Tremor: 6.8, Depth: 2.7 kilometers, Location: 0.0 kilometers from Gaza City, Gaza
Today, I woke up sick. Not deathly ill, but enough to keep me bedridden for the day, and unable to attend classes. However, through the throbbing pain of a headache I still have to this very moment, I have been obsessively checking a live feed of news on the Gaza siege. To the hour, 102 Gazans have been killed, while the total has reached three on on the Israeli side. To say this is lopsided would be an understatement, but the issue goes much deeper, as proved by the disgusting remarks of Gilad Sharon.
While I’ve been watching the wires today, and trying as best as I can to calm myself in spite of my anger over the injustice being committed here, one op-ed brought my blood to a boil. Gilad Sharon, son of the former Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon, wrote one of the most incendiary and jaw-droppingly stupid pieces of trash to ever be produced with regard to this conflict. As if arguing that there shouldn’t be “electricity… gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing,” wasn’t enough, he goes on to embrace the very same argument Osama Bin Laden used to massacre 3000 Americans on September 11th by saying that no one in Gaza is really innocent, because they elected Hamas. If this were some nut on the fringe of Israeli politics, things might be different. But this is a former Prime Minister’s son, whose views are more and more becoming the Israeli mainstream.
And this gets to the two larger questions: Who wants peace, and is it possible? Leaving the second question aside for a moment, I believe the more important thing to consider is who really wants peace. Not Hamas or Likud, for their entire existence depends on a terrified, angry populace dehumanizing their neighbors until they are a faceless other worthy only of death. The settlers do not want peace, because they know any deal involving an independent Palestinian state will require their removal. Perhaps the Lebanese government would enjoy peace, even if many of the paramilitary factions that run parts of the country wouldn’t. These days, it’s hard to find a group of people interested in the topic.
The image of a final peace agreement is not one anyone paying attention is confused about. The borders will be as they appear today on a map, with all Israeli settlements removed from the West Bank, and with the two independent nations sharing Jerusalem as a capitol. The Palestinian Authority will control domestic and border security within the nation, and will get U.S., Jordanian, and possibly Israeli assistance to weed out remaining terrorist elements. However, the real question has nothing to do with rockets, bombs, or even borders. The real question is when will both sides stop talking out of both sides of their mouths, and instead get some real leadership to make this happen. And the answer to that question rests not with Gilad Sharon, but with the people of each nation.