What brought me to put finger to keyboard is the current re-escalation of tensions between Hamas and Israel in the never-ending saga of a dispute that stretches back to a time long before internal plumbing.
Both sides might be equally vile, but, as in every conflict, it's the innocent that suffer the most. The teenagers who were murdered on both sides are tragic, and only reveals the barbarity of those who believe this conflict to have a true purpose aside from settling a feud about land and religion that has existed for far too long in human history.
Right now, it is Israel that has the stranglehold over Palestine, but not too long ago, it was the Palestinians who controlled the land. However much that is unlikely to change is indeterminate, given that Israel has a highly developed military and economy, but one cannot anticipate the rogue variables of tomorrow.
The only actors with enough influence to end this conflict reside in Washington, D.C. and Brussels (and within the capitols of all the EU states). Israel, the main power broker of the area, relies heavily on trade to both, and Gaza depends on aid from the EU.
There are many steps that the US and the EU should take, but these should be the main ones:
- Cessation of aid and trade to both countries until a general ceasefire can be agreed upon.
- Hold accountable those in both Israel and Gaza who have broken multiple ceasefires and have continually retaliated to the other's actions.
- Draw up a two-state solution based on the previously agreed upon borders with exceptions:
- First, the blockade around the Palestinian territories will be lifted. There will be no imposition of Israeli tax on goods sent to Palestine. There will also be a cessation of Israeli settlement-building, and any illegal settlements will be razed, its residents moved, and the land given back to the PLO.
- Second, the PLO would be given a parole period during which it will have to clean up its governance within Gaza with the help of international observers, excepting Israel. Should a single rocket be fired from Gaza into Israel during the parole period, the treaty would be in abeyance. Israel can request transparency reports on progress.
- Third, should any rocket fire fall into Israel and should Israel retaliate, then both the US and EU would impose economic sanctions on the region. This is obviously indiscriminate and punishes both for one's initial actions, but this clause looks to prevent escalation that so often creates out-of-control circumstances.
- Fourth, all eligible voters in the Palestinian territories should be registered and a new election will be called, to be conducted by independent watchdogs from the UN, the EU, the OSCE, and the AU. As this is the creation of a formal new state, this is perfunctory.
That's all for now,