Sunday, July 20, 2014

#SaveGaza , Israel, and Iron Dome

When we talk about Gaza, the only thing that came up on top of our head would probably be the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What else Palestine are famous for, other than olives and olive oils? Perhaps the Jerusalem, holy city for the Muslim, Jewish, and Christians.

But did you know that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been going on since the early 20th century? It was tiring, long-winded, and complicated history of bloodshed, suffering and despair. Depend on which side of the story that you have heard, their conflict started even before the World War 2, and right after in World War 1. That was Arab Palestinian riot in 1920, where the Palestinian were against the influx of Jewish immigrant and Jewish growing communities. But the whole thing took a full swing in 1948 where Arab-Israeli War first broke when the Jewish started to declare their independence, gained recognition of the Israeli state, which lead the Arab nations started to intervene in the Palestinian affairs.

Things have not always been this way before. Before this, Israelite and Palestinian agreed to co-exist with each other. But something went awry, and they became what we can see today, endless conflict. There is this thing called the Oslo Accords, surfaced in 1993, led by Israeli officials named Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leaders of Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat. Their idea was to strove for peaceful solution between the two party.

But the tension between the Jewish Zionist and the Palestinian nationalist grew tenser, as later Yitzhak Rabin was assasinated during the delicate time of what they called the Oslo process. The Oslo Accord still exist until today, but apparently both side seems unsatisfied to what they see as one-sided agreement. Each side claimed that they were being sidelined or their right have been ignored, or something. It was so confusing, today only the Jews and the Palestinian know the truth of the matter.

But what is the Oslo Accords? Oslo Accords is what created the Palestinian Authority, whose functions are the limited self-governance over parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The issue that Oslo Accords supposedly covered were the borders of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the Israel's military presence in and control over Palestine after the recognition of the Palestinian state by Israel, and the Palestinian right of return. There were a lot of argument about this, and the Oslo Accords fell short on the promise of a Palestinian state.

Right now, even after the Israel promised to let the Palestinian to govern for themselves, the problem was that they are literally being confined in their own so-called self-governed state.

Not to mention that the Oslo Accord did not stop the continued settlement expansion by the Israel. Stories that the Palestinian lands being confiscated, evicted by force, and many more, caused the deterioration of Palestinian economic condition, much to Palestinian frustration. 20 years after the Oslo Accords 1993, which is up to until 2013, the Jewish settler population is tripled. Of today, Palestinian probably owned less than 10%  land of what formerly called Palestine.The only Palestine that we probably recognize now would be the West Bank and Gaza.

But why do they hated each other?

Historically? I'm not even touching that issue. Like I said, it was a long time ago and almost every single turn when they were about to resolve their conflict, there were perpetrators that instigate the war even more. And its coming from both sides.

Yitzak Rabin assassination was just the tip of the iceberg. There was also Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, Munich massacre, Avivim school bus massacre, Six-Days War, and many more. Perpetrated by both sides. But the people that suffer the most is actually the Palestinian civilians.

Most of them, who have nothing to do with the skirmishes, live in a terrible condition. If you see the list of items that was banned from entering Gaza strip, you'll be surprised. No livestock, not even seed, nuts and canned fruit. Israeli responded to this by claiming that they are pressuring the Hamas, for an economic warfare. There you go, Hamas. Their target was Hamas, but the one that suffered was actually the Palestinian civilians who just wanted some nuts and dried fruits to eat in the morning. So you can see that the Israel is seriously trying to impoverished the Palestinians so that they would turned against the Hamas.

So you were saying about the Iron Dome?

Ah, the Iron Dome. Israel latest high-tech defense system. Designed specifically to protect Israel's populated areas from Hamas rocket artillery attacks. The defense system utilizes sophisticated radar system that guides their Tamir or Arrow interceptor missiles, that can stop missiles, rocket, and even artillery shells. Easily transported and deployed, the Iron Dome have the success rate of over 85% intercepting dangerous projectiles.

But against Hamas unguided Qassam rockets? Probably 100% success rate of interception. This effectively put the siege by Hamas rendered almost completely useless. But then again, can Hamas really compete with Israel in term of military prowess? So what is the catch here? Why Hamas kept insisting of sending rockets into Israel? What is their endgame?

No nuts? Eat this rokkit, Israel!
And that, brings us to the #SaveGaza. Save Gaza is not just some pretty words put together so that you would donate some money out of your wallet to help the Palestinian. But if you did donate, then God bless you.

However, Save Gaza campaign was meant to increase the public awareness of Gaza situation. And their situation is not good, at all. Israel had them blockaded from the land, sea and air. Even embargoed them from a lot of things.

By now, the Hamas siege have reached the 13th day. More than 60,000 Palestinian have been displaced, over 2,000 Palestinian injured, and the death toll reached over 350 Palestinian and about 80% of them are civilians. On Israel side? 5 people died, with 3 soldiers and 2 civilians in the casualties list. And also, Israeli's nuclear plant in Dimona almost got hit.

Hamas has so far refused to yield even though they are being pressed by Israeli relentless air, sea and land attacks. Israeli military even launched a counter offensive by taking down Gaza's underground tunnels that they believe used by the Hamas to bring in war material and supplies. However, that doesn't mean the world are just watching without doing anything. As the death toll keep increasing, diplomatic efforts are also intensify with other Arab nations pushing for truce proposal between the two sides.

Now I know, some people would support Israel with the 'self-defense' argument, while other would support the Hamas with the 'fight against oppression' argument. But make no mistake, both side are at fault here. Its pointless to point finger here.

In fact, the root of their hostility is not exactly some ancient feud. Arab and Jews lived in relative peace and indifference toward each other for thousand of years throughout the Middle Eastern history. Their hostility however has a modern origin. It all started when the United Nations gave a portion of land of Israel to the Jewish people, where at that time where inhabited by the Arabs Palestinians. That is when the shit hit the fan, where the Arabs felt like their are slowly being driven out of their own home, while the Jews.. well, Zionism.

Zionism is the national movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of Jewish homeland in the territory called Land of Israel. Where they firmly stands that Jews should uphold their Jewish identity, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority in their own nation.

Technically, the Jews are saying to the Arabs to go and take a hike.

And you wonder why they are so pissed off.


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