Hamas must be defeated, but if the Israeli government continues its far-right policies that has made the 2-state solution more and more difficult if not outright impossible, the current conflict will simply become just one of the many repeated violent cycles since 1948. When children grow up without parents, when young people grow up without hope, when a community has been deprived of dignity, when a people has been denied humanity, then inevitably more and more individuals, especially young people, will be radicalized because they simply have nothing to lose.
This on-going conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in a sense has become a test of whether one truly believes in "All Men are Created Equal".
As usual, Oliver, Friedman and Nicolas gave in-depth fact-based analysis on this complex issue.
Nicholas in this piece described he met two Palestinians 41 years ago. He managed to meet them again, and after the meeting Nicholas wrote ...
I remembered two young men full of promise and warmth, animated by hope and inhabiting a world in which Israelis and Palestinians interacted regularly and didn’t much fear each other. It is wrenching to see such change. As Saleh and Mahmoud became dads and grandfathers, they were shorn of a future, of vitality, of hope.
And that, I think, is the core of the Palestinian problem.
In this column, Nicolas examined three myths.
The first myth is that in the conflict in the Middle East there is right on one side and wrong on the other (even if people disagree about which is which).
The second myth is that Palestinians can be put off indefinitely, strung along by Israel, the United States and other countries. That was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy, his way of avoiding a Palestinian state, and it worked for a time — the way a pressure cooker works, until it explodes.
The third myth is found on both sides of the conflict and is approximately: It’s too bad we have to engage in this bloodshed, but the people on the other side understand only violence.
If you weep only for Israeli children, or only for Palestinian children, you have a problem that goes beyond your tear ducts. Children on both sides have been slaughtered quite recklessly, and fixing this crisis starts with acknowledging a principle so basic that it shouldn’t need mentioning: All children’s lives have equal value, and good people come in all nationalities.
In this column, Thomas examined Netanyahu’s plan and his real motive.
And have no illusion, Netanyahu is offering only one vision right now: Seven million Jews trying to govern five million Palestinians in perpetuity — and that is a prescription for disaster for Israel, America, Jews everywhere and America’s moderate Arab allies.
Why is Netanyahu trying to destroy the Palestinian Authority as a governing option for a postwar Gaza? Because he is already campaigning to hold on to power after the Gaza war is over, and he knows there will be a huge surge of Israelis demanding he step down because of how he and his far-right cronies distracted and divided Israel and its military by pursuing a judicial coup that Israeli intelligence sources told Netanyahu was emboldening and tempting enemies such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
In this column, Thomas examined the dangerous myth of “once and for all”.
When The Times’s Israel correspondent Isabel Kershner recently asked an Israeli Army tank driver, Shai Levy, 37, to describe the purpose of the looming Israeli invasion of Gaza, he said something that really caught my ear. It was “to restore honor to Israel,” he said. “The citizens are relying on us to defeat Hamas and remove the threat from Gaza once and for all.”
That caught my ear because, over the years, I’ve learned that four of the most dangerous words in the Middle East are “once and for all.”
All these Islamist/jihadist movements — the Taliban, Hamas, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, the Houthis — have deep cultural, social, religious and political roots in their societies. And they have access to endless supplies of humiliated young men, many of whom have never been in a job, power or a romantic relationship: a lethal combination that makes them easy to mobilize for mayhem.
And that’s why, to this day, none of these movements have been eliminated once and for all. They can, though, be isolated, diminished, delegitimized and decapitated — as America has done with ISIS and Al Qaeda. But that requires patience, precision, lots of allies and alternatives that have legitimacy within the societies from which these young men emerge.
In this episode, John presented facts about Netanyahu who has always been a hard-right and he was able to hold on to power only because he formed coalition with the most far-right extremist who have done everything to make the 2-state solution impossible and had actually popped up Hamas to undermine Fatah of PLO, because Netanyahu actually never wants a partner for peace, they call Hamas as "asset".