Thursday, March 31, 2016

Reflection 5: The Field Trip and Carol Zaru's Talk

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one marked by many years of struggle and bitterness and as such, there is not an easy answer for how the conflict can be solved. There are steps that can be taken toward a peace, however, without cooperation from both parties, there is no guarantee that they will help fix the damaged relationship between the two.

One step that needs to take place is that the method of Israeli military occupation needs to change. The situation faced by those in Palestine is inhumane and does not protect the rights of the people living there as the occupiers are supposed to do under International laws as was stated in the talk given at The Palestine Center. Carol Zaru’s presentation helped to show specifics of the experiences had by Palestinians living under occupation: curfews imposed without warning, checkpoints and the threat of detention by Israeli authorities, power and water being cut off for unknown periods of time as well as bombings. All of this lends to an atmosphere of fear that needs to change if there is going to be movements toward genuine and not artificial and forced “peace”. As the Israelis do not appear to be willing to change of their own accord, international pressure needs to be put on them.

Another major factor is that the international view on Palestine needs to change- particularly that held by the United States and many European Nations. They – the United States in particular- favor Israel and write off their atrocities as justifiable and regard the Palestinians who are living in oppression as terrorists. This view needs to change; this can be done through better and less biased education about the area. These nations need to learn about the struggles Palestinians face and put pressure on Israel to change.

If the method of occupation and international views change, there is more of a chance for an open and equal dialogue between Palestine and Israel that could lead to matters of contention being resolved in a way that is – although maybe not favored by both parties, is at least fair to both parties. Any negotiations done up to this point have been heavily favoring Israel and as such do not do any real, permanent, lasting change in the direction of peace in the area. Only if both parties are treated the same and there is no favoring of either side, can there start to be work toward solving problems in a way that is fair to both and may help to ease the tensions.

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