Hamas-Israel War: Seeking a Path to Ceasefire and Dialogue

Without understanding the historicity of the issue, we will go nowhere if we believe that Palestinians have no right to life. What has been happening in Gaza is nothing but torture. But the Western world has been ignoring and sleeping. Violence breeds violence

The crisis in West Asia is an abject failure not only of the so-called ‘omnipotent’ ‘intelligence’ of Israel but also of the Western countries who have given carte blanche to Israel without any international accountability. Hamas’ actions can be termed as ‘brutal,’ but the fact is that it is an organization fighting for Palestinian rights, which Israel regularly violates. The conditions in the Gaza Strip are said to be extremely adverse for human living, as Israel can enter it at its whims and fancies, converting it into an open-air jail. Western governments have shamelessly allowed such human rights violations to happen and are now caught in their own trap.

Israel is a powerful country that thinks it can violate international borders and eliminate people at will. The fact is, the Jewish lobby internationally is financially powerful and exerts influence over the United States. The irony of the situation is striking. Those who exterminated Jews in Germany and elsewhere have become best friends. Those who bombed Germany and Japan are the ‘allies,’ while they criticize Russia and its army, which actually protected the world from the Nazism of Hitler, as enemies. For the right-wing, it’s best to say less. They express support for both Hitler and Jews, and Israel. You can’t find such a low level of IQ anywhere else in the world.

Without understanding the historicity of the issue, we will go nowhere if we believe that Palestinians have no right to life. What has been happening in Gaza is nothing but torture. But the Western world has been ignoring and sleeping. Violence breeds violence.

The attack has surprised and shocked Israel, and it has declared war on Palestine, which has already been in conflict for the last 75 years. This problem was created by Britain and Americans to maintain their hegemony in the Middle East. Today, they have been caught napping. Now, Israel’s counter-attack will be used to kill people. Innocent people are being killed, either by Hamas or Israel, and such deaths will continue if a settlement is not reached. Why are the Western world unable to do so? Do they want an unstable Middle East so that their hegemony is not challenged?

There is no doubt that killing innocent civilians is a war crime. There is every possibility of an escalation of violence, and it must stop immediately. Long ago, Israel destroyed Iran’s nuclear facilities due to their alleged support for Palestinian groups. Today, there is every chance that the war can escalate, and Iran is not sitting idle, waiting for an attack on it. The world is still grappling with the Ukraine war. Now, this fresh conflict will further aggravate the crisis. The question is, will the international powers now intervene in Palestine as they have done in Syria?

Will Russia and China get involved in the crisis? If that happens, it would be extremely dangerous. India must tread its path carefully, keeping its own geopolitical interests in mind, and allow diplomacy to take its course while protecting the interests of Indian nationals living in the Middle East. It must be prepared for any emergency in case the crisis escalates to other countries. This is not the time for rhetoric but for serious introspection.

This attack on Israel is their 9/11 moment. The response from their side will be lethal. But it needs to be seen whether it will be confined to Gaza or cross other international borders. If that happens, we are living in uncertain times now. Will the West join hands in ‘punishing’ Iran? That is the biggest question. Hamas or no Hamas, the real challenge for Israel would be dealing with Iran.

The real answer to these issues is not the complete elimination of the Palestinians but a discussion of peace. Both the Palestinians and Israel must accept each other’s right to live independently and without fear. International boundaries need to be created and respected. Palestinians have the right to their homeland, and it is a historical issue, not something that has happened overnight.

India has supported the Palestinian cause. Yasir Arafat was a much-respected leader in India. Of course, we now have good relations with Israel. But rather than using the Israel-Palestine conflict for narrow domestic political gains and creating a hate agenda against Muslims, it would be better for India to continue watching the situation and taking initiative. Lately, India has developed good relations with Iran. What would happen if Iran is drawn into the conflict?

The BJP has started using the conflict for whataboutery. Bringing up an international issue with a historical context for narrow political gains is nothing but hypocrisy. You can’t support both Hitler and Israel at the same time.

You can deal with Hamas, but do the people of Gaza have a right to a dignified life or not? Do the Palestinians have the right to a dignified life or not? The UN must intervene effectively in this, as any failure will only help Western arms industries and escalate the war in the Middle East, which will further strain our already fragile economies. War is not the answer, and peace is not possible while living in denial mode. Israel and Palestine are realities and must accept each other’s existence. No peace will be possible if anyone denies the existence of the other. Many times, the internationalization of the issue does not help and is detrimental to the rights of the people. Peace is the need of the hour, but how it will be achieved is the real challenge.

Meanwhile, the brutalities that are being projected on TV channels and the celebrations of killing innocent lives, humiliating soldiers and women, cannot be supported or appreciated. We unequivocally condemn them. Don’t deny people and soldiers their dignity in conflict. Women are the biggest victims of war. Attempts should be made to end this conflict. For that, both countries must come out of denial mode. Also, international players need to sit and talk honestly. Decide on the international borders of Palestine and Israel and resolve the conflict. The world cannot afford these endless conflicts that only strengthen the powerful arms industries everywhere. Stop this madness.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

The author is an activist and is currently working on Impact of Ganga and its tributaries in the Himalayas and the plains of India

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