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Is third intifada capable of resolving the Palestine conflict?

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The Levant (meaning “rising”, implying the rising of the sun in the east) nations – Syria, Palestine, Israel – broadly equivalent to the Arabic term Mashriq, (the land where the sun rises) doesn’t really seem to be in a state to signify it’s so called name.

The nations which have written their recent history in context to violence and hatred, now seem to be developing a new trajectory to it. Though, this dispute cannot be inferred without giving due eloquent to the origin of this war and the one word, which defines this decades long hatred, Intifada.

“Intifada” – why is this word so important in the history of Palestine and why should one know about it?

Intifada, an Arabic word, verbally meaning “to shake off”, describes or rather is a tagged term used to describe the uprising of Palestine against the Israeli military occupancy of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip.

The intifada (uprising) has taken place twice – the first one from 1987-1993 and the second one from 2000-2003.

The intifada was aimed to achieve the Palestinian goal of autonomy or eventual independence. Both the intifada had separate characteristics to them and played different roles in the uprising.

The first outbreak was specified as the war of the stones, which was signified by persistent acts of thrusting of rocks against the Israeli army as well as the police, on a daily basis. It was seen as a threat to the Israeli strategic interest and led to supposed negotiation between the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s leadership with the Israeli leaders.

The second intifada conflagrated subsequently to the visit of Ariel Sharon’s to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem in 2000. This (the second) intifada was different in nature as it no more involved stones rather advanced technology had seeped in by this period and gun battles, suicide bombing and terrorist activities took place. It had led to the formation of wide-ranging security blockades to shield the Israeli population from Palestinian penetration and violence.

Why is it important to know about these gruesome acts of violence, today? What significance does it have to world today?

It is important to know about it as there is a supposed threat of a ‘third intifada’.

The third intifada is supposedly taking place or is on the brim of starting a new rage against the Israeli Army. Several protests have swept Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank in the past few months and have witnessed tens of thousands of Palestinians taking to the streets. Men and women of all ages have started a movement against the army.

Several demonstrations took place, some have passed by silently as the mass chanting of slogans took place, calling for solidarity to battle against Israeli military occupation and, at the same time, some gatherings have turned violent, as the Israeli military victimized them by throwing tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire.

Although, the irony of the situation is that even as the world urges for this war to end by creating the “two-state solution”, a recent poll piloted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that almost half of the resident Arab population favours escalating the use of armed force and violence against Israeli non-combatants. The poll also showed this inclination is unrelieved by any potential Israeli willing to consent Palestinian statehood. This raises the question: why wouldn’t a third intifada take place in Palestine?

Although, tragically but we can see some hope in these circumstances as the first intifada had led to Oslo I and Oslo talks between the two sides, which had led to the formation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The second intifada led to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Thus, we can probably see a ray of hope in the clouded sky of Gaza even if it transpires later than sooner.

How much ever is contemplated about the apparent uprising of a third intifada, on this issue, there is a rare understanding between Ismail Haniyeh, the Gaza-based leader of Hamas, and Isaac Herzog, the Israeli opposition leader.They both believe that this is a beginning a Third Intifada and this acceptance can probably be the stepping stone towards achieving a solace to the horrific life led by people of Palestine as well as Israel.

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Iraqi Parliament puts a Ban on Display of Israeli Flag and ‘Zionist’ Symbols Across the Country

Speaker of the Iraqi parliament announced the raising of Israeli flag in the country as a punishable offence that would be dealt with criminal prosecution

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Israeli Flag
An Israeli Flag Flies on a hill near Bethlehem. VOA.

Erbil, November 1: Following the display of Israeli flag in pro-independence Kurdish rallies, the Iraqi parliament, known as the Council of Representatives, voted Tuesday to ban the Israeli flag, describing it as a Zionist symbol.

“A dangerous phenomenon, representing the hoisting of the Zionist entity flag during public rallies in front of the media, has recently appeared that breaks the basic constitutional principles of Iraq,” Salim al-Jabouri, Speaker of the Iraqi parliament, said while announcing the law that vows criminal prosecution against those who raise the Israeli flag in the country.

“This is an exercise that damages the reputation of Iraq and its nation and the law punishes it by the maximum penalties,” the speaker added.

The law was introduced by the parliamentary bloc of the Shiite Supreme Islamic Council and was unanimously approved by other members of the Iraqi parliament. It ordered law enforcement to pursue criminal charges against “those who promote Zionist symbols in public rallies in any form, including the hoisting of the Zionist flag.”

Israeli flags were appearing frequently during Kurdish rallies in the run up to the Kurdish referendum vote that was held Sept. 25, with 92 percent voting in favor of secession from the central government in Baghdad.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has said their hoisting at the gatherings was “spontaneous” and did not reflect the position of the government, which cannot formally establish relations with Israel due to the policy of the government in Baghdad that does not recognize Israel as a state.

Israeli Flag
Salim al-Jabouri, Speaker of the Iraqi parliament announced the display of Israeli flag as a criminal offence. VOA.

‘A second Israel’

Some officials of the central government in Baghdad and elements in the neighboring Turkey and Iran have accused Kurdish leaders of secret ties with what they termed “Zionists” and have described the Kurdish bid for independence an orchestrated plan to establish “the second Israel in Middle East.”

Israel is denying any involvement in the controversial referendum, but it is the only country that has openly supported the Kurdish aspirations for independence.

“The Kurds demonstrate national maturity and international maturity,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this month. “We have very great sympathy for their desires and the world needs to concern itself with their safety and with their future.”

Other countries — including the United States and EU members which consider the Kurdistan Regional Government a reliable ally, particularly in the current fight against IS — have publicly opposed the Kurdish referendum, arguing that the move diverts attention from the more crucial fight against the Islamic State in the region.

U.S. officials say the cooperation between the Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga and the Iraqi army played a critical role in removing the Islamic State fighters from Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul. They say the Kurdish vote for independence has disrupted that cooperation and resulted in clashes between the region and the central government, particularly on the fate of territories disputed between both sides. (VOA)

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There Are Much More Commonalities Between Jews and Hindus Than You Think, Read on to Know More!

Indian and Jewish people have had a very long and fruitful relationship

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jews and hindus
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Israel and India have signed a series of agreements to cooperate in the fields of technology, water and agriculture. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) (VOA)

by Jai Nath Misra

New Delhi, September 18, 2017 : Although I had always wanted to visit Israel but for security reasons my wife and I decided against it but that was a few years ago.However after prime minister Modi’s highly successful visit to Israel I decided to follow suit and go to Israel. I asked my travel agent in Mumbai to arrange a tailor made itinerary for my trip to Israel and he did not let me down. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time in Israel.

Long Established Indo-Israel Relations

As you know that Jews and Hindus have had a very long and fruitful relationship. Baghdadi Jews came to India over a thousand years ago and settled happily in various cities and became a part of society. Antisemitism or dislike of Jews has existed in many parts of the world  and still does e.g in Arab countries and most of Europe but in India this word is unheard of and of course this fact is well known to all Israelis. 

jews and hindus
Misra infront of western wall ,a very sacred place for Jewish people

If you were to compare India and Israel then you will find there are some startling similarities between the two countries.Both countries are democracies,India being the largest democracy in the world , both became independent at the same time i.e in the year 1947. Israel is a Jewish state with a Muslim minority and India is a mainly Hindu country with a Muslim minority. These two countries have not broken  link with their past cultural traditions ,religious history etc. In other words these two countries have continued to follow the ancient customs and the way of life like their forefathers. But the course of events in the rest of the world has been very different and as a result of that we find that the population of the world today is just under half Christians and a similar proportion Islamic. 

Are Jews and Hindus At Risk From Dominant Religions?

My concern is that taking all the above factors that I have mentioned India and Israel have to work very closely together or else the Jews and Hindus run the risk of being squeezed out of existence by the two large group of countries i.e Christian and Islamic. Although it may sound rather a startling suggestion but the probability of such a situation occurring is worth bearing in mind.


The author is a London-based NRI and a political activist, most notably known for his efforts in support of the Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

 


 

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World’s Oldest Board Game Backgammon Being Used by Jerusalem Double to unite Jews and Arabs

Backgammon is acting as a peace maker between Israelis and Palestinians. Every one in Middle-East irrespective of one's religion has an attachment with this game.

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Backgammon- An ancient board game that is acting as a bond to unify Jews and Arabs.
Backgammon- An ancient board game that is acting as a bond to unify Jews and Arabs. Pixabay.
  • An ancient game turning out to be a peace maker between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem
  • Backgammon is a deeply rooted game in the Middle-East, which is uniting segregated neighbors
  • Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in the world

Jerusalem, September 11, 2017: No one had ever imagined the power of Backgammon. And about how this ancient game could act as a game changer in the Middle-East.

Backgammon is one of the world’s oldest board games that is currently being used to bring back peace in the Middle-East.

Jerusalem Double project is a series of Backgammon tournament that takes place in Jerusalem. It is an inter cultural initiative by Jerusalem Foundation to create more interaction between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel is the only Jewish state in the world which is located just at the east of Mediterranean Sea. Jew is a word used for those people who profess Judaism irrespective of the place they live in.

Palestinians consist of the Arab population that hails from the land which is now controlled by Israel. They want to establish a state by the name “Palestine” on all or part of the land, which is currently controlled by Israel.

“We wanted to bring Jews and Arabs together beyond the daily grind. We wanted to create a joint cultural event in which everyone can share and we wanted to create cross over between neighborhoods that for generations have been completely segregated”, believes Zaki Djemal from Jerusalem Foundation.

Jerusalem Double chose Backgammon as a medium to break the walls between the Jews and Arabs because Backgammon is deeply rooted in the Middle-east. It is highly accessible and inclusive.

Initially, the project Jerusalem Double had faced a lot of resistance from both the communities. But, they went against the wind and left no stone unturned to make this project work. As a result, the Backgammon proved to be a catalyst towards a positive change.

In 2106, when the first Backgammon championship had happened, only 150 people showed up. But this time, 250 people participated in the tournament and competed for a cash prize of 6,000 USD.

Play can create empathy between strangers and apparent enemies and it can give us the confidence that we need to trust in each other and in the world we have been slighted, even after we have experienced pain, suffering, and fear said Zaik Djemal.

Backgammon is an outstanding initiative towards a peaceful morning in the Middle-East.

-prepared by Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter handle: @cshivani31