After a three week offensive in Gaza, Israel pulled troops out and the two sides have commenced a fragile ceasefire. Though it is difficult to foresee how long this truce will last, it is an issue that has become all too familiar in the Middle East.
The United States has continued to pressure Israel to create a Palestinian state, saying that this may bring peace in the region. The European Union also called for a permanent treaty between Israel and Palestine.
World leaders have struggled to create a lasting peace plan in the Middle East with little success. As part of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty of 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai. In May 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon. Israel also pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 and almost completely from the West Bank. Still, terrorist threats and attacks continue.
With continued pressure to relinquish land and unrelenting terrorism affecting the nation, one may ask, “when is enough, enough?” It is clear that giving up land is not the solution. Israel has divided its land time and again, yet the violence has not ceased, and the creation of a Palestinian state seems further out of reach.
Israel’s actions are drawing criticism from surrounding nations and the media that says the Gaza attack was unethical and a “massacre.” Before the attack on Gaza, Israel dropped leaflets and sent warning calls to residents to get out of the city and to stop supporting Hamas.
The actions in Gaza were a response on Israel’s behalf to constant missile and rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently called for the prosecution of Israeli leaders along with an encouragement to all Muslims to cut trade ties with Israel. He has stated that Israel “must be wiped off the map,” and that if the West will not remove the nation, “then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them.”
In an article from The Associated Press, military spokesman Abu Obeida stated that Hamas would continue violence despite the truce.
“We are still ready and capable of firing more rockets. We are developing the range of our rockets and the enemy will face more, and our rockets will hit new targets, God willing,” said Obeida.
It is impossible for peace due to continued threats of Israel’s annihilation. How does one make peace with nations that call for your destruction? It is clear that the war in the Middle East is not merely a disagreement between the nations, but a religious war rooted in a dispute over the rights to occupy the land and its holy sites.
The resolution will not be resolved with peace talks, but with recognition of Israel’s rights to occupy the land. Due to the nature of hostility that the nation receives, Israel has the right to defend itself and protect its people.
Becky Yeh is a junior journalism major and a contributing writer for the Daily Forty-Niner.