Posted on 05 December 2010.
The Gaza conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip began in the winter of 2008 and lasted for three weeks. During those three weeks, Israel shot bombs and invaded Gaza, destroying government buildings, police stations, military targets, and endangering and killing people living in the Strip. The conflict ended with a ceasefire by Israel who withdrew by January 21, 2009. However, during the conflict, or what some consider a massacre as more than 1000 Palestinians were killed compared to Israel’s 100-some, there was also an embargo placed on the Gaza Strip. Everyday common goods were no longer allowed to be imported into Gaza, only humanitarian aid which could barely cover what the people living in Gaza were used to. Power plants were forced to close down as they did not have fuel to continue running, jobs were scarce, and relocation was common. The jobs that were available were also known as “death jobs” as Israeli militants were not afraid to shoot the Palestinians on the grounds that the people, who were merely looking for scrap metal through the rubble of destroyed buildings, could easily be hiding a weapon and turn against the Israeli soldiers. However, the embargo was necessary for Israel to make sure no country was sending Gaza weapons and other goods that would make the conflict last longer. Fortunately the embargo did not last long enough to make lasting damage. If anything, the conflict itself was the worst situation to be in, not the embargo alone.
Posted in Hot Topics, International Affairs
Posted on 02 December 2010.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been a constant for longer than any of us can remember. While a two-state solution is now the popular idea, Palestinian and Israeli leaders have not made such an agreement and current peace talks are not regarded as promising, especially in light of Israel’s renewed settlement-building. Some believe that Jews have the right to establish in the area as Israel is the historical “homeland” of Jewish people, who have lived there since biblical times, while others point to the way the Palestinians were removed to make room for the current incarnation of Israel as proof of its illegitimacy. Various solutions have been proposed and intensive negotiations undertaken, but some people believe that peace is impossible because of the lasting distrust and conflicts over land and water between Israelis and Palestinians.
• Israel and Palestine have been trying to solve this conflict for decades; the fact that they have not solved it yet makes a compromise seem unlikely
• Though people in both Israel and Palestine believe in a two state solution, many Palestinians and Israelites think the region is solely their own and boundaries for a two state proposal are disputed
• A solution has not been agreed on globally because of the complexity of the situation
• The Arab Peace Initiative and Taba Summit were crucial steps to peace and further peace projects will eventually lead to a viable compromise
• A majority of Palestinians and Israelites believe in the solution of a two state proposal
• There is international interest in resolving the problem fairly
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted on 25 November 2010.
In October 2010, the United States State Department announced plans to enter into talks regarding the largest arms sale in United States history – a staggering $60.5 billion with Saudi Arabia. This plan, which mimics the relationship that the two nations have held for a number of years, would significantly increase the military and defense capabilities of the Middle Eastern country, a strong ally of the United States during its recent military interventions in the region. Many classify this relationship as a key to the United States’ foreign policy initiatives over the past two decades; indeed, Saudi Arabia played a large role in the 1990-1991 Gulf War and both the United States War on Terror and the Iraq War, and ultimately is one of the most important strategic partnerships for America. Opponents of the resolution point to the devastating social and political rights records of Saudi Arabia that go against many American ideals. Many thus believe that the Untied States must stand by what it believes in and not do business with the nation, especially any arms deals, in protests of such records. On the other hand, many others believe the unique relationship is too important to risk taking such an action. Is the United States in fact justified in its support?
Posted in Domestic Affairs, Economics, International Affairs, Military