Categorized | Editorials

EDITORIAL The Cost Of War And Peace

Thousands of miles away from The Bahamas, war broke out again over the last week between Palestinians in Gaza and Israel.  This is very sad for humanity.  These are difficult and dangerous times in which we live.

At the onset, we condemn Hamas for the atrocities committed when they hunted civilians, taking hostages and killed many Israeli citizens in one of the bloodiest days in its 75-year history.  Babies were killed and soldiers were beheaded.  The images were revolting.  It is horrible and the world is still trying to come to grips with it.

We also condemn Israel for the way it has retaliated. Israeli aircraft with the support of the United States over the last several days pounded the Gaza Strip, leveling apartment blocks, killing hundreds and sending injured people pouring into Palestinian hospitals.  At least 1,300 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed since Hamas militants attacked the Israelis communities.

The Biden administration in the United States has been stalwart in rhetorical and material support for Israel, repeating that the country has the right to defend itself.  Israel is now punishing the entire population of Gaza of 2.3 million people living inside the 140-square mile Gaza enclave.  Israel has cut off electricity, food and water to these people.  The international Committee of the Red Cross says, “Hospitals are going to be turned into graveyards as incubators and oxygen are cut off.”

Meanwhile Hamas is holding some 100 hostages with no clear path for getting them back home.

Without justice there cannot be peace. For decades, while the world watched, Palestinians have suffered many atrocities by the leaders of Israel.  There have been protesters executed, homes demolished, villages invaded, mass arrests and torture and they have complained about ethnic cleansing.  Today, Israel has over 5,000 Palestinians in prison with at least 2,000 being held without charges.

We believe that Israel has imposed a system of apartheid in Gaza and among Palestinians that is worse than what was experienced in South Africa.  This social injustice has guaranteed poverty, and social injustice has bred violence.

We believe that the peace process started at Camp David by President Jimmy Carter and continued by President Bill Clinton must be revived with a high degree of urgency.  A two State solution is still possible and cannot be postponed.

For decades nations have accepted colonial boundaries drawn by the major European powers largely because changing them to appease nationalist sentiments is far more difficult than keeping them in place.

Israel has a right to exist, but it must respect the homeland of Palestinians and must respect their human rights and dignity.

Western democracies and human rights organizations must call on Hamas to release all hostages and Israel must release political prisoners and cease and desist from the destruction of Gaza.

We join the CARICOM community in their call for an immediate ceasefire and end of hostilities by all parties.

We agree that the recent round of hostilities reflects the pain and suffering of ancient quarrels.  The ongoing harsh conditions under which the Palestinians live in veritable colonialism and Israel’s sense of insecurity will contribute to a cycle of violence until those realities are definitively addressed.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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