Violence can’t resolve fresh Mideast crisis

Bikram Vohra

By: Bikram Vohra

On June 12, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank. This was widely reported and generally condemned. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the kidnapping on Hamas — a move probably aimed at hurting the PA-Hamas unity government. He also promised retribution. In the days that followed over 1,600 raids were conducted in the West Bank and Gaza killing about 20 Palestinians.

Revenge never solves anything; it just ups the ante on violence and agony. When on June 30th of this year it was announced the three teens had been killed, Netanyahu tweeted: Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created. Neither has vengeance for the blood of three youths who were on their way home to their parents who will not see them anymore.

He then went on to say Hamas would pay. That night, the specter of violence and hatred spiked. By nightfall, came news that a Palestinian teen from East Jerusalem had been abducted and burned alive by Israeli settlers.

This savagery could have been avoided. A cooperative venture between the two governments to catch the killers of the three teenagers could save the lives of 20 Palestinians and the suffering of thousands. But it does not happen that way, does it? We don’t find peace because it is not sought and the truth is made of rubber, to be molded to convenience.

Since that night on July 1, one writer says that parts of Israel have been burning, and clashes between Palestinians and police in Shuafat, the East Jerusalem neighborhood where the killed teenager lived, have been particularly intense. It is now all about rubber bullets and tear gas being flung at a grieving neighborhood. No one is safe, no door has a lock, your home is not your castle in Palestine, and you are a target with a big circle on your chest … or a red dot.

There is a rider in this rain. An American teenager from Tampa visiting Palestine, who happens to be a cousin of the slain Palestinian teen, was beaten black and blue by the police for throwing rocks and is now under house arrest.

You cannot have a one-way road for grief. Grief is a two-way street. Who will avenge this young lad … the answer is blowing in the wind. No one wants to tweet and send Facebook messages on this fact.
The point is, why cannot this be resolved with talk and discussion and sensible debate … why always blood and gore? And why no stopping the lack of human decency, privacy and basic dignity?




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