Treating Israel-Palestine issue with a humanitarian response

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The Israel-Palestine issue should be looked beyond geopolitical opportunities. The world leaders must come forward and treat the issue with basic dignity and justice.

  • The Israel-Palestine issue is one of the world’s longest-running and most controversial conflicts. 
    • It is a conflict between two self-determination movements — the Jewish Zionist project and the Palestinian nationalist project towards the same territory.
  • The issue was recently triggered by Israel. Israelis tried to dispossess and oppress the Palestinians. This resulted in deadly riots in Israel and the exchange of rockets between the two sides. 
  • Experts believe that this instance is going to attract 3 kinds of responses – indifferent, imperial and humanitarian. Amongst them, the imperial response is likely to overpower the other two.
Indifferent Response :
  • The majority of the global countries will adopt an indifferent response to the situation. They believe that both Israelis and Palestinians have their share of rights and wrongs.
    • Israelis and Hamas infuse terror in the region. Similarly, places and Monuments are targeted by both sides.
  • This indifferent attitude towards the issue is the result of geopolitical self-interest shown by the US and Arab states towards the Palestinians. 
    • Their approach has only internationalised the issue and not helped in resolving the issue. The global countries have forgotten that injustice to Palestinians and denial of human rights forms the core issue.
Imperial Response to Israel-Palestine issue:
  • Israel will adopt an imperialist response towards the Palestinians. This is because its past actions have the characteristics of imperial modes of governance. This includes measures such as,
    • Eviction of (Palestinian)people from property,
    • Creation of second-class citizens to fight Palestine,
    • Maintenance of oppressively governed enclaves
  • Israel has been pushing out Palestinians from the territory that Israel wants to claim. The country managed to evict as it enjoyed considerable support from big powers like the US and the U.K.
    • The process began with Nakba(catastrophe) in 1947. Under this, evictions of more than half a million Palestinians happened. 
    • Since then, it has been doing consistent evictions by following a policy of thousand cuts to dispossess Palestinians of their homes.
  • It is believed that reducing Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem is likely to be the next objective of Israel
Humanitarian Response to Israel-Palestine issue:
  • Firstly, this response calls for focusing on mutual sufferings observed by both the communities.
  • Secondly, it involves taking measures guided by shared humanity rather than ambitious political objectives.
  • Thirdly, Peace movements in the past have focused on this approach. This approach uses the culture and a history of shared suffering to build bridges. They emphasise that dispossession and exile is something both communities share.
  • Fourthly, this approach has met with limited success. This is because there is an absence of serious political solutions.
Suggestions to resolve Israel-Palestine issue:
  • Firstly, one must look at the Israel Palestine issue as an unfinished task of decolonisation, and a human rights catastrophe. Future negotiations must be based on the pillars of justice and human dignity. 
  • Secondly, Israel must realise that it is not safe unless the Palestinians are safe. Further, Israel must forgo its adamant zeal of occupying three million people. Instead, it should work on a two-state solution.
  • Thirdly, friendly countries including India must remind Israel about the brutal consequences of adhering to imperial politics. This includes the destruction of the moral legitimacy of one’s own claims, undermining of human rights and justice etc.

Source: The Indian Express

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