Gotham Chopra: Arab-Israeli rage – again

Somewhere in Tel Aviv right now there are a couple of dozen Israelis excitedly preparing for a New Years’ bash that sadly will be their last. Likewise in Gaza or the West Bank there are a couple hundred Palestinians that are huddling with their families, dodging Israeli missile attacks, but only temporarily because they are inevitable statistics destined to die.

How do I know?

Not because I am privy to any inside information or intelligence, but because I am simply a student of history and sadly confident that the failed leadership on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will do what they always do.

Let me guess: Hamas will react to Israel’s vicious missile attacks that have already killed hundreds by ordering a string of suicide attacks that will rip apart dozens of Israeli families. In turn, Israel will respond with even more massive aerial attacks that we are seeing now, leveling entire sections of the occupied territories, further insuring that we are looking at at least another decade with no basic infrastructure in the Palestinian homeland. We know what that means – low employment, fertile recruiting grounds for Islamic militants, and a glorious shithole for the Arab world to point toward as they galvanize another generation of angry impressionable youth to terrorize the West.

Here’s my take for what it’s worth. Will President Obama radically shift US foreign policy toward Israel, threaten to hold back aid, and force Israel to soften its militancy? Don’t count on it.

Should Israel be blamed for these attacks when they forewarned the Palestinians that they would come if Hamas did not cease the rocket attacks they have been launching (to no meaningful affect) for the last few weeks? Yes, they should. Not a single Israeli was seriously hurt by the irritating rocket attacks. Murdering a few hundred Arabs does not seem to be an equitable response. Just because you can does not mean you should. It is not okay to kill children that have no dog in this fight and then just shrug your collective shoulders and say it was not intended. It’s disgusting. Alas, since when has the state of Israel really cared about garnering criticism from the rest of the world?

Meanwhile there is Hamas, who knew exactly what Israel’s response would be to their quarrelsome rocket attacks and yet continued to goad Israel with them. In other words, Hamas – which continues to have unprecedented support amongst the Palestinian people – has no problems sacrificing those same innocent children they claim to be protecting. It’s even more disgusting than the Israelis gutless attacks.

So while Israel and the Palestinians continue to indulge in the same violence and viciousness that they have aimed at each other for the last few decades, the rest of us will have to pay. Why? Because so much of the Arab world has become so skilled at exploiting the Palestinians and using their struggle against Israel to justify their disgusting and callous terrorist attacks around the world. Think of the unfathomable wealth in places like Saudi and the Emirates and Dubai. Been to any of the above recently? Seen the new nulti-billion dollar resorts that are creeping up and crowding the skylines in their respective cities? These same places where today so many are enraged by the murder and mayhem in Gaza, how come they have not pumped some of those billions into construction and economic growth in Gaza or the West Bank? The only real long-term solution to this conflict is a sustainable economy and self-sufficiency within the Palestinian lands such that there is an alternative to just joining the hate-fest against Israel. And that can only come about with investment in infrastructure and education. Of course, that would mean the Palestinians may actually improve their condition and in doing so not make for the perfect straw man they have come to represent for the militant Islamic world. Even more disgusting.

More than anything, it seems that the Arab world needs to produce it’s version of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi that can smartly and gracefully lead their people to a dignified future. They can’t and shouldn’t rely on Israel to back off, let alone concede. Alternatively if that means more Arafats and Osamas, more Hizbollas and Hamas, expect an endless war in pursuit of an elusive peace.

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About Gotham Chopra

Gotham Chopra is a multi-media voice on issues of spirituality, culture, and news. As an anchor for Channel One News -- an in-school educational news broadcast seen daily by upwards of 8 million American students -- Gotham reported from Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, China, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Colombia, Russia, Chechnya, Mexico, Honduras, all across Europe and the United States. He has interviewed a wide range of Global leaders -- from President Bush to the Dalai Lama to associates and foot soldiers of Osama Bin Laden. He has hosted events as diverse as the Pope's pep rally in St. Louis to the action at the fifty-yard line at the Superbowl. Gotham's global assignments have sent him on patrol with anti-militant commando units in war torn Kashmir and had him detained by secret police in China, Iran, and Pakistan. Gotham is the author of Familiar Strangers (Random House 2002) -- a non-fiction and spiritual chronicle of his travels and encounters at the frontlines of areas in conflict and transition. Gotham served as Story Editor on the Bulletproof Monk -- a comic book about bullets, monks, gangs, and seekers. He also served as Executive Producer of the feature Film with John Woo's Lion Rock Films and MGM Studios, which appeared in theaters in 2003. He is also author of Child of the Dawn, a novel published in 1996 and translated in 13 languages internationally. He recorded The Mythical Lover on A Gift of Love -- a recording of sensual poetry by the 13th Century poet Rumi, and has served as researcher and lyrical advisor to Michael Jackson on the multi-platinum albums Dangerous and HIStory. He has also served as Producer on television specials for PBS. As co-founder of 5K Entertainment, Gotham wrote, is producing, and will direct the indy feature Swindle. He is also the co-creator of K Lounge -- a Kama Sutra bar and lounge in New York City with more to launch internationally in 2005. As co-founder of Chopra Media and a partner in Intent Media (with Deepak Chopra and Shekhar Kapur), Gotham is involved in a wide-array of creative media ventures. He is the President of development for Gotham Studios Asia, the largest comic book studio in India. Currently Gotham is serving as creative consultant to Current TV, a new television network co-founded by former Vice-President Al Gore, and scheduled to launch in 20 million American households in August 2005. Identified by Newsweek Magazine (March 04) as one of the "most powerful and influential" South Asians worth watching, Gotham speaks nationally on issues of youth and spirituality, conflict resolution, and develops workshops to create a language for young people to bring out the internal and external issues that important to them.

Comments

  1. It is extremely distressing, sad and of very great concern

    What you have mentioned, (Quote from your post)

    The only real long-term solution to this conflict is a sustainable economy and self-sufficiency within the Palestinian lands

    Sincere Hopes, Prayers and Wishes are extended for Hopeful and Meaningful resolutions soon

    May Peace and Love prevail

    Vashi

  2. It is extremely distressing, sad and of very great concern

    What you have mentioned, (Quote from your post) is meaningful

    The only real long-term solution to this conflict is a sustainable economy and self-sufficiency within the Palestinian lands

    Sincere Hopes, Prayers and Wishes are extended for Hopeful and Meaningful resolutions soon

    May Peace and Love prevail

    Vashi

  3. Gotham wrote: Think of the unfathomable wealth in places like Saudi and the Emirates and Dubai. Been to any of the above recently? Seen the new nulti-billion dollar resorts that are creeping up and crowding the skylines in their respective cities? These same places where today so many are enraged by the murder and mayhem in Gaza, how come they have not pumped some of those billions into construction and economic growth in Gaza or the West Bank?

    Ashie wrote:

    I totally agree with your point here:"investing in infrastructure and education"

    This would be a good solution if and again I say if the Arab world together poured cash infusion in Gaza, history would change the course of Palestine.

    One wonders why the help from the Arab world is not forth coming.

    Not sure if the are capable of producing a version of Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi, the muslim world is so divided and has

    many sects the link below gives a good view point.

    Gotham have you seen this:

    I am posting the link below not sure if it will work.

    Brave Woman
    http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=

    It is extremely surprising that the Arab

    financed TV station in Dubai would allow this to air. Be sure and

    watch this, it is so powerful

    I also have no doubt it

    won't be on the net very long.

    She is one impressive woman. Here is a

    powerful and amazing statement on Al Jazeera television. The

    woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles .

    don't know how long the link will be active.

    Ashie

  4. Yes Gotham, absolutely.

    Every war torn nation, state, city, village, home need to produce a Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi.

    Peace Peace Peace…

    Rajesh

  5. Dear Gotham,

    you wrote:

    "Not a single Israeli was seriously hurt by the irritating rocket attacks."

    Those.. irritating.. rocket attacks have killed some people on a bus. So annoying and irritating.

    In love and peace,

    Razz

  6. I'm going to go way negative on this one. I'm reading a little about the Red Stick Rebellion in the American southeast, the civil war of the so-called Creek nation.

    The myriad small settlements that loosely comprised the "creek" were screwed. Utterly. There were scoundrels bent on seducing men to violence to eventually acquire land. Treaty or no treaty, war or no war, they were going to lose.

    Look it up.

    There's an ideology of destiny in the US that's complimentary to that of Israel. No different than Scotish land clearances centuries earlier.

    Tell me TEN things that a young Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank could do to improve his lot and land?

    Meditate?

    Give me a break.

  7. Ashie,

    All I can say is wow – that was a powerful conversation! Wafa Sultan, speaks some hardcore truth on the matter – the words she speaks should be aired on AL Jazeera television. Thank you for sharing this; she's a very brave woman.

    ~Robben~

  8. i remember that as i child i used to be scares of the dark and had wake up my sister to go to the bathroom

    i cannot imagine how scared the little children are over there 🙁

    hearing the bombing

    seeing their parents scared and with desperate looking eyes whereas they are expecting protevtion from all the bad and evil from them 🙁

    may love bloom in the hearts of all brothers and sisters

    may this be the moment of awareness

    may children have gueardian angels

    ruya

  9. "Tell me TEN things that a young Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank could do to improve his lot and land?"

    One thing they could do is rise to up against their corrupt "leaders" and start creating instead of destroying.

    -Rafi

  10. Ruya,

    That is correct. It is terrifying for children. It is also terrifying for the adults.

    Now if you believe the predigested muck dished out by Gotham you would think that these children and adults are only Arabs.

    I'm talking about the Israelis in the western Negev. This is situation they have had to live through now for the last eight years getting worse and building to the recent crescendo after Hamas ended their "cease fire."

    I'm really sick of these apologists for Arab/Moslem terror (e.g., Gotham and Deepak).

    Was Nazism eradicated by making excuses for the Germans' V2 rocket launchings against London? No, the Nazis were overthrown.

    After Hamas is overthrown and the populace is pacified then we can think about a Marshall plan. Let's not put the cart before the horse.

    L'Shalom,

    Rafi Schutzer