Gaza and three possibilities
As I was writing this article, a cease-fire was about to be declared between the sides of the weeklong war in Gaza.
The latest death toll was 137, consisting mostly of civilians. And everyone feared Israel would launch a land operation to enter Gaza and implement the "final" solution. What that solution implies is well known: the complete Israeli occupation of Gaza. This in turn would mean tens of thousands of deaths and a complication of the Palestinian issue beyond any hope of solution. It is said that Israel calculated that it would suffer great losses in a land operation, and the missiles Hamas owns cannot hit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and, in addition, Israel took into consideration that "the world no longer lives in 2008, but in 2012," as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has noted.

The current conflict might have proved as destructive as the Israeli operation codenamed "Cast Lead" in 2009, whose death tool was as high as 1,435. While it is a bittersweet joy to see the death toll has remained as low as a 10th of that of the previous operation, this is the truth.

A question that the British Empire left behind as it left the region has grown into a big fireball. It is obvious that Israel tends to divide the Palestinian movement and break its addressees into pieces. Fatah and Hamas long fought each other, while Israel sat back and watched the conflict. Still, not everything is running smoothly between the two groups. But today Israel has a more determined opponent that can fight more fiercely than Yasser Arafat and that is not distant to Iran. The last attacks earned Hamas great prestige at the expense of Fatah. The world has now started to see the Ismail Haniyah-led Hamas as the main addressee in the Palestinian issue.

All hegemonic and arrogant states believe it is a great skill to create confusion inside their rival countries. By doing so, they believe they can undermine their strength and win the final victory more easily. But, this is not the case. Rather, the issue at hand and the addressees involved become more complicated. It is even the case that the resulting fragmentation eventually leads to additional alliances. Thus, today, the bombing of Gaza plays into the hands of Iran. Just think about it: Are we talking about Bashar al-Assad's murder since the start of the Gaza attacks? But who made the first move by sending missiles to the other side? Who gave Benjamin Netanyahu the chance to attack Gaza on a golden tray in the run-up to Israeli elections?

There are three possibilities in the case of a war: (1) to destroy the enemy completely; (2) to make peace; and (3) to maintain the war in a strategic balance.

Thankfully, most of the time the first option is not very plausible. But, unfortunately, in many cases the second option cannot be implemented, either. So, in general, we see the warring sides of the conflicts around the world tend to kill each other over many years. Despite short-lived changes in power balances, no side can declare its final victory.

This is like watching a great destruction in slow motion. All peace efforts aim to restore the 1948 situation. This is very saddening. Tens of thousands of Palestinians and a smaller number of Israelis died in this conflict. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are living in camps. Do we need bloodshed and violence in order to be convinced that we have to live together and in peace or we should stop fighting each other? How long will the children of Ishmael and Isaac continue to fight? How long will Israel maintain its arrogance, thanks to its advanced technology and the backing of big states? As the shells sent to Gaza and the images of innocent children killed in the attacks only help more and more Palestinians become soldiers to fight Israel out of rage and hatred, the contemptuousness of the Israeli side voicing such "solutions" as dropping an atomic bomb on Gaza is nothing but proof this conflict cannot be solved with this method, isn't it? Can Israel feel secure so long as this problem remains unsolved? This is a lose-lose game and the only way to solve it is to find a way to coexist and respect each other's right to life.

MARKAR ESAYAN (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-22 12:00:01
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