On October 7th, there was a terror attack on a peace festival in Israel by Hamas; a pro-Palestine militia group. This attack saw the death of more than 300 people and more than 1590 people were injured. In response to this attack, Israel has been attacking Gaza in an attempt to put an end to the Hamas Militia group that is believed to reside in the areas that Israel is attacking.
The whole situation has become too complex to even have a proper debate on a way forward. Israel is killing and making thousands of people homeless in Gaza but they are doing it in response to a Hamas attack.
Regardless of the side someone chooses to take; they are simply considered heartless. Heartless because they do not sympathize with the innocent people who died and those who were injured during the 7th October Hamas attack. Heartless because they do not sympathize with the innocent Palestinians who are losing lives because of Israel’s response to the 7th October Hamas attack.
It is important to note that this is not the only escalated conflict that has existed between Israel and pro-Palestine groups. The best way to understand what is really causing all this conflict is to backtrack on how it comes to be. Here is the breakdown.
587 BC: Babylonian Conquest of Jerusalem
The nation of Israel existed before 587 BC. It had kings such as Solomon, David, and Saul. They were the only monotheistic nation at the time. During this time, no other nation worshiped “Almighty God”. Fast forward; the nation lost its independence to Babylon in 587 BC. The majority of the Israelites were conquered and taken out of their land and only a few remained.
Since that time; the Israelites never got any chance to exist as a stand-alone nation ever again. Some of them got the opportunity to return home during the reign of the Persians (The empire that replaced the Babylonians.) but they existed under the rule of the Persians.
Former Rulers of the Contested Land
The Persians were overthrown by Alexander the Great, Alexander the Great was replaced by the Roman Empire, the Roman Empire was replaced by Islamic caliphates, the Islamic caliphates were replaced by Crusader states, the Crusader states were replaced by the Egyptian dynasty of the 13th century, the Egyptian dynasty (Mamluk Sultanate) was replaced by the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Empire was replaced by British Mandate and the British mandate handed over to Israel.
Of all these former inhabitants of the Land, it is only the Egyptians and the Islamic caliphates that can be related to the present Palestinians. It is not possible to find any pre-Israel Palestinians since the majority of the Palestinians are monotheistic. It is very important to note that before the Christian religion, it was only the Israelite state that was monotheistic in nature.
This implies that if the Palestinians are monotheistic, then they came after the Israelites. So should we say the land rightfully belongs to Israelites? The short answer is no. Here is why
For more than ten centuries since the Babylonian invasion of Israel, the nation of Israel didn’t exist. Whoever occupied the land at the time that the nation of Israel was no more, equally and rightfully has a claim on the same land. We cannot verify that the occupants were Palestinians but at least we can find occupants to identify them with.
To better understand this, the conquerors were conquered. The people who once ruled over Israel and controlled Israel also lost to other powers. In the process, many Israelites were scattered but the history of their heritage remained. Whenever the conquerors were conquered, they created a splinter group similar to Israel. They seemingly became displaced and detached from what they refer to as the land of their heritage.
Israel has a longer claim history on the same land but this does not mean that other people do not have ancestral history on the same land. Then if both groups have ancestral history on the same land, what should the land belong to? To many people, the answer is Israel but what happens to the other people who call the same land home and they do not want to identify with Israelites?
Beginning of the Conflict
The conflict dates back to 1946 when the British Mandate in partnership with the UN worked forward to the establishment of the Israel state. At this time, there were not very many Israelites in Israel. However once the state was established, many Israelites started returning to their ancestral land.
There were people already in Israel who were displaced by reason of the establishment of the nation of Israel. These people felt like there was no need to share the land with the Israelites because they didn’t identify with Israel. It is not clear which group had the higher population then but the Palestinians at that time didn’t agree to having two states. They simply wanted the land to be for Palestinians.
The conflict that is currently going on is an objection to the establishment of the state of Israel. Many have suggested the establishment of two states in the same land; that is the state of Israel and the state of Palestine but this does not take away the original cause of the conflict which is a total objection to the establishment of the state of Israel in a place that Palestinians claim to be theirs.
All attempts to establish two states have not resolved the conflict. The cease-fire that many people are calling for recently does not solve the conflict. Militia Palestinians will simply reorganize and attack Israel again based on their objection to the existence of the state of Israel.
Pro-Two State Palestinians
There are Palestinians who stand for the two-state solution but these are not very popular. The most popular Palestinians are those who stand for the narrative that claims that Israel invaded Palestinians to establish their current state and they should hand over to Palestinians and lay low under the rule of the Palestinians.
Israel-Hamas Similar to Russia-Ukraine
To better understand the Israel-Palestine conflict; we have to look at it in light of the Ukraine-Russia war. It is possible to have a two-state solution similar to Russia and Ukraine but that will not solve the desire for Palestinians to invade Israel. In this case, the Palestinians are more like the Russians; the only difference is they do not have the same military power.
What is happening is what would have happened if Ukraine was stronger than Russia. It would have appeared like a fight for ancestral attachments by a weaker power. Of course, this is not the only reason for the Russia and Ukraine war but when you look at it in this light, it helps you understand what is going on between Israel and the Palestinians.
The only reasonable way forward is a two-state solution. This has to be backed by the Arab countries. Any cross-border attack is a declaration of war on another country and that is what Hamas did. Though Israel claims that they are trying to eradicate Hamas, they are actually fighting a conquest war that will help them establish Palestinian leaders who are in favor of Israel.
This makes the two-state solution very complex because you cannot have a Palestine state that is subordinate to the Zionists. That would be a puppet state. It will simply create more reasons to fight for independence!
The best solution would then be to divide the country into Palestine and Israel. Then deport all Israelites and Palestinians to their respective countries. Once this is achieved, the two countries should close their borders and cut all ties. By doing this, they will avoid any reason for war that would arise by claims of unfair treatment of Palestinians in Israel and as well as unfair treatment of Israelites in Palestine.
After a couple of centuries, the countries can then start working on the way forward towards cooperation with each other. That would start with opening the borders and allowing people to cross between countries. With the current tension, there is no way to have peace without having two closed border states.