Ceasefire does not equal peace

Today is Thanksgiving back home in the USA ….. and I’m very thankful that there is a truce between Israel and Hamas.

Yesterday in Gaza we were glued to the radio (when there was no electricity) and TV (when we had electricity) watching the developments unfold.  And by the end of the day we knew a ceasefire had been declared.

Last night there was celebratory gunfire in the streets.  Palestinians are very happy, and I just heard an announcement over the loudspeaker from the Mosque declaring November 22 a holiday to celebrate their victory.

Netanyahu and Israeli leaders declared victory too.   They said they met all of their objectives.  Someone posted on Facebook that Netanyahu’s popularity has risen among voters in Israel because of his decisive action to stop the rockets from Israel.  His reelection is probably in the bag.

I suspect neither side can lay down their arms without telling their people that they won.

I’m trying to digest what all of this means, but my initial thoughts (before I lose electricity) are that we have no winners.  There is no real peace negotiated between the parties, and there is still an occupation.   The conditions that make life unbearable for the Palestinians in Gaza exist this morning, just as they have for years.  Lifting the siege may help, but it doesn’t address the root cause of the turmoil.

Israelis will live in fear of rockets raining down on Tel Aviv and the settlements in the West Bank.  They have learned a lesson.  Hamas is stronger than many previously thought and is not going to back down from a fight.

Palestinians in Gaza are feeling a measure of satisfaction that they are not a helpless, forgotten, weak people.  The international community rallied behind them in a way that they didn’t see in the last war (Dec. ’08 – Jan. ’09).

I watched the local Al Aqsa television station and it reminded me of the American media during those “Shock and Awe” days when the embedded journalists were standing in front of the camera explaining this or that operation.   The US government then, and Hamas now, have a vested interest in influencing public opinion to support the war effort.

The electricity may go off again in any minute and I want to post this quickly.  More thoughts later.   But lets remember all the dead —- mostly civilians (men, women and children) who paid with their lives for our failure to reach peace years ago.  Is peace possible now?  My initial opinion is that we’re no closer, and perhaps further apart, than I imagined a few short months ago.






Filed under Gaza, Media

7 responses to “Ceasefire does not equal peace

  1. Your example is not applicable at all to the situation in the Middle East because here we have the Zionists who made a calculated decision to create a nation by stealing land, murdering the inhabitants or forcing them to flee. Israel now OCCUPIES the land outside of the borders of the State —- which means it is responsible for the welfare of the people whom it is occupying — the Palestinians. There is no occupation in Boston.

    • You’re right, Lora. Now that I’ve shifted my thinking, I find that the situation in the Middle East resembles what American Colonialists did to the Native Americans. Native Americans have suffered hateful behavior, just like the Palestinians. Do you think this is a good example of the occupation?

      • Yes, I think the analogy with our own colonization in the US is spot on. Very different cultures, different military and technical capabilities, different customs and language, and one occupying the lands of the other by force.

      • The only way I can think of stopping this hateful, internal hegemonic behavior of “extreme bullying” (anywhere in the world, whether it be in the US or Gaza) is bottom-up, top-down philosophy. First, bottom-up is by teaching children subjects such as empathy and resourcefulness (real life skills) as the MAIN curriculum supported by other subjects (i.e. English wrapped around empathy). Top-down is via the legal process – and the legal process must be changed, because it’s not working. The process can work, though, if millions of people mobilize and protest for change. We need to be like Rosa Parks and the people that supported her. Leaders can’t lead for long if they don’t follow what their constituents want…. What do you think?

  2. Hi Lora. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m glad the rockets have stopped. I have a question: Why can’t Israel provide a FAIR trade of land and housing (is it supposed to be in the West Bank?) to Palestinians in exchange for the Gaza strip? AND, if there are Palestinians that don’t want to move from Gaza, or if there are Israelis that don’t want to move from the West Bank, then they can be “foreigners” in those areas. And Jerusalem is split 50/50. Is that too complicated or too simple?

    • Hi Patrick,
      Some people argue that the Israelis have settled on so much of the land in the West Bank that it is impossible to create two states. Others argue that Netanyahu (despite his rhetoric) never wanted two states. What we can’t forget is the occupation. I hope the people who live here (Palestinians and Israelis) will find a way past the occupation.

      • Don’t we sort of do that in the U.S.? We are this salad bowl-mix of cultures that (for the most part) live together side-by-side. I know we have separated neighborhoods in some towns, like Boston for instance. In those neighborhoods, race/income are seemingly the dividers (they are invisible economic walls – intangible, so somewhat difficult to break down that kind of apartheid, but not impossible – and seem to be in every town or city). The Boston neighborhoods are: South Boston (“Southie” mainly Irish), the North End (mainly Italian), West Roxbury (“Westie” mainly white), Roxbury (mainly black), Dorchester (mainly black), Jamaica Plain (mixed cultures and races), Roslindale (mixed), Hyde Park (mainly black) Allston/Brighton (white and Asian), Charlestown (mainly white), the South End (mixed and a lot of gay people), Beacon Hill (mainly white affluent), Back Bay (mainly white affluent), Chinatown (primarily Asian). While these cultures and races are different, they’re side-by-side. There is sometimes tension within or between neighborhoods, but NOTHING like the Palestinians and Israelis. So why can’t they do there, what we do here?

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