Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Accusations of Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

Any discussion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict quickly turn to a lob of accusations at Israel. These accusations include, ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid Gazacaust and maintaining the world's largest open air prison (concentration camp) in the most densely populated place on earth. These accusations recall horrible atrocities. The juxtaposition helps to create images that makes it difficult to examine facts that apply to the Israeli conflict.

If Israel is trying to commit ethnic cleansing of Palestinians they are doing are really bad job. During the 3 week Operation Cast Lead where 1300 Palestinians were killed there were approximately 3500 births. The IDF had a self imposed 3 hour ceasefire to allow humanitarian convoys into Gaza while Hamas kept firing at Israel.

The response to the fact that Israel has been unsuccessful at genocide is that they want it to be slow so nobody notices. The back up to this argument is the blockade that Israel has on the Gaza strip. Sanctions and blockades have been used around the world to bring rouge states back in line with the international community. Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq suffered heavily from sanctions. The oil for food program was designed so that civilians would not starve.

The embargo on Gaza is designed to put pressure on the Palestinians to stop firing rockets at Israel and to block supplies that could be used to kill Israelis. Israel has allowed enough food and supplies to keep the people of Gaza fed as shown in this report. The release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit (who is being denied his basic human rights of visitation by the Red Cross and other violations) are necessary steps to having the border fully open to regular commerce. Gaza is not the most densly populated place on earth, Manhatten is.

The accusation of apharthied is also a favourite for attacking Israel. Israeli society is on constant vigilance for the possibility of the next terrorist attack. This resulted in Israel to set up the security fence and check points to help save Israeli lives. For the most part the strategy has worked with most recent terrorist attacks coming from Arabs living in Israel proper. Sympathisers can only see how inconvenient these security measures are for Arabs (and Israelis) who need to travel through these check points.

In a bid to ease the inconvenience two check points near Jenin were recently removed. On the very same day, Israeli police officers were ambushed and killed. While not confirmed it is possible that it could have been possible to reach the point of the attack travelling where the check points used to be without going through any other check point. What is the proper way to respond to such a major concern?

There also seems to be an assumption that a Palestinian State would automatically have open borders with Israel. Algeria and Morroco temporarily opened their border for the first time in 15 years to allow the George Galloway convoy through. Will the difficulties Israel is being blamed for being any less should Israel not have open borders with a Palestinian state.

The most troubling question is why doesn't anybody want to live in a Palestinian State. Palestinians want to negotiate for the full right of return to live in Israel outside of the land currently being demanded for a Palestinian State. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was labelled a racist and a bigot for suggesting that land claimed by Palestinians with Jewish populations be directly swapped with land being lived on by Arabs in Israel proper. The Arabs in Israel have protests and the world support seems to be for these people to remain in Israel.

The accusations against Israel are intentionally over bloated in order to demonize Israel and ignore their considerations. Palestinians want an independent but would prefer to live in horrible Israel rather than their national homeland. Israel is supposed to bend over backwards to accommodate all of these contradictory opinions. Israel is more than happy to live in peace with it's neighbours. Giving away land in order to bring the weapons of those who want to destroy Israel is not peace.

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