power on both sides. Palestine and it’s people are used and abused by both sides. By the Israelis who wish complete dominion over Palestine and by the Arabs who have used them as a thorn in Israels side and as a hiding place and staging platform for attacks against Israel.
Of course the Palestinians have done their share of damage to Israel as well but one cannot help but feel that the Palestinian people have been as much the victims in this game of politics as the Israelis have.
While all the Arab nations have opposed Israels existence since it began in 1948; and while they all have been in a state of war with Israel; only the Palestinian people have been left to live within the declared boundaries of their enemy. No Arab nation is willing to accept them into their country. Israel doesn’t want them in Palestine. The rest of the world is seemingly happy to allow these two peoples to rip at each other’s throats and continue the slaughter of innocent civilians on both sides
The established Arabs nations attempted on several occasions to defeat Israel in open, conventional military campaigns but to no avail. Instead of continuing to beat their armies to death against the formidable Israeli Defence Force; they backed off; settled down to selling oil and developing their nation’s power and influence. Meanwhile they have fanned the flames of the internal conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
From their place of safety they have stirred the pot and heated it to a boiling point over and over to maintain constant pressure on Israel and to undermine their internal security.
But it is critical to remember that it is neither the Palestinian people nor the Israeli people who want this conflict. It is the politicians and military leaders who see their road to power and riches who use both of these populations to advance their own agenda.
And what of the conflict? Who is in the right?
The Israelis claim the land of Palestine as theirs based on historical and Biblical documentation and the Palestinians claim it based on their thousands of years of continuous occupation.
In truth; the Palestinians were there first. They are the descendants of the Canaanites who were living in this land long before the Jews showed up out of the desert to conquer it.
But both peoples have a long and rich history in Palestine. There have been Hebrews in Palestine for over 3000 years; first as conquerors; then in the first half of the twentieth century as refugees from both the Pogroms of Eastern Europe and the Nazi Extermination plan.
Both have valid claims. Both want a homeland for their people and the right to order their own affairs and maintain sovereignty over their home.
Israel was granted that right in 48. The Palestinians however have remained in Palestine; under the rule of a people who are continuously goaded into military action by both Palestinian terrorist groups and outside influences such as Al Qaeda and many others over the years.
And who suffers for these acts of violence and retaliation? The people of Palestine; Israeli and Palestinian. The people. The children. the mothers and wives and sisters of normal people who just want to live in peace.
If the political and military leaders could be silenced; I have no doubt that these two populations could find a way to live in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer; but I’m not the only one. Millions of Palestinians and Israelis dream the same dream every day. All you have to do is listen to the people on the streets among both peoples to understand that neither want war.
The leaders refuse to budge though and the killing continues.
This brings us back to the Syrian refugees.
It seems to me; obvious that if Israel truly wants peace with their neighbors; they would see the golden opportunity before them. Israel is in the unique position of being a non-muslim nation who shares a border with Syria and the one nation who could open their hearts and borders to these freedom fighters from Syria who; just want to live in peace and order their own affairs.’
The Assad government has been a nagging instigator and a supporter of attacks on Israel for decades and these refugees oppose that regime. These people want to establish a better nation and taking in these victims of Assad’s brutal regime would be the best possible way for Israel to show that it is not the Arab people they hate; but the Arab leaders who use the conflict for their own benefit.
Israel has a golden opportunity to show kindness and start to develop relationships among the Syrian people. People who may well be the next leaders of that nation.
It seems a shame to waste such a chance. It seems strange to me that Shimon Perez and the other Israeli leaders don’t see this.
Shimon Perez; winner of the 1994 Nobel peace prize says, We won’t take them in and we will shoot them if they cross the border. Some man of peace he is.
They should take that Nobel back if this is his attitude toward a humanitarian action that could prove Israels good intent.
Unless Israel has no good intent after all. Unless what they want is war and terror.
We know that Benjamin Netanyahu is a right-wing conservative and a hard-line Arab hater but where are the calm reasonable Israelis? Why haven’t the people risen up to demand that these refugees be taken in?
In truth; Israel’s President is prohibited from taking a stand on issues that divide the people and has almost no political power. He is strictly the mouth-piece of the Netanyahu government. It seems an odd place for a man like Perez to accept. It seems an odder thing to me that; at a moment like this one; he doesn’t take a stand for peace and humanitarian compassion and damn the restrictions of his office.
When the battle for Syria is over; the new Syrian government and the Syrian people will have to decide how to move forward in the conflict between Arab and Jew. They will; in all likelihood have a new type of government; giving more freedom to their people but the thing these people will always remember is that when the going got tough and they were running for their lives and the lives of their families; Israel said “No” we will not help you. “No”; we do not care.
Hell of a way to seek peace with one’s neighbors but then it has become clear that though the Palestinian; Israeli; Syrian; and other people of the region would like peace; the leaders on both sides are determined to continue to fight and kill each other or rather kill each other’s people in this never-ending battle for power and dominance.
I have nothing against either the Israelis or the Arabs as people but I stand appalled by the unwillingness of both sides to reach out and find a way to peace.
You can argue either side of this issue but in the end it is clear that there is no right here. Only a long, sad, series of wrong, wrong, wrong.
So Shimon Perez; if you can hear me; it is time to grow a pair and earn that Peace prize again.
And Shimon; before I forget to tell you: Lyin’ Mitt is UN-FIT