Israel-Gaza Conflict: Images and Voices of the People
Genesis 15:18-21New King James Version (NKJV)18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+15%3A18-21&version=NKJV
[ Seeking a Just Peace between Israelis & Palestinians based on equality, international law, an end to occupation, and respect for the common humanity of both peoples. ] – Jewish Voice for Peace
July 9, 2014 Jeff Moskowitz published in article in The Atlantic Magazine, “The Next Generation of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Young people are at the center of the latest violence. And they’ll decide its future.” This is an excerpt from that article.—
JERUSALEM—In recent weeks, the all-too-common elements of Israeli-Palestinian violence—rocks, rockets, and rubber bullets, Molotov cocktails and missile strikes—have included more unusual tactics: kidnappings and murders, remarkable not only for their viciousness but also for the youth of the victims and perpetrators.
Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Fraenkel, the three Jewish teens who were abducted and murdered three weeks ago while hitchhiking in the West Bank, were between the ages of 16 and 19. Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian boy snatched from outside his home two weeks later and burned to death in a Jerusalem forest, was 16. The Jewish suspects being held in connection with Abu Khdeir’s killing are reportedly between the ages of 16 and 25. The prime suspects in the murder of the Israeli teens are 29 and 32. – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
There are really no more words necessary after reading that. These images speak for themselves.
Now hear the voices of the people. The Israeli and Palestinian young adult communities.
Corey Gil-Shuster is a Canadian immigrant to Israel. This is a video that is part of his Ask an Israeli/Ask a Palestinian project. In 2013 Gil-Shuster asked Israeli youth if they had a message that they would like to send to the Palestinian youth in Gaza. He speculated that, although the Israeli teenagers that he encountered overall seemed moderate and expressed concern for Palestinians, these views would change after they went to the army. – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
Published on Feb 28, 2013
Want to know what Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East really think about the conflict? Ask a question and I will get answers. People ask Israeli Jews questions. I go out and ask random people to answer. Mustafa in Gaza asks: “Do Israeli youth have a message for us in Gaza?”
One year later Palestinians were asked the same question about the Israeli youth. Gil-Shuster said that he was surprised by their responses. “Half of them didn’t want to answer the question,” he said. “They said they had no message, and underlying that seemed to be a lot of hatred and anger.” – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
Published on Jun 22, 2014
Please donate to the project so I can travel further and more often: http://www.gofundme.com/Ask-Project
Want to know what Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East really think about the conflict? Ask a question and I will get answers. People ask Israeli Jews questions. I go out and ask random people to answer. Want to contribute? Go to http://www.gofundme.com/Ask-Project
As I look at these images and listen to the voices of the people I see nothing but victims across the board. There is a serious breakdown in communication between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The majority of the peoples want these senseless killings to cease. A strong possibility for peaceful cohabitation does exist. In the midst of the tension, resentment and hostility the general population on both sides of the conflict have chosen to seek wisdom from its tumultuous history. Polls show that young people are highly dissatisfied with Palestinian leadership. While 5 percent of the young adult population in Palestine support their current leaders the rest of the population has expressed hate towards Palestinian leadership. Claims of corruption have surfaced. It is generally believed that the government does not care about Palestinians. The people have grown impatient with political parties that have continuously done nothing except helped themselves. When asked almost a year ago 48 percent of the youth in Gaza and 15 percent of the youth in the West Bank reported that they would support an uprising to remove the current Palestinian government.
Young Israelis, who have grown up experiencing intense security sanctions, could easily lose any and all hope for the peace process. The Oslo Accords of the 1990s were successful but then became stalled. Many have terrifying memories of the Second Intifada, the armed Palestinian uprising that lasted from 2000 to 2005. During the uprising daily life in Jerusalem was plagued by troubling images of Israelis being massacred on exploding buses. The Israeli peace movement was at its peak when the Intifada erupted. Which causes the Israeli people to look back at their empty hopes, especially considering the current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. These recent security sanctions are what some believe is the cause for a noticeable generation gap among Israelis. The youth of Israel have become right-wing, even more so than their parents or grandparents. Israeli right-wing politics involves parties that support firm security measures, maintain distrust in the peace process and also question Palestinian intent. A significant portion of Israeli right-wing politics is representative of the nucleus of its current governing coalition. Heightened security stems from not just the bombings from Gaza but includes concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. The legal age to vote in Israel is 18. Two-thirds of the first-time voters described themselves as right-wing in the 2013 national election. A May 2014 poll revealed that 58 percent of Israelis under the age of 35 reported that they were politically right-wing. Israelis under 35 were also found to be more likely to say that Israel is headed down the wrong path.
Although deeply skeptical of their ideal peace deal coming to pass, Israeli youth are mostly in favor of a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians. Data from a 2013 survey indicated that 57 percent of young Israelis continued to support a two-state solution, however only 25 percent think that it is truly feasible, in comparison to 41 percent of their elders. A 25 year old college student and chairman of the Hebrew University Student Union at the Givat Ram campus describes himself as politically center-left. His childhood experience in Israel has given him a unique insight into the changing political climate.
“I remember as a child, I believed that everything was going to end and everyone was going to be happy. A lot of people see those days and remember the hope and look at where we are today, and then they become more right-wing,” said Idan Maor.
“They say we tried to go left once,” Maor continued. “And it looks like it wasn’t the right way. There aren’t many attacks today but it’s only because our intelligence and military became stronger.”
Rumors of a rebellion against the Palestinian Authority are brewing, but a 26-year-old Palestinian woman from the West Bank who asked that only her first name (Hiba) be used for security reasons, said that there will not be another violent intifada against the Israelis. Hiba claimed that the Second Intifada had a damaging effect on Palestinians as much as it did on Israelis. Palestinians don’t ever want to experience that level of violence again. Based on the results of an August 2013 poll it was discovered that 45 percent of young Palestinians support a two-state solution—slightly lower than figures for older Palestinians. One prominent political figure in the West Bank lately has been calling for an alternative model. Tareq Abbas is the 48 year old son of President Abbas. He is a strong advocate of a one-state solution where Jews and Arabs would enjoy equal rights.
“The young people prefer legal actions, they’re trying to copy the South African model,” Hiba said. “Because they survived the Second Intifada and it was traumatizing for all of us, now we think an intifada will only harm the Palestinians, not the Israelis.” – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/the-next-generation-of-israeli-palestinian-conflict/374184/
All things considered, what I take away from this in depth review of the Israel-Gaza conflict is a greater insight into the hearts, minds, and suffering of the people than I had a couple weeks ago. One thing is certain. We cannot change the past but we can all, globally, learn from it.