Two women have been able to look beyond the conflict to become friends but what about the rest of us, is it possible to find a moral high ground in war?
An unshakable bond now exists between two women who were born and raised as enemies. Rawan is Palestinian and Muslim, Gal is Israeli and Jewish and they have forged a friendship that has found a way to rise above the endless conflict that exists between their two peoples.
Rawan and Gal were taught to hate, they were indoctrinated into the political ideologies of their home nations and exposed to the twisted streams of propaganda that each side produces. Despite this constant proselytization, they became friends and have remained that way for many years, united by a greater, humanitarian instinct to become ambassadors for peace and hope that their actions can serve as an example to others
Listen to the full interview with Rowan and Gal here
Rawan and Gal should be applauded for their actions but understanding this conflict has become increasingly complicated with both sides PR machines in full overdrive in an attempt to win the support and sympathy of those around the globe.
The Jewish state is highly controversial and has been since its creation in 1948, the justification for its existence is highly debatable and any biblical claims on the land should be dismissed. However, religion is intrinsically involved and the very reason why the land has become so contested.
There are currently around 15 million Jewish people in the world of which 42% call Israel home, they are surrounded by numerous Islamic countries whose numbers are 100 times that and have a long history of anti-Semitic behaviour. In fact, throughout history the Jewish people have been shunned, persecuted and subjected to genocidal behaviour so having a country to call their own, if only for protection is perhaps the only reason to justify the existence of Israel. However, if it was not for the significance of the area to anyone who follows the Abrahamic faith then home could have been made somewhere far less inflammatory.
Since its inception in 1948 Israel was instantly opposed by numerous Arab nations but supported by powerful western allies such as the United States, through this it has grown economically, militarily and geographically and has emerged as the clear and dominant power in the area and it is this advantage that ensured its survival.
Whenever the conflict flares up again you only have to turn on the news to see the decimated corpses of Palestinian civilians littering the area and the burnt and charred bodies of babies being pulled from the rubble as evidence of Israeli crimes and pictures such as these are quick to polarise international opinion against them.
Consider though that Israel is subjected to constant attacks from it enemies, ones that have publically declared that if it had the ability it would wipe Israel from the map and this has forced Israel to take action to defend its self. One such enemy is Hamas, the democratically elected party of Palestine and designated a terrorist organisation by Britain and the USA that is financed by Iran to wage war against the Israel. Hamas tactics are well known, employing suicide bombers and firing rockets into Israel from positions where they use the Palestinian people has human shields ensuring that any response from Israel will create a large amount of collateral damage.
Ariel footage of Hamas firing rockets from civilian areas.
However let us not start to think that Israel’s actions are morally or ethically justified. They have committed many crimes and the Palestinian death toll far exceeds that of its own and let us also be clear that not all Palestinian people support Hamas but this is war and our history is replete with horrific actions taken by countries in times of conflict. The Firebombing of Dresden and the Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are just two examples where any concept of ethics have been thrown out and we have acted with genocidal rage in the name of war.
The best way to understand the two sides is to consider this hypothetical argument. If Hamas had the same military capabilities as Israel, such as the ability to use devastating weapons of mass destruction would it? Hamas are fully committed to the complete and total eradication of the Israel and the Jewish race, with an extract from its own manifesto confirming this.
‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’
The reality of the situation is that Israel does have the technology and weapons to annexe the West Bank, wipe out Hamas and put an end to the conflict once and for all. However it chooses not to, Israel is committed only to defending its land and attempting to co-exist peacefully with its neighbours.
Ultimately Israel is not right, their very existence and claim to the land they occupy is questionable but the fact is they do exist and they are not going anywhere and given their military capabilities they show great restraint when surrounded by a wealth of enemies that would happily see them eradicated.
Israel maybe the lesser of two evils but choosing the lesser evil is still choosing evil and remaining neutral is the safest position but if there is a moral high ground in all this then perhaps it can be found in Tel Aviv.