Since last few days, I have seen number of videos showing missile attacks by Hamas on Israel from the Gaza Strip and the response by Israel to bombard them. We generally tend to jump to conclusions based on our perceptions and leanings. And hence I have seen videos, debates and writings either praising or slamming Israel.
First question which pops up is – who is right and who is wrong? By the way is there anything which can be termed as absolute right or absolute wrong? Who is right or wrong (Israel vs Palestine) is a matter of where you start measuring time from.
If you read the news today, “Israel killed 20 Palestine”, then Israel is Wrong. But if you go back few days, “Palestine killed 2 Israeli in Bethlehem”, then Palestine is Wrong. If you go back further, “Israel bombed a mosque in Hamas during prayer” then Israel is Wrong. Then you say that Hamas is a terrorist organisation who have been wrecking havoc for last many years, then Palestine is Wrong. This will just go on and on and on..
If we think that this conflict must have started after the establishment of Israel, then we are living in fool’s paradise. This war goes back to many centuries and God knows who was right and who was wrong back then..
Judaism has been in existence even before Christianity and Islam. Abraham, considered to be the first Patriarch of the Jewish people, and his wife Sarah had no children. Sarah wanted the family of Abraham to continue and hence she let her maidservant, Hagar, to bear the child of Abraham. His name was Ismail. However Sarah later had her own son. His name was Isaac. Sarah feared that Ismail, being the elder son, would inherit the family rights and hence she prevailed upon Abraham to banish Hagar along with her son, Ismail; and she succeeded in ensuring that. The descendents of Ismail were Arabs and Isaac’s descendants became known as the Jews.
The fact that a Jew, Isaac, who in a way was responsible for the exodus of the original male descendent of Abraham, was the beginning of the rage of Arabs against the Jews. The sects of Jews (Yahudi) and Arabs emerged from two descendants of Abraham, that is like from the same household. But unfortunately, not only did they emerge, they became bitter enemies of each other, and their struggle is not over to this day.
So it is a matter of our perspective. I am not going to say who is right and who is wrong, I am not that educated in Israeli Politics and History. But the bottom line is killing is wrong, whatever side it happens. A bullet doesn’t not have a name written on it. Innocents are hurt no matter who starts the war.
However generally we argue that Hamas is a terrorist organisation and have been killing innocent civilians for many decades now. But here again, the issue is about the perspective. One who is a terrorist, from our point of view, is still fighting for some cause. Whether it is Right or Wrong cause depends on how we look at it. Soldiers on both sides have died and both sides are avenging their fallen soldiers and trying to reclaim their land. Haven’t we seen videos circulated by Palestine of Israeli brutality? They are justifying their fight in the garb of Jihad. We also find hundreds of other videos which paint a different story.
First World War dramatically altered the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East. In 1917, at the height of the war, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour submitted a letter of intent supporting the establishment of a Jewish homeland within Palestine. The British government hoped that the formal declaration— known thereafter as the Balfour Declaration — would encourage support for the Allies in World War. After the Allied victory, Great Britain took control over what became known as Palestine (modern-day Israel, Palestine and Jordan). The Balfour Declaration and the British mandate over Palestine were approved by the League of Nations in 1922. Arabs vehemently opposed, concerned that a Jewish homeland would mean the subjugation of Arab Palestinians.
The British controlled Palestine until Israel, in the years following the end of Second World War, became an independent state in 1947.
Hence what basically happened was that, people who were there for generations were displaced by the superpowers by stroke of a pen in 1948. Mind you, even Israel have been doing their bit to escalate the crisis over the last many decades. The way Israel rules Gaza & West Bank is going to always have such problems. Add religion to the mix and it becomes a permanently explosive cocktail. Hence it is extremely difficult to pick right or wrong. As for now, this is a permanent problem.
In my opinion, the same is the issue with India and Pakistan. We have been branding them as rogue state harbouring terrorism on our soil. If it is so brazenly wrong, don’t they understand or realise that? Here I remember a story told to me by Late Air Chief Marshal, Hrishikesh Moolgavkar (who happened to the member of our company board). The school children in Pakistan are taught that they (Muslims) were ruling major part of India before the British and it was logical that the power should have been handed over to them when British left. Hence now they must fight for their motherland to avenge that wrongdoing. They are also smarting with the defeat in 1971 war and loss of land as Bangladesh. For all we know, Pakistan must be branding Indian Army as terrorists.
In a way, this is the same problem as Israel & Palestine. In both the cases, there is religious conflict involved and that in my opinion, is literally the worst problem to solve and agree upon. No two religions will ever meet eye to eye on all topics and hence there will always be at loggerheads. I am not saying either party is right because this is a conflict that has happened over decades and sin after sin has piled on and at the end of the day, there is no right/wrong now. Both sides are losing innocent people. And same is true for any of the global conflicts.
However what is most surprising is the so called liberals, film stars or even cricketers in India voicing their opinion whenever anything happens against the Muslims anywhere in the world, be it Palestine or France. That is the blatant attempt of Muslim appeasement. I wholeheartedly agree that no innocent lives should be lost but my anguish is against the double standards these people adopt. Whenever any wrong-doing happens against Hindus, where do these guys vanish? Why not a single voice was heard when more than half a million Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of valley? The horror stories of that time are beyond comprehension. Similarly today be it Bengal or Kerala, no voice of dissent is ever heard over killing of Hindus.
The more tragic face of these so-called liberals was exposed when China mercilessly perpetrated genocide of Uyghur or Uighur Muslims in their country. The self proclaimed champion of Muslim cause, Pakistan just didn’t had balls to utter a single word against China. Following suit, all Indian liberals turned deaf and were stone silent. Similar silence is also observed when China targets Tibetans.
Finally, is there any solution to these conflicts? As things stand today, it is extremely unlikely. However only if both sides see some economic benefits, then there could be a glimmer of hope. We can only pray for that. Amen!!
@ Yeshwant Marathe