Ignorance Bars The Way For A Peaceful Two-State Deal In The Holy Land

It's a cool breezy night in Tel Aviv, Israel. It's the end of rush hour, and the commuters have nearly all reached their respective homes. Stores are beginning to close and bars are beginning to open. As the twilight which edges on the still misty air welcomes the nighthawks with open arms, and a promise of comfort and joy. Group by group, people make their way out of their homes and into the world with nothing but the intent of having fun. Some people drive to their destination, some choose to walk or bike, but some choose to take a bus. A group of youths laugh away as they skip onto the vessel of public transportation. Inside are some adults going out for a post-work drink, some senior citizens, and a mother with her toddler. The bus begins again, and starts to turn into the middle lane. Suddenly the bus explodes, and all that is left is a twisted heap of metal, glass, and fire. The next morning every Israeli newspaper depicts it on the cover with a title alluding to the Palestinians being responsible. With this, the conflict continues.

For over fifty years now a war has raged in the land that the human race recognizes as "Holy." No side is more prevalent than the other and, if it weren't for the United States, Israel would not have a military upper hand. Although on the surface this may look like a simple conflict for land or independence, a closer look would reveal that this is really a conflict over religion and a first world-third world divide.

Although the conflict between Arabs and Jews of the region has been ongoing for hundreds of years, the straw that broke the camels back came in 1948 with the establishment of Israel. Great Britain released this nation upon the world after it was unable to control the constant streak of fighting between Arabs and Jews. Originally, the British created a two-state plan, with Jerusalem in no ones hands, remaining as an international city that would be controlled by the United Nations. The Jewish community accepted the plan but the Palestinians and the Arab League rejected it, saying that Israel has no right to be a country at all. Soon Israel declared independence and took control over the entire region through military superiority. Years later, following the six-day war, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously in favor of resolution 242 which calls for Israel to remove all military presence in occupied treaty. "Occupied territory" refers to map laid out by the 1947 partition plan. Since then it has been a constant struggle with both parties fighting for freedom. No one seems to be cooling off.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution calling for a Palestinian State within a two-state solution. Peace negotiations will be held later this year in Moscow with Russia as the overseer. Even the US, the staunchest supporter of Israel, is asking for the country to remove settlements in the West Bank. "The Quartet," which is a club that is composed of the US, Russia, the European Union and the UN has the task of guiding both groups down the road of peace. The group was established eight years ago and still there has been no progress.

Perhaps this is a quarrel that is out of the hands of a group of powerful nations. To truly understand the problem let's take a look at the type of people we're talking about. We fail to realize that outside of the US or Western Europe nationalism runs as thick as blood, and is easily worth more to these people. We are looking at the same problem that took place in the Balkans following the fall of Yugoslavia, and the same problem that occurred last year in the Caucuses. These second world countries don't understand the faults of being too proud. These countries hold a significant impoverished population and these people are constantly looking back to their tribal roots and hold their bloodlines above all else. This is why people die for their "nation" in a heartbeat.

Now with the understanding that both the Jewish community and Palestinian community are too primal, too stubborn, and just generally still living a hundred years in the past, let's reexamine the problems in the "Holy Land." The Israelis are using the decisions made by imperialist countries over fifty years ago as a crux to their argument for a nation. The Palestinian freedom organizations are un-funded, unorganized, and rely on guerilla terrorism to gain any public attention. Clearly, neither party is thinking things through.

"It is true that there are demographic threats to Israel's existence. That is why a separation from the Palestinians is a compelling imperative. Without such a separation [into two states] there is no future for the Zionist dream;" these are the words of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. His political enemy, Mahmoud Abbas, had a similar sentiment: "I believe that we should go back to this plan to establish the independent Palestinian state, which is viable, contiguous, live side-by-side with the state of Israel."

Both are asking for a two state solution as opposed to a one state solution that has worked for the neighboring country of Lebanon, with Christians and the two dominant Muslim sects holding control over separate parts of the government. If these two want the same thing what's getting in the way?

Ignorance and rashness is getting in the way.

Palestinian politicians want more than Israel is willing to give up, and this causes extremist terrorist groups to retaliate against Israel with suicide bombing and other forms of attack.

Israeli intelligence attempts to find the root of these terrorists attacks and then launches a military operation to stomp out the terrorists. Usually they are rushed and their intelligence is off, and hundreds of Palestinian civilians die in the mean-time. Israeli citizens don't usually feel bad since a bus full of children and seniors was blown up a week prior. The cycle continues.

Israel feels a sense of obligation, and I suppose it's rightfully so. With the US behind them they can pretty much do what they want. So they continue to storm in Palestine with attempts to stop the terrorists, end up killing civilians, and in the wake, na've Palestinian extremists retaliate. Palestinian extremists are na've in that they think for a moment they can win a war against a US-backed country.

With all this war the populace of both areas become hostile, disaster strikes, some regions become impoverished, and this is the breeding ground for 100-year late Nationalist thought. Hopefully soon enough, the modern age will come knocking and both countries will see the out-dated stubbornness of their ways. In the mean time, the "Holy Land" will remain anything but.