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Israel and Palestine, The Never-Ending War

Israel y Palestina, El American

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The historical war between Israel and Palestine dates back to biblical times, when Moses and the Jewish people arrived to the “Promised Land”, which was nothing more than the occupation of the Hebrews to the territories located on the banks of the Euphrates River, such as Canaan and Philistia.

The arrival of the Israelites to those lands responded to the typical dynamics of the times of Antiquity and once settled there, throughout the socio-historical evolution, three great ethical-religious groups converged, Jews, Christians, and Pagans, which eventually disappeared, to which later Muslims was added, so that these four great groups have coexisted in that land since a few centuries after the Roman Empire.

Now, a quick look at the conflict in contemporary times, after the Second World War and already in the middle of the Cold War, in May 1948 the State of Israel was officially proclaimed, a sort of strip from the Mediterranean to Jordan from East to West and from Egypt to Lebanon from North to South. With the emergence of Israel, Palestine was imbedded within it, basically reduced to the lands of the Levant, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and remains a non-member state of the UN.

After the creation of Israel, the Arabs closed ranks and attacked the newly constituted state several occasions, such as the Sinai War, the 6-Day War and in 1973 the Yom Kippur War. In the latter, finally, Israel prevailed over the Arab colligation, although the confrontation and skirmishes never ceased. It was not until 1993, when the historic peace agreement between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat took place in Washington under the auspices of Bill Clinton.

But an absolute and true peace never existed, soon after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and the Palestinians elected as their government the jihadist sectors of Hamas who logically clash fiercely with the orthodox Jews, making it almost impossible to achieve a peaceful coexistence between Jews and Palestinians.

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The constant Palestinian violence forced Israel to develop the anti-aircraft security device called the “Iron Dome”, one of the most effective in the world, which spared Israel from the usual bloodbaths resulting from regular bombings by Palestinian terrorists.

However, this violent outbreak of 2021 arose because Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was about to expire after running out of time to form a parliamentary majority last week, so President Reuven Rivlin empowered Yair Lapid of the secularist Yesh Atid party to seek a majority in Parliament and thus form a new government. A government that would be formed by a historic coalition between the extreme right of Naftali Bennet’s Yamina party and the five parliamentarians of the Joint Arab List under the leadership of the moderate Lapid, something never before achieved in Israeli political history.

Had Lapid’s government materialized, it would have resulted in the political defeat of Hamas, who would be left without its banners and rhetoric against Orthodox Jews, which means in other words, Hamas would have no reason to continue to exist and in the face of its imminent political death they attacked Israel, with more than 4,000 missiles, some of which have fallen in Palestine itself by mistake, the vast majority have been destroyed in the air by Israeli forces, but a small part penetrated the defense in Israel, which has responded legitimately with air and ground operations.

At the same time, lynchings of Jews by Arabs and vice versa have taken place, escalating the violence of the conflict to a scenario close to a civil war in the city of Lod, in addition to Ramle, Acre, Jaffa, Jisr al Zarqa, and Umm al-Fahm, according to the BBC.

Unfortunately, everything indicates that this new episode of violence between Israel and Palestine will be prolonged and Lapid’s historic initiative for a coalition government capable of laying the foundations for a solid and lasting peace will end in shipwreck.

Nahem Reyes is a PhD in history from the Andrés Bello Catholix University and associate member of the American Studies Center of the Central University of Venezuela. // Nahem Reyes es doctor en Historia de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello y miembro asociado del Centro de Estudios de América de la Universidad Central de Venezuela.