Israel-Palestine Conflagration (Part III) – OpEd


By Dr. J Scott Younger

‘It is becoming more and more obvious that it is not starvation, not microbes, not cancer, but man himself who is mankind’s greatest danger—–‘. So said Carl G. Jung in his acclaimed work Man in search of a soul. It made me make a diary entry over a decade ago and brought it to mind, which said ‘’It seems, following the news and looking round the world, that we continue to deal harm on a regular basis. It seems trite, although valid, to say that it was ever thus. Man can go from the highest of subliminal expression, through music and the arts, to the most degrading of behaviour, and yet human life is but a microscopic blip on the life of a planet, one of many hurtling through infinite space. At our best we can ‘reach for the stars’ as we continue to ask Why? And this enquiry we must not stop.’’

Gen (ret’d) Corneliu Pivariu, Member of IFIMES Advisory Board, presented a profound article on the Gaza conflict, now in its third month.  There is no end in sight with over 20,000 Palestinians dead, many more to come through bombs or starvation unless we can get the parties to agree an end to hostilities. Hostilities will end one day, as they always do. But with so many children and younger generation traumatized and scarred by this dreadful experience, over 6,000 at least dead at the last count, never mind the injured, we risk a few ending up as a next generation of Hamas terrorists, God forbid.

Meetings at the UN which is trying to have a motion passed by all nations only to be thwarted by the US, a long-time supporter of Israel since WWII when they, among others, were made aware of the horrors of the WWII Holocaust. At the last attempt at the end of last week the resolution was so watered down that PM Benjamin Netanyahu felt that he did not have to cease his campaign. If one follows his career since his brother was killed by a stray bullet in the Entebbe hostage taking incident in 1976, he has developed a pathological dislike of all Arabs. The last decade or so, the dominant story has been his contretemps with Hamas and missiles back and forward with Gaza. Hamas made no secret of the horrific raid they contemplated on the 7 October where they broke through the safety barriers Israel had put round the strip to surround the Gaza community.

With the lack of any teeth in the last UN resolution Netanyahu has continued his bombing campaign, and has said it would take months to wipe Hamas out completely. His aim. By then he will have destroyed the Gaza strip altogether and driven most of the Palestinians into the Sinai. Meanwhile he has encouraged the armed Israeli settlers to continue illegally take more of the West Bank. Perhaps, from the River to the Sea meant that land would all be held by Israel! That would mean that most of the territory would be under Israeli control and they would exercise a strict apartheid state. History has shown that apartheid never works. This situation must never arise, and is fortunately very unlikely, and the sooner that a cessation in hostilities is imposed the better, which means that the US has to come out of its bunker and stand up and be counted. The mood in the US is turning away from Israel, which in the long run is not good for them, and the US must cut back on feeding arms to Israel so that they cannot continue the bombing campaign.

The 1981 classic British film, Chariots of Fire, has been shown again on TV. It features the 1924 Olympics and towards the end Harold Abrahams, Jewish, wins the 100m dash, having been trained by a half Arab man. They became good friends. Abrahams died in 1974 having earned the sobriquet of elder statesman of British athletics. It shows again if we are allowed to forget our prejudices of race we can find a way to get on and war would not be inevitable. I’m afraid there is still a long way to go, particularly when we allow those with selfish or, worse, wicked intent to be absolved of responsibility. One can name, without difficulty a few lying, narcissistic demagogues around who threaten the peace.

But peace and love and kindness, to one and all.

  • About the author: Dr J Scott Younger, OBEis a professional civil engineer; he spent 42 years in the Far East undertaking assignments in 10 countries for WB, ADB, UNDP.  He published many papers; he was a columnist for Forbes Indonesia and Globe Asia. He served on British & European Chamber boards and was a Vice Chair of Int’l Business Chamber for 17 years. His expertise is infrastructure and sustainable development and he takes an interest in international affairs. He is an International Chancellor of the President University, Indonesia and Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Glasgow University. He is a member of IFIMES Advisory Board. Lived and worked in Thailand from 1978 to 1983 and visited Burma, Bangladesh and Nepal for projects.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect IFIMES official position.


IFIMES – International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan studies, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council ECOSOC/UN since 2018. IFIMES is also the publisher of the biannual international scientific journal European Perspectives. IFIMES gathers and selects various information and sources on key conflict areas in the world. The Institute analyses mutual relations among parties with an aim to promote the importance of reconciliation, early prevention/preventive diplomacy and disarmament/ confidence building measures in the regional or global conflict resolution of the existing conflicts and the role of preventive actions against new global disputes.

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