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Peace: a meaningless concept?

Netanyahu and suicide bombers represent two sides of the same coin; both lethal and unstoppable.

Flickr/Michael Loadenthal. Some rights reserved.Recent incidents in Israel and Palestine are clear indications of the demise of the Oslo Accords. A new strategy to halt potential upcoming violence and the collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA) must be drawn up and fast.

“Peace” now has no meaning and has been discredited as both a concept and word.  Since 1993, “peace” never guaranteed the cessation of killing. After all these years, more and more land has been confiscated, houses demolished, people arrested, killed, and executed. The continuous siege on the Gaza Strip and daily apartheid practices in the West Bank, accompanied with the inequality between the native people of Palestine who have Israeli citizenship and those who do not, does not stop.

Since Netanyahu came to power in 1996, peace has become a nauseating word.  The Roman historian Tacitus once said of the Roman conquest of Britain that "the Roman army created a desolation, and called it peace". The same is happening to the Palestinians, Arabs, Europeans, Americans and Israelis. Both peace and its process are bleak.

As the world was celebrating Christmas; Israel executed four Palestinian teenagers just a few kilometres away from Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. Since October 2015, Israel has killed over 150 Palestinians, and most of these barbaric acts were captured live on camera.

Keeping the status-quo as is will increase the numbers of radicals and extremists on both sides.

Recently, wedding guests exemplified a radical segment of Israeli society; a video went viral of a group celebrating the death of a Palestinian toddler. An extremist group called, “Price Tag”, burnt the toddler alive. Moreover, Israel has arrested more than 2400 Palestinians since October.

If attacks in Israel continue, it is very likely the Israeli government will react and either occupy the West Bank and/or launch new aggression on the Gaza Strip. This will lead to the collapse of the PA, and a weakening of the de-facto shadow-government led by Hamas. Palestinians already have no trust in Fatah, Hamas and the PA in general. The current level of oppression, deadlock in peace, severe injustice, and the frustration among Palestinians is increasing and will perplex the whole situation. The other alternative is more radicalisation and extremism, and eventually fertile land for ISIS like-minded factions or groups.

Obviously, this will rewind the clock back to the pre-Oslo Accords period. However, the result is not likely to be the same. The international community will not accept continuous military occupation, and parts of Israeli society do not want to bear the price of its army’s madness. To do injustice then is to abandon the two state solution.

Numerous intellectuals, writers and activists are widely labelling Israel as an apartheid state and for this label to stick and be recognised internationally, the road and struggle are long and extremely difficult.

The alternative is to keep the status-quo as is, which in turn will increase the numbers of radicals and extremists on both sides. Regardless of the outcome, Netanyahu is playing with a ticking time bomb that will not only harm him but the entire region. All his actions are de-legitimising Israel, and empowering radicals and extremists.

Both Netanyahu and suicide bombers represent two sides of the same coin; both lethal and unstoppable.

It is of great importance to concentrate efforts in combating Netanyahu and his extremist government. With international pressure, mass non-violent demonstrations, the boycott of Israeli products, sanctioning Israel globally, and confronting Israeli apartheid through international trials, there may be hope.

Netanyahu and his government must be held accountable and stopped from fuelling hatred. Their actions are loudly echoing their disinterest in peace and they must be stopped.

About the author

Abdalhadi(Hadi) Alijla is a research fellow at the University of Milan, and the executive director of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies Canada (IMESC). He serves as the regional manager for Gulf countries at Varieties of Democracy Institute, Gothenburg University, Sweden.


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