By closing our eyes to history, we risk one day forgetting why this war began. Let me be clear, I’m not seeking to delegitimize the legitimacy of Israel or legitimize the terrorist actions of Hamas. Nor am I claiming that all Israelis are responsible for what they are going through. Those who venture down such paths are foolishly serving blind causes.
On one side, there is the Israeli government, riddled with religious extremists who have played with fire. They have long been funding Hamas to undermine the Palestinian political landscape, which was gradually shifting from terrorism to peace negotiations. The right-wing and far-right Israeli governments had no other objective than to establish their colonies as far as possible on Palestinian lands, and discrediting the PLO was their means. The funding of Hamas took its toll on the PLO but created the very monster that committed the most unspeakable horrors. Israel risks paying a heavy price in return. First, by responding to Hamas with the same violence, there’s a risk of victimizing these Hamas extremists. In fact, in Arab countries and some European nations, we are seeing significant pro-Hamas protests, and, for the more reasonable and realistic individuals, pro-Palestinian movements that still hope for a peaceful solution.
Clearly, families suffering on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides are not inclined towards peace. Each seeks vengeance, and reason has left the most tolerant souls long ago. The real risk, and it is substantial, is a regional conflagration, especially regarding Hamas. Hamas certainly does not represent Palestine but stands as an idea like any other terrorist group. History demonstrates that while a regular army can be defeated, ideas do not die. With the pace of Israeli bombardments in Gaza, they are creating generations of young individuals filled with hatred, ensuring that there will be decades of extremists confronting them.
What has occurred in Israel is not acceptable; we all agree on that. However, Israel’s violent response is no more acceptable. It is imperative that peacemakers create the conditions for lasting peace between the two nations. It is crucial to end this war just as it is essential to neutralize Hamas. While it may not disappear entirely, dismantling its armed wing will likely create space for peace. This can be achieved on the condition that Israel gives up its colonies. Education can help both territories emerge from the war. Perhaps, initially, deploying UN forces between the two countries to guarantee the security of both states will be necessary. It’s time for the weapons to fall silent, and for each of the two countries to assume their responsibilities. The future of these nations depends on it.
Thierry De Clemensat
Editor in chief
Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News