Recent violence between the state of Israel and the Gaza Strip has led the UN to warn of a “full-scale war”. About 200 Palestinians have lost their lives. Whereas, Israel has been successful in mid-air detonation of rockets by its Iron dome air defence system, potentially saving countless lives. Talks are rife of an Egyptian brokered ceasefire to take place soon, but even as this story goes into publication, the relentless aerial pounding of Gaza continues.
Although recent, the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict goes back to more than 100 years from today. The state constitutes of a majority population of Jews who have a history of international persecution. Due to the inhuman discrimination by the anti-Semites the Jews started the Zionist movement to escape the persecution and establish their own homeland in Palestine.
This was followed by the elimination of the Jews as an “inferior race”. Propagated by Hitler, he used the Darwinian Theories to tag the Jews as an “inferior race” and justified the genocide. He then started the infamous Holocaust due to his misconceived notion of them being unfit for evolution. MK Gandhi wrote to Hitler to advocate for peace and wrote for and sympathised with the Jews. However, the persecution never stopped and it increased the number of Jews that migrated to Palestine. By the end of World-War II there was already a mass influx of Jews in the middle-east.
Jews started buying property and their presence was felt as a threat by the neighbouring Arab countries which were Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. There were constant clashes for the same land between the Jews and Palestinians, because of which, the UN devised for a Partition Plan of 1947. It proposed for internationalisation of Jerusalem as a solution for the conflict as Jerusalem holds a religiously important place for both Judaism and Islam. However, it was not accepted unanimously and led to the war of 1948.
Under normal circumstances, it is difficult to win wars when one has multiple neighbouring enemy nations pitted against itself. Interestingly, Israel emerged victorious in the war and this led to the formation of the state of Israel. The post war effect had transitioned into a Palestinian Refugee crisis as Palestinians were made to flee their land by the Israeli troops.
In 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against the Arab countries. It resulted in Israel annexing parts of its neighbouring countries. These were- Golan Heights from Syria, West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and Gaza strip along with the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. This aggravated the plight of Palestinians, as more of them were displaced.
It is natural to question that how can a country surrounded by enemy nations that has suffered a history of discrimination(which affects resourcefulness) goes on to win wars and annex territories? This can be attributed to the unequivocal support from the United States. A major power like U.S. supporting translates to victory which has stood the test of time right from World-War I. The rational for such support was due to the demographics of U.S. which had a considerable population of American Jews that could influence the outcome of the elections and held influential positions in media and business. Apart from the international support, the success was also due to its effective internal administration and the birth of Israel’s covert Intelligence unit-MOSSAD.
To its core, it has remained a complex ethnic territorial dispute. Experts have called it the Israel-Arab conflict because of the direct/indirect involvement of the neighbouring countries and not just Palestinians.
Hence it becomes imperative to establish diplomatic and cordial relations between geographically neighbouring countries.
The recent ongoing India-China military border standoff has impacted relations by increasing hostility, intimidation and causing friction. Both countries have not arrived at a border consensus yet. McDonald Line and Johnson Line is recognised by China and India, respectively, leaving Aksai Chin as a constant cause of dispute. There have been considerable number of clashes since the India-China War of 1962.
The two-nation solution, widely put forward for the Israel-Palestine Conflict has been experimented between India-Pakistan which resulted in widespread loss of life. Since then there have been constant instances of aggressiveness at the border and evidence of financing terrorist activities in India. This situation has been aggravated by recent developments of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which will be running through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) further threatening India’s claim to Gilgit-Baltistan of PoK.
Additionally, Nepal recently released its political map which claims parts of Bihar and Uttarakhand. Kalapani region has been Nepal’s interest in its territorial claims. As both countries experience fluid migration, treading with caution is a must.
Continuous friction to arrive at a consensus between nations can have serious humanitarian consequences. Territorial disputes with a hint of ethnicity have been an ancient source of conflict and still holds its significance in the post-modern world.