There are very few topics that attracts as much heated response as the Israeli Palestinian conflict and no matter how much you try keeping it civil or rational the discussion usually ends into sharing pictures of Palestinian kids being killed by the Israeli Armed Forces.
Problem is that this particular topic has become a sort of Political Cancer for almost everyone, the conservative Muslims, the moderate Muslims, the confused Muslims, Westerners who hate Israel, westerners who support Israel, and above all the true and genuine Libertarians. Perhaps the Libertarians find themselves in the most awkward position on this conflict because they see both sides doing equally wrong things and they would rather like to be upfront about the fact that this conflict is driven by crazy religious sentiments more than anything else but given the sensitivity and the kind of hype this matter creates it becomes extremely difficult to keep yourself in a balanced position.
There are some burning issues related to this conflict, such as:
1. Israeli Occupation: Yes, In a sense it can be called an Israeli occupation but there are multiple problems with this. Fact is that Palestine did not exist as a country itself, it was simply a British Colony just like any other colony. In terms of helping Israelis to settle there, that isn’t any different to helping British people settling down in Australia, New Zealand or other colonies. We hardly (ever) sit down and cry over how Britain created settlements in New Zealand and the poor Mauri people. We never consider Australia an illegally occupied country. Why is it so ? Is it just because Mauri or Aboriginals were not Arabs or they never accepted Islam as their religion ? Or is it because they didn’t have the population as big as Palestinians have.
2. Invasion: Muslims consider Jewish Migration to Israel and setting up their Government an Invasion. While it certainly can be defined as an Invasion, question is that do we oppose all invasions or is it just one exception that we feel we should call it an Invasion. How come we never jump up and down for Russian Invasion into Ukraine, how come we never have a problem with all those Islamic Invasions throughout the history from India to Spain ? Were those Invasions alright just because they were trying to spread Islam ?
3. Land Issue: When we say it’s a war of two religions, we get a counter argument that no its a Land Issue. The question arises that whose land is it really ? History tells us that it was Muslim Forces who captured Jerusalem back in 8th century and no Muslim ever lived there before that time. So when we say its Palestine and its Muslim Palestine why do are we so desperate to ignore the historical background of this land. Some Muslim friends even go the length of denying that Jews ever lived there, conveniently forgetting what Quran say about Bani Israel.
4. Self Defense: On the other hand, Israel considers its right to retaliate in self-defense whenever Terror organizations such as Hamas fire a missile or carry out an explosion in Israeli city. However, we can deny the fact that innocent civilians do die on both sides. How on earth genuine libertarians can justify the killings of innocent civilians whether Arabs or Jews ?
5. Holocaust: The WWII Holocaust undoubtedly left a long-term psychological effect on Jews all over the world. So much so that it may have made them accept anything in the name of Self Defense. They just forget that the way Innocent Palestinians are dying today, the same way Nazis were killing Jews during the early 20th century. How can you sit down and enjoy watching rockets being fired on civilians (even if there are Terrorists hiding in those areas) and not compared it to the Holocaust.
Pakistanis on the other hand have some special interest in this conflict. The same Pakistanis who fail to show any sympathy to the Minorities (Hazara, Shia, Ahmadi, Hindu etc) being brutally killed in Pakistan will ask you to change your Profile Picture on Facebook to show solidarity with Palestinians, as if the blood of Pakistani Minorities is not red enough.
I also fail to understand how we can’t compare the situation of Gaza with North Waziristan in Pakistan’s tribal areas. According to Pakistani Government there are some terrorists hiding in Waziristan region and its important to attack them without having to worry about Civilian casualties. The same thing happens in Gaza, Israeli Government says that there are terrorists hiding behind Civilians and its important to attack them and not having to worry about the civilian casualties as well the large number of locals who had to flee from their homes in order to save their lives. Perhaps the only difference is that Pakistani Government has blocked access for Reporters and Journalists which means we don’t get the correct figures on casualties.
I know its very hard to keep the emotions on side and look into this matter objectively and blame both sides for their actions but until we don’t do this, I don’t see anything improving in that region …