Image Credit: New York Times
Israel built security fence in the West Bank to barricade itself from Palestinian suicide bombers, but such effort has been met with as much resistance as you would expect. Both Arab Palestinians and Israeli Jews claimed entitlement to Jerusalem, and to the West Bank. The city is important to three of the world’s major religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And for centuries, all parties to the dispute have been unable to come to any peaceful understanding. The U.N. and many western nations, including the Obama administration argued that the Two-State Solution would be the only viable pathway to a peaceful coexistent. Many Jews however, remained skeptical of the idea of a Two-State solution. They fear that if the idea is fully put into practice, it would result into Israel’s insecurity, and that in addition to that, Israel might risk losing its unique Jewish identity.
There are several ‘bedrock demands between the two parties that, in practice, often appear to be mutually out of touch.” For example, on border issue, there is no agreement about where exactly to draw the line. Palestinians demand that any negotiation regarding the Two-State Solution must include provision for Israeli military to withdraw entirely from the West Bank, in order for such negotiation to gain legitimacy. But the Israeli government do not have any obligation to do so, they argued that these territories were won over during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, and during other arm conflicts in the region. They insist that the State of Israel is for these reasons has no legal obligation to give back lands it once captured. As of this writing, Israel is still building Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and in other areas– an action that many analysts, including some far-right Israeli citizens feel may stall the peace negotiations and make it much more difficult to reach any agreement.
Security concern: To the ordinary Palestinians, security means an end to the Israeli military occupation. For the Jews however, security means not abandoning the West Bank, for fear that the vacancy would be immediately occupied by rogue group like Hamas, and this would then threaten Israel’s national security. Each party to the conflict remains firm about what it wants.
Many western experts also believe that the current security wall which Israel built to contain the violence from the Palestinian side, would do little to address Israel’s longtime security needs. According to Mr. Fisher, a Jerusalem-based analyst with the International Crisis Group, told me last year, “perpetuating the status quo is the most frightening of the possibilities,” by which he means, that by maintaining the border wall in the West Bank, is only worsening the problem.
Today, as a direct consequence of the ongoing territorial dispute between Israel and the Palestinian, the people of Palestine are states-less people. They have no independent access to electricity, no hospital, no army, no credible institution of learning. Many Palestinians suffer from depression, according to inside sources. But nothing remains more needed than is peace for the Palestine people.
As the only country that practices democracy in the Middle East, Israel thus strategically becomes a geo- political advantage to the U.S. and to other major democracies around the world. Israel’s very past is one that’s marked by constant land disputes and wars with nearby countries. But despite these challenges, the country had emerged as a modern industrial nation– equipped with a full army, and a thriving economy.
Israel ranks 37 on the Transparency scale, and its past record shows that, as a country, Israel seems to be moving back and forth on the scale. Between 2012 to 2014, she moved from 60 to 51 on the Transparency scale and back to 60 again. She however, maintains the 37th place.
This report is just one of many examples that shows what is going on around the world since the twentieth century with regards to land-border conflicts. Like the Palestinians, the Kurds, too are State-less people. They don’t have full control over the resources in places where they inhabit. Many research analysts on internatinal crisis and conflict zones have come to the realization that great and powerful nations are conquering weaker nations without the use of force. They are using the forces of their economies to gain powerful influence over relatively economically less powerful countries. For example, take a look at Mongolia and China. See what type of relationship is going on between the two. One TED Talk speaker described it as the “Chinese style” refering to those particular methods which China is using to spread out influence.