There is no hope that the world will be able to get the future prosperities in the Middle East without resolving the enduring Palestinian-Israeli conflict that even connected with the disastrous Iraqi quagmire was in many ways. It is not certain if Students of Dongguk University recognize the facts of the other side of the globe, which even kids in the Middle East know all too well. We have heard for ages that Palestine is the root cause of instability, turbulence, and violence in the Middle East and throughout much of the world for last half century.
It is very hard indeed to ignore the virtually umbilical connection between the enduring Palestinian plight, and the wars, terror, and bloodshed in many parts of the globe. Take for example the disastrous quagmire in Iraq. We know and George Bush knows all too well that the American occupation of Iraq was conceived in Israel, carried out for Israel’s sake and is now maintained more or less under pressure by pro-Israeli pressure groups in the United States. The fact is that Israeli occupation of Palestine is the ultimate illegitimate mother of all these abominations. There might be some other symptomatic factors, but the real core reason is right there in Palestine.
President of U.S. Bush says he is committed to a settlement that will result in two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living together in peace and security. He says reaching that goal is one of the highest priorities of his presidency. But the chances for an Arab-Israeli peace agreement are slim.
The Palestinians had, through their daily confrontation with the Israeli occupation forces and the hardships of their living conditions become painfully aware of the Israeli intention of maintaining the Zionist state in the palestinian territory.
The first Intifada of 1987-1990 endorsed this concept further calling for a two-state solution based on an end to Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state in the remaining 22% of their home that were known as Palestinian Territory.
The many years of negotiations which followed saw ? rather than an end to the Israeli occupation ? the division of the territory into three areas: Area A that of the six main Palestinian cities, under limited Palestinian-control, Area! B with joint patrols, Palestinians civil and complete Israeli security control in a patchwork of Palestinian villages, and Area C that of Jewish settlements and the remainder of Palestinian territory, where Israel retains the occupation in its absolute form. Consecutive Israeli governments, despite their varying political persuasions, have maintained a consistent strategy based on maintaining maximum control over the Palestine, with the clear aim of foreclosing any possibility of a viable Palestinian state emerging.
Indicative of the extent of this concerted policy, is the fact that today Israel’s settler population in the Palestinian territory has doubled than ever. Five different Israeli governments can be seen to have shared the goal of rendering peace according to the agreed formulas as complicated as possible, if not inconceivable. In the same period and in addition to the torturous re-negotiations and endless postponements, Israel succeeded to limit their withdrawal commitments and thus too the area of autonomy afforded the Palestinian Authority, leaving the West Bank territory controlled by the Palestinians today at a mere 17.2%, which is less than 4% of historic Palestine.
Despite Israel’s perpetual procrastinations and avoidances of the numerous agreements, the Palestinians retained their hope that withdrawals would take place and progress towards ending occupation would be made. In accordance with the timetable stipulated, and in the face of the clear reticence of Is to withdraw as pledged, the Palestinian leadership demanded the implementation of unfulfilled Israeli commitments prior to entering the final phase of permanent status negotiations.
The Israeli occupation of Palestine, which is nothing short of an enduring act of assault, is no longer a local or regional conflict that can be contained or prevented from spilling over to distant parts of the world.
There is a rising sense among some Arabs that armed resistance is a successful way to change the status quo. Because the Palestinians have witnessed the insurgency in Iraq, what he calls the perceived defeat of the Israelis by Hezbollah in Lebanon, the perception that Israel was forced to withdraw from Gaza, the rise of Iranian influence and the election of Hamas in the Palestinian territories, the chances for a peaceful solution with Israel have gotten worse.
In 21st century, not only Middle East but also the rest of the world include the North East Asia will no longer be immune from the direct or indirect effects of what Israel is doing to these tormented Palestinians.
We are not suggesting in any way that America’s wanton backing of expansionism that can provokes the criminal urban bombings. And the bombings are unconscionable acts of murder that can only harm the otherwise being brash crimes targeting innocent people.
There is, however, no doubt that the continued reluctance of the world, to let Israel to prolong its occupation and rape of Palestine will result in more frustration and indignation and frozen rage throughout the Middle East and rest of the world. If we pay a little more attention, we will discover the identity of those who are trying unabated to stoke the flames of discordance and hostility between Islam and the West.
Joong-Kwan KIM Prof., Dept. of International Trade
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