Will the West Bank and Gaza Strip Ever Have Peace?

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Many would characterize the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a region full of conflict and hate.  As many know, this place has always had issues from the beginning of time.  For the Israelis and Palestinians alike, it has always been an us vs. them mentality. Personally I do not have much hope for these issues to be resolved.

The majority of the conflict is over who controls what land. In the earlier days, Palestine controlled most of the land but now it is just the opposite. Over time, the Israelis have been able to conquer more and more land. As one can imagine, the Palestinians cannot be too happy with that.

Recently the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has sworn to drive out the Palestinians who occupy the West Bank in order to better Jerusalem.  Recently, President Trump met with Netanyahu to discuss their political views and the issues that plague the Middle East.  As the New York Times put it, ” presumably to discuss the political philosophy they share: power through hate and fear.” With that being said, Prime Minister Netanyahu has reportedly encouraged his fellow Israelis to drive out Palestinians who inhabit the land of the West Bank.

Many are outraged by this housing and land plan that Netanyahu has endorsed. From the outside, it looks as though it is clearly racist and honestly sounds Hitler like.  In the region, it is so difficult for the Arabs to obtain permits for land and housing that they cannot sustain a stable living environment.  On the other hand, there have been 700 new towns and cities made for Israelis since Israel was founded.

Another problem is some of the Arabs who inhabit the Naqab desert, which is located in southern Israel, is the recognition of villages.  There are 35 villages in the desert that are not recognized by the state of Israel.  In turn, they have no access to water, electricity, and other infrastructure that is essential especially in a dry climate.  There is also the possibility that the police of the state can force the Arabs out of there homes at any moment.

The author of the article, Ayman Odeh, who is the chairman of the Hadash party which is a leftist communist group that looks for peace and equality, tells his side of the story.  He had been protesting non violently in Naqab for several weeks when he was beaten and taken to jail by Israeli authorities.  Another time, he was protesting against the destruction of homes in the Umm Al-Hiran community with other Arabs and was pepper sprayed and shot in the head by Israeli police.  Odeh finishes his article by saying “Today, it is our moral responsibility to build a principled opposition that can overpower the politics of hate and fear.”

Obviously, this is not ideal for those who want to promote peace between races. Like many conflicts throughout history, there are two groups who have a hate for each other.  This is just another example especially in the Middle East where if one doesn’t agree with another’s ideals or is not from the same race there is going to be a problem.  The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza strip do not have the military protection the Israelis do.

To put this into perspective, Israel is also surrounded by enemies and has had a tough past in dealing with other peoples, primarily Arabs.  I’m also not surprised Netanyahu has implemented these policies considering the Palestinians don’t recognize Israel as a state either.  For there to be peace, there needs to be negotiations without the involvement of violence.  I still don’t think this is possible because of the hate the two groups have for one another.