THE Israeli-Arab conflict has a storied history that cannot be reduced to a single incident initiated by Hizbollah.
There are, in fact, many who criticise Israel for the manner in which it decided to incorporate the West Bank an
d Gaza into the Israeli security system after defeating the Arab armies in 1967.
After the war, Israel decided to establish new Jewish settlements in these areas. In the process, many of the two million Palestinians who lived in these areas were either intimidated into moving or forced to flee their ancestral homes.
These bullying tactics persist today as many Palestinians continue to be treated as citizens without rights.
The root of the present crisis in the Middle East lies in Israel’s existence as an independent state with indefinite borders. Only when Israel is given definite and final borders by the international community and all the Arabic states will there be real hope for peace.
It should also be noted that Israel’s original claim to the “promised land” is biblical.
They were themselves not the first settlers or proprietors of this land but rather as the “chosen people”, took it by force after Moses died.
The Messianic king promised by the scriptures later went unrecognised by the Jews. In this Messiah called Jesus Christ, God is no longer tied to a specific geographical area of a place that we might call Israel.
God’s kingdom is a universal kingdom today.
Israel has to be realistic and know that they cannot impose only their idea on all the Arab countries. All the people of the earth are people of God. The Jewish people are not alone the chosen people. God is not a real-estate agent.
It is easy for supporters of Israel, in this new ecumenical age to suggest continued violence as being necessary since Israel possesses US-backed military strength. This kind of thinking which betrays an ability to rationalise without thinking rationally is clearly unacceptable.
Can lasting peace ever be achieved through violence?
Though Israel has won all her battles in the past, this has not won her lasting and just peace. The solution, therefore, must be political. We have to pray for peace and work for justice through dialogue. War is a cowardly escape from justice.