February 16, 2015 Faith Matters

How Many Children Have To Die for Palestinians to Have Their Homeland?

We see the cycle of hatred, an Israeli Jewish couple murdered, Jewish settlers retaliate by running over innocent Palestinians and burning olive groups, apart from the harassment and humiliation they mete out to Palestinian farmers.

A Jewish man is stabbed in the Old City by young Palestinians, whilst Palestinian children are shot and killed in cold blood by IDF soldiers as they demonstrate. Palestinian houses are demolished so that families pay the price for their relatives and Palestinians and Israeli Jews work out ways how they can disentangle themselves forever. Is this what we have come to?

The cycle of violence carries on and the propaganda and political pitches are played out by both sides. Yet, in all of this, children are dying once again, looking like they are in an eternal sleep as they are laid out on hospital beds in Gaza and within Israel and the West Bank.

Israel deserves peace, of that there is no doubt. But a future state of Palestine must be born with its security protected. It must be born for the sake of future peace and it must be given life without the crushing occupation that seeps into the daily lives of Palestinians. In all of these discussions, we must never fail to mention the fact that the occupation in the West Bank must and should end. It provides no security to Israel and most of all, it destroys hope in the eyes of young Palestinians who have seen nothing but humiliation and occupation. It must end and end now!

Furthermore, the conflict in Israel and the Middle East affects Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities globally. The Al Haram Al Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount, will spark regional tensions if it is continually used politically by the Netanyahu Government. Such tensions when ignited are sadly sweeping into the West Bank, Gaza and within Israel itself, but they play into the hands of those who want to destroy Israel at all costs. It strengthens the hardliners and weakens the pragmatists. But then again, Netanyahu can hardly be called a pragmatist.

Our only call, is that those who truly believe that Israelis and Palestinians can live together, step forward and demonstrate their opposition to the politics of division. For it is only at moments of trauma that cousins regret historical relationship breakdowns and yearn for another chance to repair the bonds. That window of opportunity is fast fading and the future is one which could see many more young children sleeping the eternal sleep of peace.