Searching for Palestinian and Israel Understanding

Late Monday night July 28, 2014

I solemnly write tonight after a day of contemplation over the Israeli and Palestinian war; what else can you call it?   Innocent lives are lost, on both sides, many of which are children.  This is nothing new, civilians die in wars.

I have read the tweets from those living in Gaza this evening, while bombs were dropping around them.   I tweeted one 16-year-old girl wondering, as she stated, if she would live through the evening.   Now I certainly have no way of knowing if she was in the middle of the bombings, but I have no reason not to believe her; it’s certainly possible.  I am also quite aware that people, any people can use social media for sympathy and twist the truth of what is happening.   I also read tweets of Israeli’s, while they wanted it to end, their tone was not as heavy, possibly because they weren’t being hammered like Gaza.   Here is what I do know, if Hamas continues to  fires missiles at Israel, Gaza is going to continue to get hammered by the Israeli’s.

I have been doing a lot of research, trying to get a better understanding why Israel and the Palestinians remain enemies, so content it seems to destroy the other.   It is no secret they hate one another.   That may be a greater understatement than anything Obama has shared during his presidency, particularly the 2nd term.

I am not a university professor, I truthfully only knew the basics about the Israel vs. Palestinian history.   I have learned a lot in a short period.    I can not tell you all the references I have hit for information.  I selected resources I felt would be most unbiased with accurate facts.   I did not seek authors giving their opinion.

What I have learned is the Jews returned to the region they currently occupy beginning in 1917 with the heaviest flow around 1947.   The Arabs became more interested in settling in only after the Jewish people improved the agriculture and further developed the territory.    That’s when things went bad, but then the history between the two has always been bad.

There is much history, the U.N. dividing the land basically because the two people’s or I should say religions could not live together as one.  Then the Six Day War…….. and today’s war, along with everything in between.   It’s not as simple as that, but I am not the one to give a history lesson here.  Here is an opinion, why there will always be war between Israeli’s and Palestinians.

Palestinian’s, Hamas have made it clear over what seems to be generations and lifetimes they will not be content until all the Jews are dead.  The hate runs too deep for too long for attitudes to change. The children are taught to hate Jews.   I believe Israel initiates military offenses because they understand this, they are defending their future.

It is difficult seeing children hurt and killed because of the actions of their elders on both sides.   I believe this is more about religion than it is occupation of land.  If there was not an ocean between us, the U.S. would be right in the middle with Israel.   We are the Great Satan to the Muslim world……we will continue to be targets as well.

Attitudes that have been present since what seems the beginning of time, will never change.  That is a sad thought, history repeats itself.  I am searching for more understanding.






8 thoughts on “Searching for Palestinian and Israel Understanding”

  1. Oh, and since we get plenty of pro-Israel coverage from across the spectrum, in the interest of balance I’ll share this. just like we’re accustomed to hearing of some Arabs chanting death to America (some, not all, too damned many either way), there’s a part of the Israeli population that feels about the Arabs just as the Arabs feel about them. I’ve seen articles depicting Israelis sitting on hillsides, watching the Gaza bombardment like a sporting event and cheering it on. I’ve seen news of Israel using flechette rounds in its indirect fire assaults, and reports from previous assaults where they’ve fired white phosphorus into densely populated areas, war crimes on both counts, but they’re sacrosanct and never to be challenged unless one wants the standard retort, “what, Israel doesn’t have a right to exist?” to shut down the conversation, sort of like left and right do here with our various dog whistles, except that the right-wing extreme end of the population in Israel can and will always trot out the “never forget” card, forgetting their own long, Biblical history of genocide and their ongoing attempts to ethnically cleanse Gaza.

    That’s the kind of perspective that would immediately get me labeled anti-Semitic, never mind that I fully support moderate Israelis and don’t make the mistake of generalizing to all Jews from the ones in power now. More and more, I’m inclined to think that if we just pulled the plug on our support of them, a) they’d be forced to cool their jets if they didn’t know we had their back, and maybe, just maybe, would stop their share of antagonizing their neighbors with the continued Gaza blockade and the ongoing settlements issues, and b) maybe, just maybe our relations with currently hostile governments over there would cool down a touch if they saw for once that we were actually trying to be even-handed.

    I’m not suggesting we throw Israel under the bus, but maybe we’d do well to look at maybe erecting a DMZ along their border, stationed with UN troops, not just Americans, and put our feet down that they don’t get to keep shrinking Palestinian territories (historical maps since ’47 are informative) while acting like they’ve done no wrong in the process, like a red-faced kid with a hand full of cookies.


    1. A DMZ isn’t a bad idea. I have seen the same cheering crowd on the Israeli hillsides too, watching like it’s the Super Bowl. There are bad apples on both sides.
      It really is to a point of, being the same constant game with only brief time outs and nothing changes.


      1. Yup, which is what makes me at least question Israel’s value as an ally. It’s awesome to have a military power on our side over there, absolutely. But at what cost when their belligerence, justified or otherwise, keeps the powder keg over there inches from blowing every few months or years? Containing Israel and forcing a peace might be the very best thing for everyone concerned, if only because that’s the only party to the conflict we could interfere with without triggering massive backlash from the rest of the Middle East. If we tried joining in too overtly to contain the Palestinians, on the other hand, ISIS in Iraq would get an early birthday present, and we’d have Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan in the mix in no time. That’s the makings of WWIII, and the West is in no financial condition to fund its share of it.


  2. All we can do is search. Like you said, in so many words, there’s nothing cut and dried about it. The closest I’ve seen to a simple explanation does a fairly brilliant job of it by just showing that the land has always been contested.

    In my own reading, I came upon some population figures from the early 1800’s. There’s always been a Jewish remnant there, and that period was no exception. It was something like 6,000 Jews to about 3 times that many Christians, and about 250,000 Arabs. Depending on which sources one looks at, Jews started migrating back to the area and buying up land, evicting the Arab peasants occupying it. More Israeli-friendly sources refute that characterization, but I’m not sure how else they explain the population increase.

    Ironically, that reminds me of what we were going through here, sort of, less than a hundred years previous. Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys reacted to British crooked land deals (not suggesting the Jewish land deals were crooked, btw) by refusing to vacate because there were some serious double-dealings involving the land. Naturally, our patriots didn’t take kindly and resisted. All of which is to say that one person’s rebel is another person’s patriot if we take it back far enough.

    Arab nationalism was a response to the Jewish immigration. Zionism was a response to Arab nationalism. And like you said, it’s been a mess ever since.

    I’m certainly of the opinion that Hamas is a bad actor. As you pointed out, their charter explicitly calls for the end of Israel. As with the PLO, though, another one-time terrorist organization, when they started to succeed politically, almost in spite of themselves, they started walking back their most hateful rhetoric.

    Whatever our role there is, or ought to be, I definitely think we need to take the developments there as instructive. Palestinians, for their own good reasons, feel like they’ve gotten the short end of the stick, have made demands and requests throughout the history, have dug in their heels, and have met with failure. Faced with that and an enemy with overwhelming firepower, they’ve resorted to what they can. Terrorism is a poor man’s war. Israel, rightfully defending itself, has tried time and again to make offers, but none satisfactory to the Palestinians who, for whatever reason, are the ones at the negotiating table. As a result, all Palestinians tend to get broad-brushed by the worst of them (Hamas) and the least willing to compromise among them. So Hamas lobs it’s piss-ant weapons willy nilly into Israel. Israel responds with overwhelming might.

    The reason I see parallels here is because if we don’t figure out a way to resolve our own differences as a people, we could see something similar play out on our own shores. When the overwhelmingly powerful government refuses to acknowledge simple, basic demands from both right and left (Tea Party and Occupy, for instance), it’s just a matter of time before those who feel like they’ve lost their voice take it up a notch. Most recently, Cliven Bundy comes to mind. It doesn’t matter whether he’s right or wrong. What matters is that he and his sympathizers absolutely believe he’s right, and they’ve drawn a line in the sand. What if that scenario had gone south? Shots fired. Overwhelming force called in. Would it be just another chapter in a long, patient resistance? Or would it be the straw that broke the camel’s back, kind of like the Stamp Act was way back when?

    If/when that happens, and it might not even be the right that triggers it, it could well be the left. What if people crushed under student loan debt that can’t be forgiven in bankruptcy get sick of watching the Trumps of the world play bankruptcy laws to cover their asses for bad decisions time and again, while walking away smelling like roses? And get sick of watching big corporate bailouts while they’re left to rot for their possibly bad decisions? I think the last time we had a leftist go completely nutters, it was Kaczynksi/the Unabomber. What will light the fuse if the folks in government who won’t budge (Dems, if one sees it from the right side of the aisle, GOP if seen from the left) finally push too far? And if/when that happens, will we see the “sides” suddenly mix and mingle when it’s the big, overwhelming government forces against “the little guy” with non-military grade weapons?

    What CAN we learn from Israel v Palestine?


    1. Absolutely parallels, I had those parallels in mind when I wrote the blog. Wasn’t this the land Moses lead the Jews from Egypt to originally? I think it was, I don’t know the history of how they left …….Rome probably. Then of course returned. But I agree……has been contest for ever.
      I admit I am uncomfortable with accuracy when writing about this region.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you believe the fundamental truth of the Old Testament, the Jews were slaves in Egypt. Moses was told by God to free his people(the Jews) and the pharaoh said no so now come the plagues from God ending with the killing of every newborn Egyptian by the angel of death. The Jews marked their houses with the blood of a sacrificed lamp which is Passover. The Jews were set free and then Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his armies after his slaves. Moses parted the Red sea and after the Israelites got across the waters came back and destroyed Pharaoh’s army. The Jews wondered in the desert for forty years and finally came to their promised land where they killed all the inhabitants and took it over. That is the story from the bible and the one that most Jews, either secular or religious believe. God gave them the land. Later, under Roman rule the Jewish Temple was destroyed and Jews were scattered upon the earth. That was the diaspora. Then came WWI. The British controlled Palestine and the Balfour agreement was the start in securing a homeland and sovereign nation for Israel in their old area. After WWII guilt ran high and the brits decided the Jews needed their own sovereign nation, Israel. Israel was founded and the British washed their hands of the affair. Fighting started immediately as some Jews displaced Arabs and took their property. The Palestinians had been given Trans-Jordan, but some did not want to leave their homes in Haifa and other areas. Two peoples claim the same land and fight to this day over it and will not stop until one side wins totally and the other surrenders. We had a civil war with 600,000 dead and yet when it ended one side prevailed and over time the losers capitulated. When we defeated Japan we demanded unconditional surrender and we even changed their religion when we demanded that Emperor Hirohito renounce that he was a deity. Cease fires and negotiations will never end this conflict until there is one victor and the loser gives up the fight and accepts the terms of surrender. All else is futile and delaying the final outcome. Imaginary cease fires and temporary truces just give each side a chance to rearm and get ready for the next assault. I pity the innocents on both sides because they are the targets, with little to say.


        Rick K. Nelson


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