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EDITORIAL: Sustainable peace needed in Gaza conflict

A MESSAGE was sent to The Tribune’s managing editor recently, asking just one question – what is The Tribune’s position on Gaza?

A simple question perhaps but not a simple answer, nor a simple solution.

For his part, our managing editor has his own experience of the situation in his birth country of Northern Ireland, which for many years looked impossible to resolve, or to bring about peace.

As he said, over the years there were too many outsiders there who declared what they thought would be the solution to The Troubles, while being unaware of what those solutions meant in practice.

For Northern Ireland, the peace that came about through being part of Europe together and bringing the borders down brought a peace dividend.

But it wasn’t easy. Former enemies had to learn to work with one another, to sit across from one another in Parliament, and not always hark back to the shootings and kneecappings of years gone by.

In South Africa, there was the same hard-earned healing process, with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to deal with what happened under apartheid.

The commission’s goal was to bring about forgiveness and reconciliation between perpetrators and victims of apartheid. The key to it all was telling the truth. It had to be admitted that there were human rights violations before the country could move forward.

Which brings us to the situation in Gaza.

The attack that took place on October 7, 2023, when Hamas launched an assault that saw rockets fired and thousands of militants breaching the barrier with Israel, killing 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals, and taking another 253 hostage, was shocking indeed. To Israel and to the world.

The reprisals, with Gaza crushed by the Israel counteroffensive, has been equally shocking. The exact number of those killed is unclear, but the Ministry of Health claims 30,000 were killed by the end of February, although that number is disputed.

The response in our pages from our columnists has been broadly clear – that the first thing that needs to happen is for the killing to stop. Only then can any kind of future start to take shape, whatever that looks like, be it a one-state solution or a two-state solution.

And there is the area where we run the risk of being the outsiders who do not fully grasp the history and nuance of the situation. This conflict did not truly begin on October 7, it stretches back many years before that.

What the solution on an ongoing basis should be is something that should be determined by all parties involved to ensure peace. To bring that peace dividend that Northern Ireland saw, to see the reinvigorated economy of South Africa.

But what we can say is that the killing has to stop to give that future a chance.

As it stands, that conflict has the potential to spiral out of control and affect the region more widely, but one death or a thousand deaths, all are tragedies.

Cool heads are needed, and not just ones that are looking for a victory, but ones that are looking to build a future.

Comments

birdiestrachan 4 months ago

From the looks it seems that the lives of Palestinians are not as important as the lives of Israelies It appears as if Hitler has come back from the dead

avidreader 4 months ago

Thee concept of a two state solution to the question was rejected by Israel from the very beginning. Look up the name of the Swedish diplomat Folke Bernadette in order to discover his "reward" for advocating a two state solution in 1948. Most people don't know enough history to grasp fully the dimensions of the problem

Dawes 4 months ago

Umm in 1948 when Israel declared its independence they were attacked by the Arab league. The Arab league assumed they would easily win and then there would be no Israel. Now Israel assumes they will win and there will be no Palestine. This is on both of them as since then neither wanted a two state solution

Porcupine 4 months ago

"Cool heads are needed, and not just ones that are looking for a victory, but ones that are looking to build a future." Agreed. This is what the UN and other "outsiders" were charged with doing. Not always successful, but a start, right? Examine the facts and come to an equitable solution. The US and Israel have ignored, over and over, the recommendations of the world's people for decades now.. Since the conflict didn't start on October 7, perhaps a short review of history would help. Take the hundreds of UN resolutions, or the calls from international journalists, and human rights organizations, not all of which, or perhaps any of which, could be called anti-Semitic. For decades now, the international community has called for the removal of illegal settlements by Israel in "occupied" Palestine, ending the extrajudicial state sponsored killings, apartheid, and collective punishment. Among many other human rights violations by Israel. How have Israel and the US responded? Clearly there is no "rules based order" for those with the most lethal weapons. What did we learn from the challenges in Ireland? Perhaps that honest dialog could pave the way for peace? Israel and the US have snubbed their noses at all calls for justice in solving this conflict over and over, and over again. We have not had any honest peace brokers. Is this not clear to all who have been paying attention prior to Oct. 7? What we are witnessing is a genocide in Palestine. It is an epic tragedy for mankind. While we watch, and talk. Children are being starved to death. And we want dialog. We are sick, aren't we? That the world's leaders waffle and hesitate on calling for an immediate ceasefire and immediately calling for a tribunal not dissimilar to the Nuremberg trials to hold those responsible for these crimes against humanity, is clear evidence that humanity is not making progress on these matters. Sometimes, as when a child is being raped, it is incumbent upon us to act. Not talk, not have diplomatic meetings, not ask both sides to testify, but we must act definitively, boldly, forcefully, immediately to stop the crime. The world saw what happened in the holocaust. Is this any different? The oppressed, as explained and understood by modern psychology, have become the oppressor. While we waffle and ask for dialog. No. Stop the global descent into madness. For clearly, much of our world has gone mad. There are not two sides here. Humanity is being almost unimaginably cruel, ruthless and soulless to ourselves. There is only one side here. The battle for human decency. And, it seems we have lost this once admirable trait. I am not alone in seeing this. A sad state of affairs, perhaps maybe even a fitting ending, for a God-chosen species, hey?

Dawes 4 months ago

From reading your reply it is apparent that you fall in the no Israel camp, rather then the two state camp where both can hopefully get along. You conveniently ignore all atrocities committed by Palestine or her allies and decide that only those committed by Israel matter. Not doubt this is because you don't agree with Israel. In 1947 the UN agreed the two state Solution. Israel declared independence and then was attacked by the Arab league. It was only a long time after (around the 1980s) when Israel had defeated the league 3 times that some of them agreed to a two state solution. Hamas still has not agreed to a two state solution, maybe its them you should hate as well?

Porcupine 4 months ago

It is not a question of hate. Hamas has a right to break out of their "open air concentration camp", as described by all reasonable and decent humans. And yes, I fall into the no Israel camp as the experiment of giving another person's land away by an imperial power does not jibe with my sensibilities. No hate, no injustice, just give the Palestinians their land back, as most of the reasonable, decent world citizens have agreed. And, the UN has stipulated. But, the US and Israel continue to support the expulsion of native peoples from their historic land. Zionist Israel was, and is based on total lies. God was not a real estate agent. One cannot convert to being a Bahamian. Would DNA support the idea that Jews came from the "holy land"? Why use a completely different set of criteria for establishing ownership and heritage of land? Many in the west, The Bahamas included, have succumbed to the barrage of lies coming from mass media surrounding the establishment of the state of Israel. It was not a land without people. It was not another colonial country's choice to give it away. If there is guilt over the holocaust, let those who perpetrated these crimes pay for it with their land and resources. The Palestinians were not involved in the holocaust, were they? This is nothing more than a power grab and a geopolitical chess move that moves humanity closer to the brink of extinction. Sadly, it has nothing to do with Judaism, since all decent Jews are protesting this situation, along with the countless millions of other decent people around the world. Political Zionism has absolutely nothing to do with Judaism. Israel has nothing to do with Judaism. If this isn't clear, we've failed miserably in our stated educational objectives. The world is opening its eyes. Israel and the US will soon be irrelevant. Are we prepared here? Or, do we even acknowledge it is happening? Or, did you miss the recent UN votes? What nations are willingly standing with the US and Israel? Because they are jealous, or because they see the US and Israel as bullies? Time to be honest.

Dawes 4 months ago

The UN has not stipulated that all the land goes to Palestine, but that there is a two state solution. Which you have now said you don't agree with. Why do you not agree with the UN two state solution like all reasonable humans? Seems that you are just as bad as the extremist Israelis who want 1 nation that is Israel. Until the side that only wants their side to rule the whole land changes their mind, there will never be peace (unless of course the other side is completely wiped out, which no right thinking person would want).

Porcupine 4 months ago

A complete and immediate ceasefire or not? Watch Democracy Now! today for a different perspective than the mainstream media would like you to believe. Israel and the US has drug the world to new lows. While some continue to say Israel is justified in this slaughter. I am tired of the lies and brainwashed westerners

Dawes 4 months ago

And release of all hostages or not?

Porcupine 4 months ago

Let's try this., Dawes Watch today's Democracy Now! program in entirety. Listen to the doctors speak. Now, tell me we are members of a decent world. Tell me we are civilized, and have the right to make comments as if we are qualified to do so, while this shit continues. Humanity has doomed itself. We are all members of a losing team. All of us. While this carnage and slaughter goes on, who among us is blameless?

Dawes 4 months ago

I believe in a two state solution as per the 1967 borders, which is what the UN wants. You want a 1 state solution. My way has at least a chance of both sides living peacefully. Yours does not, but you will complain if the side you want to win isn't, until they do.

Porcupine 4 months ago

Please dear editor, Allow me one correction to your opinion piece. You state, "The reprisals, with Gaza crushed by the Israel counteroffensive, has been equally shocking." While you also state that this whole issue did not begin on Oct. 7. Anyone who has taken the time to study apartheid, recognizes that Israel has imposed apartheid on the Palestinians. Therefore, I would argue, as do many others, that this action by Hamas was the counteroffensive, in the context of being held captive in what most honest observers call an open-air concentration camp. Israel's illegal occupation of Gaza, imposing it's unqualified cruel assault on civilians and collective punishment as defined by the highest courts in the world, is the first offensive. Hamas, as anybody who is dignified would do, fought back. Context is not an excuse. However, nobody in their right minds,would submit, or subject themselves to Israel's unarguable dehumanization campaign against an entire population. So, Israel did not launch a counteroffensive. They launched another offensive against the freedom fighters who are literally fighting for their lives, against a totally immoral army and government. Imagine the German government and people speaking like the Israeli's do. Imagine hearing German children singing about killing Jews, while the Holocaust was being committed. It's hard enough to imagine how the German people allowed the holocaust to happen. At least there was a plausible deniability, since they didn't have the technology available at that time. Today, we are witnessing a genocide by any reasonable definition, while the world stands by and has meetings. Pretty sick, hey?

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