Thursday, December 8, 2011

Isolating the Middle East Extremists: The Silent Majorities Must Come Together

By: Fadi Zanayed
The current crisis involving Israel and Palestinians in Gaza is a situation where the extremists on both sides of the conflict have, once again, controlled the agenda against peace.  The extremists on both sides continually destroy any hopes for peace, while the silent majorities on both sides are standing idly by as mere spectators.  These two silent majorities need to join forces; need to isolate the extremists; and need to demand of their leaders that the time for peace has come.  Enough is enough.
No one can deny that any country being on the receiving end of rockets being launched against its citizens must defend itself.  By the same token, no other self respecting democratically elected leadership can withstand two years of a siege that has left shortages of food, water, medicine and fuel, leaving their constituents in  a hopeless state, without doing something, anything to end that siege.   While these statements sound like the old adage of what came first the chicken or the egg, the inception of the conflict is really not that hard to understand.  It is the OCCUPATION.
The present conflict is the outgrowth of the occupation by Israel.
The Palestinians have a just cause.  Yet, the extremists on the Palestinian side have committed many acts of violence that the just cause depiction that they so vehemently espouse has been diluted to frankly the opposite picture.  The airplane hijackings in the 1970’s, the suicide bombings in 1990’s and the rocket attacks in the 2000’s have all distorted the Palestinian image. 
The Israelis need to live in peace and security. Yet as the only country that has never had one day of peace, they are controlled by the extremists.  Whether it is their Knesset make-up where one small fringe and extremist party can bring down a government with its views; the war mongering radicals who allowed the massacres of Sabre & Shatilla in 1982 and Jenin in 2002; the gun toting extremists who continue to build settlements on Palestinian confiscated lands; or whether an assassin kills an Israeli Prime Minister who dared make peace with the Palestinians, the extremists have controlled the atmosphere of peace.
I truly believe that there is a majority of Palestinians who truly desire to live in peace with the State of Israel.  I also believe that there is a majority of Israelis who truly desire to live in peace with a Palestinian State.
Unfortunately, these majorities are silent.
For peace to have a chance, these majorities need to come together. American Palestinian and Jewish leaders need to join forces to bring the majorities in Israel and Palestine together.  It is imperative that these two groups break their silence because the alternative is the continuation of the status quo; the continuation of more children on both sides being killed; and the continuation of playing into the hands of the extremists.  The Palestinian and Jewish majorities in the US and in the Holy Land must come together. 

(  © Copyright, Fadi Zanayed.  Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)

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