Though the conflict between Israel and Palestine can be traced back to the foundation of the state of Israel, this latest skirmish is a result of an institutionalized bigotry that could have been avoided if the court had acted impartially.
Sometimes during a war, it is hard to tell good from bad, heroes from villains, especially in the age of social media when even the most obvious confrontations with a clear guilty party could be painted as the innocent one. Same thing goes for what’s been happening between Israel and Palestine. For so many years, at least in the US or countries like Germany which were responsible for the plight of Jews, Israel was being treated as a righteous and justified party at every turn. Unfortunately, the age of social media has the added benefit of inclusivity which means that no matter what, the truth finds its way out eventually. That means even though the Westerners are desperately trying to present Israel as the justified once again, it has become clear for all that this war wasn’t started because of Palestinians actions.
Though many believe that the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine officially started with Sheikh Jarrah’s expulsions, we prefer to go a little bit further in time. Back to the beginning of the Muslim sacred month Ramadan when many Palestinians were barred from congregating near their holy site. To make the matters worse, Israeli radical group Lehava entered the scene, inflaming the repressed rage of Palestinians by chanting “death to Arabs”. During the fighting that ensued, hundreds of Palestinians were injured and transported to hospital while almost no one on the other side with the exception of a few riot officers was injured. After so much debate, the Israeli government relented, allowing Palestinians passage to previously locked districts. Unfortunately, it proved to be a ruse to set the people’s minds of what was happening in Sheikh Jarrah.
The situation in East Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah’s neighbourhood is nothing new. As far as the story goes, Israeli settlers started the whole fiasco when they filed court cases against the local Palestinians living in that area. As expected, Israeli court voted in favour of Israelis, issuing an order of eviction for the Palestinian families who were living there for decades. These past days however things steadily grew worse with Palestinians gathering en masse in the designated houses and Israeli settlers growing even more hostile toward them. Last Friday was the turning point of the whole ordeal. Gathering together to have one final meal at the al-Aqsa mosque on the last Friday of month Ramadan, Palestinians staged a sit-in in response to expulsion which ended up in a fight with Israeli police. During the raid that followed more than 200 Palestinians were injured. Subsequent raids against the Palestinians sheltered in al-Aqsa mosque left 300 more wounded.
No longer willing to sit and abide by the rules, Hamas issued an ultimatum for Israeli forces which expectedly were ignored. By Tuesday morning, Hamas effectively launched its own attack on Israeli assets with more than 200 missiles barraging down on Jerusalem only. The Iron Dome intercepted most of the rockets mid-air but even an advanced system such as that can only do so much. On the other side, the war effort is going better given the advanced capabilities of Israeli army but launching a frontal assault against an enemy who is not anywhere near as advanced does not exactly look good on their records either. That is exactly where the world and public opinion enters the scene and given what has been happening, neither of them is in Israel’s favour. The US who stood with Israel at every turn and decision throughout its history is urging calmness, not willing to back Netanyahu’s government directly. Russia, a country with deep ties to Israel, has called on the country to stop the settlement immediately. Even China who sits out conflicts as such has asked the parties to show restraint. In spite of all these, neither of the warring sides is willing to back down. An all-out war is looming on the horizon. Israeli settlers have started a war with no clear outlook, they better hope that they will be the one finishing it; If not, they will have to spend the rest of their lives lamenting at all that could be saved if not for a stroke of a pen.