Apparently Israel and Palestine are fighting, a lot, because people are posting videos on social media to explain the Israel-Palestine conflict to us. If you look up ‘Israel Palestine’ on Youtube you will see thousands of well-edited videos with authoritative titles like ‘Explaining the Israel-Palestinian Conflict in Seven Minutes.’ I’ve seen three in particular making the rounds on my News Feed:
This one, about six minutes, basically says, “The Israel-Palestine conflict is this: The Arabs want the Jews dead or out of Palestine. And they won’t stop attacking Israel until they get it which is why Israel fights back…to defend itself.”
This one is also six minutes and says, “The Israel-Palestine conflict is this: The Jews occupied Palestinians’ land and are oppressing the Arabs who live there now. They took the good land and natural resources and make it impossible for a Palestine to thrive. And instead of helping Israel and Palestine negotiate peace, the US is causing more war by funding the Israeli military and letting them build settlements in Palestine.”
Oh, and then there’s…I guess you could say it says “People kill each other in the name of their gods and that’s just how it is and how it’s always been.” Probably implicitly it says that the killing is bad. … I know you can’t always reduce the reasons for a war into five-minute YouTube videos but it seems like each video makes points the other side ignores instead of answers. And these points are important and I wished I understood both sides of them better.
1) You think Israel should stop attacking the Gaza Strip? OK. If they stop, will Hamas keep attacking? If not, what will it take for Hamas to stop? Under what conditions will Hamas (and most Arab states) recognize Israel as a nation instead of saying it should be wiped off the map? If none of these answers lead to peace, what would lead Palestinians to remove Hamas from power?
2) You think Palestinians should stop attacking Israel, form a Palestine state and live in peace? OK. Why is Israel in the West Bank that belongs to the Palestinians? Why are they building settlements there? Will they leave the settlements if Palestine organizes a ‘state’? Will they cede control of Palestine’s share of water, farmland, and the rest?
3) You think peace will come through ‘divesting’ or ‘boycotting’? Great. Explain to me how, economically, that will make any difference in the Israel-Palestine conflict that might lead to peace.
Thanks YouTube opinionators! Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!