No Man’s Land

The current conflict between Israel and Palestine is really disturbing. What with the horrific sight of innocent children, women and men paying the price for simply living in a region which, more and more, seems like no man’s land rather than home.

Gaza Holocaust by Mohd Khawaja on Flickr
Gaza Holocaust by Mohd Khawaja on Flickr

Humans were once, and still are, part of the animal kingdom. We set ourselves up as superior because we say we are civilised. Really? Civilised? When we indulge in senseless killing in the name of staking a claim over a piece of land? Or, because we were provoked? Or, simply because we have the power of might on our side?

Now, I can’t claim to know the intricate details of the Israel-Palestine conflict over the Gaza strip. But I do find the disputes over borders senseless and self-serving. I agree that borders are needed to secure resources for a nation’s people. But, to my mind, the world map on that is pretty much drawn. And most of the disputes today are power games instigated by fear psychosis or simply the desire to flex muscles.

Yesterday, I came across these line’s on a Facebook post by Vinay Kanchan. Vinay’s Facebook profile says he is self-employed as a Creative Thinking Trainer and Author. Well his lines serve to illustrate that fact! Here they are:

“This land is mine
I was here before
This land is not yours
You merely washed ashore

This land can be ours
All we need is to shake hands
Bury this blood filled madness forever
And blaze an inspiring trail in the sands…”

Israel was settled on a piece of land the Jews merely had a historical claim on since they once hailed from Jerusalem; but that’s at best around 2000 plus years ago before they chose to migrate across Europe. Anyone care to think about the land before the Jew race came into being?  Anyone care to reflect on the fact that all the nations in the world today were once no man’s land?

Historical questions on possession of land aside, today I have just one question for the Israelis? Are you’ll going to inflict the same persecution; the same holocaust on another race, which led to the creation of Israel in the first instance? Aren’t you supposed to learn from the pain you suffered and work towards ensuring that none other go through a similar fate?

As Vinay Kanchan says, This land can be ours; All we need is to shake hands.” Well said, Vinay. But that meeting of minds and that historical hand shake will never happen as long as it is left in the hands of the politicians and power brokers in the form of bodies such as the United Nations or for that matter, the United States. 

No, to my mind, the only solution is for Israel and Palestine to agree to refer the settlement of the dispute to an international body of reputed historians, anthropologists, journalists and thinkers from other fields. Sure, these people can also be influenced into a motivated way of thinking. But, with enough wide representation from across fields of expertise and nations, such a group may just succeed in keeping bias out.

In other words, don’t leave it to the politicians or leaders of movements such as Hamas. And for God’s sake, ask the ordinary people what they are willing to do to be allowed to live in peace. Ask the ordinary people on both sides of the fence the price they are willing to pay to go about their daily lives without the fear of a bomb exploding in front of or behind them. Ask if they are willing to withdraw their stake to the Gaza strip and simply agree to declare it as No Man’s Land.


Featured Image Credit: Gaza boys fenced in – photo by Dale Spencer on under Creative Commons license

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