Who won the 2014 Gaza war? The violent leaders on both sides.
Who lost it? Ordinary people on both sides.
Netanyahu became re-elected on the bases of fear and paranoia. Every missile Hamas fired into Israel created another vote for the hard line. But the bunkers were there to avoid deaths, as those were bad for his political campaign.
Hamas consolidated its power over Gaza showing the devastation created by Israel and attained much support from the international community. Every child or civilian killed, every house, school and hospital demolished created another enemy for Israel, even for Jews anywhere in the world.
But now the Israelis are stuck with yet another ruthless government that has them locked into an endless circle of violence and personal contradiction living in a country that discriminates and oppresses fellow human beings, not to mention an economy not dedicated to the well being of the people but to militarism, with no end in sight.
And Gaza is still devastated. The promised help to rebuild it is trickling in at a much slower pace than foreseen whilst schools remain closed and healthcare a disaster. The advances made in international institutions towards the recognition of the Palestinian state probably fail to compensate for the horror visited on the civilian population. And a new threat looms in the horizon. ISIL seems to be expressing an intention to move in.
Violent proposals collude with one another, with the “enemy” in order to maintain control on the population, as described by Orwell in his book 1984. It is up to ordinary people to begin to build bridges of reconciliation through the methodology of nonviolence in order to open the future for all sides of the conflict.
If the international community is serious about helping resolve the conflict we should be talking to them and asking them how we can advance their cause.
I shall repeat then a fragment of Letters to my Friends, by Silo, 7th Letter, regarding the situation of discriminated communities: “…setting in motion social and cultural institutions that act from the base is of the utmost importance, because it allows communities that suffer discrimination or persecution to come together in a context of respect for human rights, finding a common direction notwithstanding their particular differences. The thesis that all ethnic groups, collectivities, and human groupings subject to discrimination must become strong by themselves so as to confront the abuse they are subject to exhibits a significant lack of understanding of the predicament we are all in. It is a position that stems from the notion that “mixing” with foreign elements will cause a loss of identity, when in reality it is precisely their isolated position that leaves them exposed and easily eradicated, or else left in a situation where they become so radical that their persecutors can justify direct action against them. The best guarantee of survival for minorities suffering discrimination is for them to form part of an action front with others to channel the struggle for their demands in a revolutionary direction. After all, it is the system taken as a whole that has created the conditions for discrimination, and these conditions will not disappear until that social order is transformed.”