The Israeli-Hamas conflict/war that erupted over the New Year is just another battle in a long line of battles that have taken place in that region over the last several decades. If I understand things correctly, this current situation started with Hamas firing rockets into southern Israel, and the Israelis are retaliating in an attempt to shut down the tunnels and areas that Hamas is using to move its weaponry.
I have to admit, though, when I first heard of trouble in this area, my brain immediately shut down. It seems that for several decades there have been problems in this region, and I think I have become deaf to hearing about them. In fact, I am not even sure any more what these people have been fighting about over all these years because the reasons seem to change. Is it a simple dispute over whom the land belongs to? Is it a religious conflict due to intolerance of the faith of all the inhabitants in the area? Is it simply a long fueled hatred between people whose ancestors and theirs before them for centuries have never seen eye-to-eye? Someone told me long ago that the conflict between Arab and Israeli began centuries ago over disputes about land and water.
The truth is, anytime I try to find information on this subject, it is hard to find anything that isn’t slanted or biased one way or the other. And it seems when this matter comes up for discussion on Internet forums, usually verbal flame wars erupt. Clearly this is a hot button issue with no simple answers, maybe because over the years the issues that these people fight over are constantly changing.
One thing is for certain, this is another case where the United Nations shows that it is ineffective, with what appears to be no action on their part to do anything to broker a peace with the current situation. My fear is that Iran will use this situation as the excuse to involve themselves in this conflict, and we know that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had once said he’s like to wipe the Israelis off the map.
This whole situation can grow into a huge mess if handled poorly. My opinion is that right now, this is a mess we need to stay out of – and so should every other country. I am saddened that innocent people – on both sides – are being killed by this current conflict, but I do not think that anyone, other than UN military, should be moving in and helping at this point in time. This could only be like throwing gasoline on a flame. I hope cooler heads will somehow prevail, although I won’t hold my breath.
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