As someone from the Middle East, born and raised in Iran, I would like to express my views on what is happening. The solution to peace in the Middle East is a complicated one, requiring a lot of forgiving. Nevertheless, there is a solution, so long as the parties hear some basic reality checks:
To the Palestinians: Israel exists. Yes, the Israelis stole your land, kicked you out of your home and sent your families to tents raised in Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Yes, the Israelis shoot you in the head as soon as you open your mouth to complain while the rest of the world holds you down. And again, yes, you are being treated as second-class citizens in your own country where you also have nothing to eat and the occupiers' plates are full. No fair person can deny any of this. But accept one thing: The Jews are there, and as long as the United States of America exists, they will remain there. You need to think what is best for you. If you think the Egyptians care about you, think again. Egypt was the first country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, remember? What about the Syrians? All the Syrians care about is to use you to get the Golan Heights back from Israel. They couldn't care less about the Palestinian cause. And don't get me started on Saudi Arabia and Jordan. So, you see, you have to worry about yourself. You need to retire Mr. Arafat and call on a general election to bring about an honest government that cares about you and your interests.
To the Israelis: We know you are strong and we know America is behind you 110 percent even when you are wrong. (Did you watch the presidential debate the other night?) You have humiliated the Palestinians long enough. You have taken over their lands, demolished their homes and sent them off to refugee camps. They have stones and you have helicopter gunships and tanks, and for the past month you have shown to the world how nicely you can use them. Stop this brutal campaign. Accept the U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and withdraw your troops from the occupied territories if you want this cycle of violence to end. Do you honestly believe you can grow and prosper while all around you people are oppressed and suppressed by you? Let the poor men, women and children return from the horrible refugee camps to their homes in Palestine. Help them build schools, factories, roads and hospitals. Help them stand up on their feet just like the Americans help you even to this day. Remember, your prosperity is linked to the prosperity of the Palestinians, like it or not. You have killed more than 100 Palestinians in the past month and wounded 3,000 more. But as soon as you lose two soldiers, you unleash hell upon them? Is Israeli blood redder than the Palestinian blood? The only way you can have peace with the Palestinians is when you consider them your equals.
To both groups: You are stuck with each other, possibly for eternity. Get used to it. Your futures and destinies are so intertwined that there is no escaping it. I know it is hard to accept each other as neighbors and partners after all this, but you have to have a vision for peace. To start with, Israel has to implement U.N. Resolution 242 and give the Palestinians a sovereign state. They cannot and will not settle for anything less than their liberation from a menacing military that is occupying their lands and killing their children. As far as Jerusalem goes, perhaps we ought to consider internationalizing it, putting it under the control of the United Nations to stop you from fighting over it. Let's end this violence. Accept each other as equals. Your blood is the same, and your future depends on recognizing and accepting that.Comments powered by Disqus
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