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30 July 2014

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 July 30, 2014
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MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

EVERYDAY for the last few weeks, sadly, and as seems to be always the case in modern-day global life, our TV screens and news reports have been filled with many horrible catastrophes from around the world. We’ve all been truly shocked at the recent tragic Flight MH17 plane disaster. A shocking event which came quickly on the back of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (which still remains a total mystery four months on from the plane going missing) to other awful airplane crashes involving Air Algerie and Taiwan Trans Asia Airways where many lives have been so tragically lost. These horrible events are enough to cope with let alone the various horrendous warring conflicts around the globe.

All too inevitably in all this human strife is the conflict in The Middle East. Ever since the middle of the last century this long-standing historic disagreement between two peoples has never failed to shock us all to the very core. We all wonder where is the basic humanity here? The everyday slaughter of innocent people is a truly humanitarian disaster of the first magnitude.  It is man-made. It is no accident. Such conflicts offend decent humanity across the globe. We all shudder at the sheer horror of it all as we witness horrific scenes splashed across our TV screens from the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Two peoples whom, for god only knows why, seem absolutely determined to stay on the path towards mutual self-destruction. For god’s sake we all ask ourselves – when will the killing of the innocent end?  

I defy any decent civilised human being not to be moved and truly appalled with an abject sense of pure bewilderment and outrage at the horrific images of women, children and babies seemingly being slaughtered at will by the incessant Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Yes, of course it is accepted that the Palestinian Hamas rockets being fired into Israel territory are massively provoking the Israeli government into taking some form of retaliatory action. That is a given. But these semi lame Hamas attacks do not have the same devastating results as the current Israeli onslaught does on the people of Palestine. That said of course and by the same token, one Israeli life lost in this conflict is one too many.

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

The Palestinians send mainly ineffectual rocket shell attacks into their sworn enemies territory mainly as a statement of frustrated protest rather than resultant mass destruction of people and property. By contrast, Israel is one of the best-equipped military powers in the world – certainly in the top ten nations that are geared up for war. It is a country with high-tech sophisticated weapons and a cyber-age, sky-dome iron umbrella anti-missile rocket defence system to protect itself from attack. The Palestinians on the other hand are a people that have virtually nothing by contrast save for a few dated weapons and virtually no air defence system against deadly rocket and bomb attacks.  

Not withstanding that this historic conflict is known to be the world’s most intractable war – a war that forever simmers before it periodically explodes once again into a mass slaughter of the innocents – surely the time has come for the whole world to seriously intervene and to stop these two peoples killing each other and attempting to wipe each other from the face of the earth?

These two peoples have long been at the centre of a seemingly insoluble, complex political question. A question of how they might finally come to live and co-exist in close physical proximity and in peace and harmony with each other. But, in the end, so it seems to everyone on the outside looking in that the issues and disagreements run too deep and are virtually impossible to resolve. But these issues are man made so they should be capable of being man resolved – that simple logic surely must prevail.

Everyone on the planet knows that a two-state solution to end this conflict is the answer. The citizens of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have said out loud and clear to their respective leaders that they want this obvious two-state solution – but very little progress towards this end is ever achieved. Ordinary people on both sides of course just want to be free from war and the evil misery that this fighting inflicts on their everyday lives.

There is deep distrust between the political factions. Both sides seem utterly intractable in their respective positions. Perpetual conflict is the result. The so called peace brokers  – The Arab League, The European Union, The United States of America, Russia, Egypt, and even The United Nations – all seem completely impotent in their efforts to bring about a lasting peace to the region.

Ever since the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 – the Palestinian Arabs have been fighting for the sovereignty over their historical lands. Lands that they deem that this 1948 Declaration massively impinged upon.

One can easily flit back in time to examine twentieth century historic events that involved Britain.  Many of our own young people may not even know and appreciate the role that we ourselves as a nation played in creating this Middle East debacle. Britain, a one time influential world power, was at the very centre of the root cause of much of the current conflict between these two peoples. This is because when the time came for Britain to surrender its control over Palestine in 1948, and, via the above 1948 Declaration which essentially Britain construed and implemented, we did not hesitate to sanction the rights of the Jewish people to have their national homeland become established in and upon Palestine territory. An over simplistic statement analysis of the historic events perhaps – but in essence the true position. That is why all former mighty imperial Empire powers, like Britain, tend to carry the scars of their deeds long past the days of their rule. It is a fact that people around the world still to this day might (and do) argue that they suffer the consequences of our acts as a former imperial power – acts that we executed as we came to watch the sun finally set on our own country’s global empire.

Perhaps our own befuddled leaders at the time came to the conclusion that the so called,   “God’s People”, for according to the Old Testament, that is the Jewish nation, must have their own alleged biblical lands returned to the ‘rightful’ settlers. That was and is the Jewish claim in respect of this part of the world. Who knows? But for all their quite brilliant enterprise and their amazing achievements as a race of people the Jewish community in Israel should remind themselves that their behaviour and response to the Palestinian Hamas threat should not be that of the wanton killing of the innocents. This response is not how any god of any faith would want them to behave in this current tragic conflict. And, of all races on the planet, the Jewish nation are perhaps best qualified to know what it is to be faced with the terror and the might of a war machine marshalled by a strong nation. One would have thought that their own tragic, persecuted history would have taught them to show restraint and how better to respond and behave in such a conflict situation as they find themselves today.

As every right thinking person across the globe would agree – the killing of innocent women, children and babies by the indiscriminate bombing of civilian zones cannot ever be justified whatever the political cause and arguments might be. It seems to me that the only cause being carried out here by the might of the Israeli military is the destruction of The Promised Land, The Holy Land, and The Land Of Biblical Canaan. This absurd and truly shocking, horrific slaughter seems to be achieving nothing save for turning those historic biblical lands into a modern day Babylon.

I pray and I urge these essentially good people  – the descendants of Abraham – to let their conscience and normal good sense to rule the day and bring an end to this mass slaughter of innocent civilians.   

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Famous for his involvement with Manchester United and Carlisle United professional football clubs. This website showcases the other lifelong passions of Michael Knighton - as a creator of Art and Poetry and occasional blogger.

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