The information from the U.S. media has tainted the truth about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The biggest problem in the media portrayal of the conflict is blaming one country, Palestine. Though some Palestinians have promoted the conflict and prevented any peace from happening, Israel has done the same.
Since 1997, Israel has received over $15 million a day from the U.S., while Palestine receives less than $250,000 a day from the U.S. After Hamas won the election, the U.S. decided not to give them money because the U.S. claims Hamas promotes terrorism and denies Israel’s right to exist. But how can the U.S. deny funds to one terrorist organization (Hamas), but fund another terrorist organization (Israel)?
Why is Israel a terrorist organization? Simple: because some of its past leaders have said terrorism is part of their plan to rid the area of Palestinians. In May 1948, former Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
Ben-Gurion also said, “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader, I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: They think we have taken their country.”
In 1969, another former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir said, “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. … It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”
Meir didn’t even acknowledge the Palestinian people, and yet people are hung up on Hamas calling for the destruction of Israel.
Israel has taken away the Palestinians’ land, rights and has killed thousands of Palestinians. The United Nations has tried to end these injustices by targeting Israel with over 65 U.N. resolutions – the most of any country in the world. These resolutions against Israel have included responses to unlawful attacks on neighbors, violating the human rights of Palestinians, establishing illegal settlements and refusing to abide by the U.N. Charter and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Despite these U.N. resolutions, Israel still refuses to give Palestinians their rights.
Even with the return of some occupied territories, the Palestinians continue to face difficulties in their own land. Israel has increased the number of roadblocks and barriers, and has tightened travel restrictions for Palestinians in the West Bank. As a result, they are imprisoned in separate areas, making it harder to reach properties, markets and medical services. Israel claims its arrangement of permanent checkpoints, concrete barriers and temporary mobile roadblocks are needed to protect Israeli towns and Jewish settlements from Palestinian attacks, but it is really a way for Israel to annex these areas and make an illegal border for Israel.
Israel says it wants to negotiate, but it really does not. Not negotiating allows Israel to infringe on Palestinians’ rights and steal their land. Attacks will then continue, giving Israel a reason to build the illegal wall, which will unilaterally mark off an Israeli state.
Palestinian government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said it best when referring to the Israeli claim of negotiations by Haim Ramon.
He said, “Haim Ramon’s assertion that Israel is ready for negotiations is no more than an attempt to trick the public. They don’t want negotiations and even if there were negotiations, they would not give us our rights.”
Israel is not the only country to blame, though. Palestine is also to blame for this conflict, as well as many other countries. There is no need to point the finger over who started the conflict because that will lead to more hatred and anger. Before making an opinion we must try and understand both sides of the story, so that an informed and unbiased opinion can be made.
Shahid Shaikh is a fourth-year chemical engineering major.