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Everyone is wrong: A musician’s take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

by Yair Yona

July 21, 2014 | 1:36 pm

Image by Yoss Stybel

People asked me for some explanation on the things that are happening in Israel these days. So here it goes.

I’m not pro-Israel and I’m not pro-Palestine. Both terms mean nothing to me. I have no hate for people, nor admiration for stats--I just want a normal life without children dying around me, Israelis or Arabs.

Palestinians are being kept under occupation with no rights and as C-class people since 1967. The more the Israeli state evolves and progresses, the more apathy the Israelis in the streets feel for them. The media helps by trying to make that ‘tiny’ problem disappear.

Israel is doing everything in its power to avoid a real, authentic peace process. It’s a political issue. When the right wing rules, there’s a need for a conflict, otherwise there’s no reason for their regime. Not only that, but the education system in Israel teaches the kids to be patriotic, just like any other country, but in Israel, it’s based on fear. For people who have the Nazis in their past, it’s incredibly easy to promote the idea of ‘be very afraid for your life, son. The Nazis and Arabs are there to kill you.' That’s why the Israeli army is so strong--we came well prepared for draft day. It was a mission to save us.

On the other hand, the Palestinian leaders are not doing anything to promote peace either. It’s a political issue, and their leaders gain control by sowing the seeds of hate in the people, from a VERY young age. Search for photos of 5 year old boys dressed as soldiers, ready to fight the Zionists. Again, the regime is sowing fear in an early age which creates 18 year old warriors with a mission tattooed on their hearts.

So much money has been given to the people from rich Arab nations--so many opportunities to start and take responsibility for their lives and detach themselves from Israel.

Israel of course would try to ruin it for them; because of the fear they’ll get too strong and challenge the existence of the Jewish state. However, both Arafat and the rest of his gang, and today with Hamas and their gang – they’ve been stealing the money for themselves. The Palestinians leaders are incredibly rich, while the people are kept in poverty--wrecked by Israel, and by their own leaders.

Meanwhile, Hamas has been firing missiles into Israel since 2001. No country in the world would allow more than one missile in its territory. Israel has had tens of thousands so far.

However, Hamas is a guerrilla organization with headquarters under hospitals and with missile launchers in schools and in homes. Israel can’t attack. When it does, innocents are killed. People say it’s the ‘cost of war’, or ‘it’s either our child or their child’. Forgive me for not even mocking this statement.

So the Israelis suffer from the missiles being launched at them and from impotent governments who (except for Rabin in 1994) don’t do anything for peace, and by their passivity, keep the Palestinians under the pressure of poverty and no hope.

Israel brings this war on itself time after time while pretending to be innocent.

On the other hand, when Israel suggests a cease-fire, Hamas refuses. This pushes the people in Gaza into face a strong army, that somehow needs to stop the missiles, but at the same time wants to save innocent people in one of the densest places on earth.

You can’t perform any sort of a military operation in Gaza and hurt only terrorists, especially when they hide behind children and families. Hamas also has its share of pushing away any slight initiation of peace talks. Peace will ruin it all for them.

So the innocent people of Gaza are victims of a terrorist group that allegedly wants to ‘free Palestine’ but acts in such a way as to make sure  no country in the world would agree to sit and negotiate with them. And why? Because by keeping the conflict going, the people see them as liberators. Sounds familiar? Peace will take all legitimacy away from Hamas's regime, and who wants THAT?

So, basically we’re stuck.

I’m in a good place. I’m secure in Tel Aviv with the water running, electricity, food, a job and hope. The 33 year old Palestinian has none of these. I can totally understand why he sees me, only 100 km from him and 100k kilometers of differences and feel hate, jealousy or anything else. I’d feel the same way. If I was him, I would probably be fighting for my freedom as well. If I met him, we’d probably be sitting and having a good laugh, good cry, good food, good coffee. Every person wants the same thing – to get up in the morning, eat, work, come back to his/her family, have sex, eat and go to sleep. Normal life.

People in Gaza suffer. Israelis now, since 2001, suffer as well.  They also suffered in the past because of terrorists bombs on buses in center of the cities.

You can try and say the Gaza people are in a much more terrible place, but making the comparisons wouldn’t help us proceed. We all suffer. Now move on, otherwise we’re victimizing ourselves.

Surprisingly, the finger should be pointed to those who gain from the war. And it’s always the politicians, the religious believes (where everyone is convinced that their holly bible is right and the fact we’re in 2014 means nothing in this case) and weapon industries.

History has proven to us all, there can be peace tomorrow morning. It just has to make political sense to the leaders. Until then, both sides are trapped by the ‘elegant-democratic-diplomatic’ government of Israel and the terrorist-guerrilla-gangster regime of Hamas. Both should be held equally responsible for everything that happens now and that has ever happened. It’s time for people to understand their responsibility in creating the conflicts time and time again and stop acting emotionally and tribally on election days and choose differently – or, perform do something that will change the regimes.

I wish us all some peace in this square meter land of Israel-Palestine, eventually we’re all expatriates in our lands.


Yair Yona is a musician living in Tel Aviv. To learn more about his music, visit his website.

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