In case you’ve been living under a rock, Israel remains under fire from terrorist-controlled missile attacks in Gaza. Coincidentally, they have also come under fire from the New York Times, MSNBC, numerous celebrities and some government officials. Social media has been flooded with the hashtag “FreePalestine,” but it seems like many people don’t have the slightest idea what the facts are. So, in an effort to clear things up, let’s talk about Palestine.
Palestine is the name given in 1988 to the territories of Gaza and the West Bank. To date, the United States considers Palestine to be territories under Israeli occupation, as they have been since their creation. Before 1988, a Palestinian state had never existed in those areas or in any of the area that Israel claimed within its borders.
So why did Israel occupy these zones? Why doesn’t Israel just ‘free Palestine?’
Because – plot twist – it’s a little more complicated than that. You didn’t see that one coming, did you? You did? Oh…
Until the 60’s, Gaza was controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. In 1967, Egypt’s dictator announced his plan to destroy Israel. Egypt placed troops in Gaza, and the surrounding nations mobilized their forces to join in attacking the little country.
Before they could attack, Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria. They then begged Jordan not to join the war, but they did, so Israel occupied the Jordanian West Bank as well as Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.
After the war, Israel gave up the Sinai Peninsula, with all of its mineral resources, and returned it to Egypt in exchange for peace. In 2000, Israel offered to do the same with Palestinians. They were prepared to give up control of 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza in exchange for peace. The only
problem is Hamas.
Hamas is a terrorist group that has ruled these Palestinian territories since the 80’s, and responded to Israel’s peace offering by suicide bombing Israeli cities. They have since been attacking civilian and military targets with one goal: to destroy Israel.
This came to a head recently when it was discovered that Hamas was invading Israel using underground tunnels, not to mention the years of rockets being fired at civilian and military targets in Israel.
Was Israel supposed to sit back and take this? The world seems to be crying out for Israel to stop fighting, to just work with the Palestinians. The problem is that Hamas doesn’t want to work with Israel. They would literally rather die.
The problem with catchy phrases like “Free Palestine” is that they leave no room for discussion. They skip the facts. Israel is at war with our media as much as it is at war with Hamas, and I’m honestly not sure which is doing more damage.
Pray for Israel. Pray for Palestine.
But don’t forget to pray for our nation, and for goodness’ sake, stay informed.