Moving forward

Thursday, August 18, 2005

All Eyes on Gaza

What will history say for this moment? Was it the beginning of a two-state solution or was it the beginning of the never-ending, never honest, Israeli policies and ploys that continue to evade peace and keep a steady cycle of death and despair for all the people of the region?

I hope it is the beginning of a real two-state solution. If it is, it will happen because all eyes ARE on Gaza. I believe, as many other Palestinians, that this unilateral move was not meant to promote long-term peace. However, I do have hope in the people and governments all over the world watching. It will definitely prompt them to learn more about the real situation in the Holy Land. Questions will and have already come about how this came to be; who is paying the cost; and, why has this gone on.

As all eyes are riveted on settlers being pulled forcibly from their homes, images and soundbites of extremism are left for people to decipher. The homes they have built on stolen land go against international laws. The incentives the settlers were given to knowingly break international law and live on stolen land is mindboggling. The funds they are now being given to resettle is equally mindboggling.

Gaza land and the land in the West bank was stolen in front of its rightful Palestinian owners. Owners that were forced to live yards away and able to see and feel everyday the pain and hurt of being uprooted. There was no compensation for the Palestinians forced into refugee camps and, funds to help them resettle in Gaza do not come near that of funding for settlers. Israel needs to find parallels in the current situation. Israel needs to right the wrongs of the founding of their state. Acknowledging their part and compensating for land and homes lost is first. The sense of moving forward after that through good-faith negotiations can lead to closure and a future with peace for both sides.

The entire settlement movement required military protection, unnecessary homelessness, unnecessary deaths, unnecessary violence, hunger, fear, hate and an overwhelming sense of no hope for peace.

There are no winners in Gaza so far. The next step and absence of that next step have planted that seed of pending doom. This modern day era of mass communication (print and visual) can change that.

What this withdrawal means, if it continues throughout the West Bank, is PEACE! There will be no turning back after that. So, Gaza must not fail! Both sides need to make sure that there are no losers in Gaza. The Palestinians need to step up to the plate and demand and outline the necessary measures and funding it will take to keep order and rule of law in the immediate post-Gaza withdrawal. And, that will not happen without strong U.S. intervention. Extremists groups cannot win over democracy and rule of law.

It's sad to watch any people being removed from their homes... even knowing the history behind it. The worse thing about this whole situation to me, as a parent, is seeing children led by their parents to be exposed to hurt and hate. It teaches children to fight against peace. No matter what the ideology these parents espouse, confusion and rage will overcome and rob those children of their innocence. I cannot believe the images of children, crying, convulsing, and being put in a position to bear the brunt of pain without explanation and hope for a better life. What type of parent does that to their child?

What type of parent puts ideologies before their child? I can not understand that. I see it manifest itself in many different ways on the Palestinian side too.

Surely, the children of Abraham were not meant to kill one another for land, most especially in the case of Gaza, when they are both Jewish.

For both sides, what's done is done, and, Gaza can help us to move on or stay stuck in the past forever.

As long as all eyes are on Gaza, we can make our voices heard to keep not only the vision of peace moving but the actions towards peace constant.