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What Kind Of Peace Do I Mean?
Protests in support of Palestine are growing here at home and across the world. This is not surprising when seeing images of war and brutality coming out of Gaza. There has also been a call for a ceasefire in the region getting louder as well. I would support this call, if I thought it meant the hostages would be freed and Hamas would also stop its attacks. Our own Liberal government does not believe that would happen, so you can pray or shout for it, but any type of peace in Gaza is not happening anytime soon.
This current conflict and the accompanying protests also serve as examples to why what JFK referred to as "genuine peace," remains elusive.
Too many Palestinian supporters do not believe in the right for Israel to exist. Their numbers are too great and their voices are too loud to ignore. Even in places miles away from the Mideast, support within protest movements of organizations like Hamas, that seek to destroy Israel, show symbols of hate for all to see. It is for this reason that while I am sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people, I wouldn’t go near a protest and see them as counterproductive.
On the other side is Israel, a modern, liberal democracy that shares many of the same governing values of Canada, making it a natural ally. The historical atrocities that the Jewish people have endured, generate rightful sympathy and continued support of protecting a Jewish state. It would however, be wise for Israel however not to test whether that support is unconditional.
Charges of anti semitism should not follow genuine criticism of the Israeli government and its leader. I, like many, take issue with Netanyahu working with Hamas prior to this conflict to destabilize the region. I find his motives duplicit and any desire for genuine peace dubious. If a movement toward peace can be renewed, Netanyahu and those like him must go.
I also appreciate the anger from Palestine as more Israeli settlers further entrench themselves on disputed territory. Israel is not blameless in causing anger and resentment. This in no way condones or justifies a brutal attack. The ambush by Hamas was deliberately planned to kill and kidnap as many Jewish people as possible. There was no collateral damage in this hateful act.
What this attack should not kill is the desire for that genuine peace. But it will not happen until all the bad actors leave the stage. Any talk of a Palestinian state bordering Israel will be just that, talk, until Hamas is gone. To make that happen Israelis must gain the moral high ground by not taking the ground of others. Israeli leadership can never legitimize terrorists by trying to make those wanting peace illegitimate. On the other side, Palestinians must realize that recognition of statehood will never be born from hate.
Calling for genuine peace may seem hopeless right now, but I know a pathway can be found. We will not find it in the calls from outsiders for a ceasefire. That path delivers the Pax Americana peace that will lead to another dead end. The road toward genuine peace is found when Palenstinians extinguish their own hate and Israel doesn’t get in the way.
Before we get there however, they must decide for themselves - enough!
By Gregory Cawsey
“What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children--not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women--not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”
John F. Kennedy
June 10, 1963
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