For all the talk about the latest salvos in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there is much chatter about a particular subject that seems to permeate the chattering classes as of late the idea of the coming of a third intifada. My friends are mistaken in this belief for various reasons.
The first one is that in both intifada’s Yasser Arafat was the main driving force behind these uprisings against Israeli occupation. But this time around there is no one especially charismatic figure that can rally yet alone coordinate something on the scale of al-Aqsa brigades for fighting the Israeli’s. In fact by bringing up the idea of an intifada (an idea which remains inconsequential) the major contributors have shown just how weak Hamas actually is and why the Israeli offensive should continue unabated until Hamas is defanged, or completely destroyed (Read: Why Israel Should Occupy Gaza). Also what I don’t think that the outside world realizes is that a majority of the citizens in Gaza are under the age of 14, and the median age for a resident of the Gaza strip is just over eighteen. This means that most of Gaza’s residents were not born when the second intifada began, and if they were born they were too young to do anything about it. Also the internationally recognized government the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is headed by someone who helped in large part to end the second intifada, Mahmoud Abbas. And so though he may be at the head of a government that does not have a democratically elected mandate to it, he’s their head of government and so it would ultimately fall to his reckoning to initiate just how far the Palestinians want to go an order to confront the Israeli’s.
One thing I can agree with the Palestinian commentators about concerning Gaza and that is that its borders should be opened so that supplies can be distributed to the peoples of Gaza and normal everyday life can begin again. But everyday life cannot be war which is why its pertinent that before the blockade is lifted there needs to be a day of reckoning with Hamas. Only then can there be talks about true peace between the Israeli’s and Palestinians.
But once Hamas is gone a vacuum will develop in the region and there will be plenty of takers to fill it. I think this is where the U.S. and the international community become crucial. For you see with so many women, and children in particular who have known noting but poverty, nothing but hate and resentment of the Israeli’s the load of caring for them only grows.
Seeing to it that the children get healthy and nutritious meals every day, and making sure that they clothes on their back, a good house to come home to everyday, an education, and perhaps most importantly of all a good education; but also a lasting peace that will help to facilitate all these things this is the burden of the international community rightfully so, and one that I’d gladly take on all by myself if I could.