Daily 49er

Mid East lacks realist peace hopes

Gerry Wachovsky

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I am a realist. I always have been. I consider myself a logical person who has a sound mind, and knows the difference between what is possible and what is impossible. I’m sure most of you look at yourselves in the same light.

While reading the Daily 49er last week, I came across an article by Zien Halwani titled “Israel out of U.S. control.” After finishing the article, I had a stunning revelation that people are still under the impression peace is actually a possibility in the Middle East, specifically Israel.

According to Halwani, Israel is totally out of control and President Obama agrees. The big bad Jewish bullies, led by the evil Benjamin Netanyahu, keep building settlements in occupied territories, forcing out the peaceful Palestinian people who would never harm a hair on a newborn baby’s head. The United States needs to exert power and control over Israel before it’s too late.

Halwani also lamented the $103 billion in foreign aid the U.S has given to Israel. Why help Israel when it disregards international laws? There is a very simple answer to all these concerns, yet for some reason people don’t see it. It’s about democracy.

Israel is the only truly democratic nation in that region, and it is amazing that it has lasted this long with such hatred and hostility surrounding it. It is no secret that groups exist whose sole purpose is to destroy Israel. Democracy is needed in the Middle East, though, which is why Israel is so important.

It is ridiculous to assume that the United States needs to control Israel.

According to The New York Times, “President Obama, who has met immovable resistance from Israel over his demand for a full freeze on settlements in the West Bank, is largely setting that issue aside as a first step toward restarting Middle East peace talks.”

Well it’s about time. It is too bad that Obama realized this so late. It only took his approval ratings to nosedive into single digits in Israel to make him see the light.

The simple fact is that in a post-Sept. 11 world, peace is an impossibility. Forces exist that want to destroy us. There are simply too many factions jockeying for control. The Israeli government says one thing, the Palestinian government says another and, meanwhile, terrorists hiding out in caves along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan plot to blow more things up.

This problem of “Middle East peace” has been going on for longer than I have been alive. Since American presidents began focusing attention on brokering peace in the region, not much has really changed.

One cannot fit two pounds of fertilizer into a one pound bag. I am convinced that the peace process in the Middle East can be looked at the same way.

The hatred between Jews and Palestinians runs deep; deeper than President Obama or most people can understand. I’m not saying I have the answers — I don’t. I’m simply tired of seeing pictures of Obama shaking hands with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmous Abbas under the guise that something is actually happening for the better.

If something is happening for the better, why is al-Qaeda still releasing new videos predicting the downfall of the United States? Why are suicide bombers still blowing themselves up in crowded Israeli marketplaces?

Abbas clearly doesn’t have control over his own people. Netanyahu does what is best for Israel, yet Obama wants him to do things a certain way. Obama cannot be president of two nations at once.

Israel is an extremely important ally of this country and this status needs to remain intact. When I see articles like Halwani’s, it just makes me see how blown out of proportion the situation really is. The situation is truly simple — you just have to be an unabashed realist to understand it.

Gerry Wachovsky is a graduate student and columnist for the Daily 49er.

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