The recent violence between Palestinians and Israelis has been the subject of much attention and debate from the public all across the Middle East, and the world. Issues such as human rights abuses, regional security and militancy are among those raised by Bahraini observers. Here are the views of a wide range of Bahrainis on the issue.
“Temporary solutions do not work”
“Even though countries condemned the attacks on Palestinian civilians, there are no serious measures taken against the Israelis. There’s no solution on the table. Temporary solutions do not work for a conflict that has lasted for seven decades. The international community needs to solve this conflict once and for all” Khalid, 28.
“The Israeli government is disgraceful. The illegal settlements need to be dismantled. Pushing people out of their homes and then attacking and killing them is simply unacceptable. Even if Arab leaders decide to do business with them, ordinary people across the Arab world will keep rejecting them” Sara, 31.
“This seems like an endless conflict. Even with the ceasefire, it is inevitable that Hamas or Israel will make another move that will lead to disastrous consequences” Ahmed, 38.
“Jerusalem will always matter to the Arab and Muslim world. When we see Arab citizens being evicted from their homes in the heart of Jerusalem, this is something that we can’t accept. If Israel really wants peace with the Arab world this is a painful lesson which it must be forced to learn” Maryam, 26.
“Killing children and civilians is irrational and brutal”
“Perhaps Israel has the right to defend itself. However, the retaliation was severe. Killing children and civilians is irrational and brutal. How do the Israelis expect the world to stand by them if this is how they have been acting repeatedly” Hamad, 32.
“Violence is not the answer. The leadership of Hamas knew that Israel will retaliate and they got exactly what they wanted, which is the solidarity of the Arab world with the Palestinian people represented by Hamas. When Palestinians are getting killed, Arabs will not care whether they are siding with Hamas or any other group” Abdullah, 36.
“This conflict reminds me of when Hezbollah attacked Israel in 2006 and Hassan Nasrallah was proclaimed the hero of the Arabs and Muslims. This gained him popularity among both Sunnis and Shia all across the Middle East, a popularity that served his terrorist agenda” Noora, 36.
“Israel must show the Arab world that it is serious about peace”
“Countries like Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain should do more to prevent such attacks by the Israelis. They should use these new diplomatic connections to apply pressure. Signing a peace agreement with Israel should come with certain conditions that protect the rights of the Palestinians, unfortunately many of us see the peace agreement in a different light now that Palestinians are getting killed once again” Salman, 28.
“We just hope for peace, for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Unfortunately, even if we want to defend Israel’s right to defend itself, the Israelis have made it difficult for us to speak up for them as their attacks on civilians are unjustifiable. Israel must show the Arab world that it is serious about peace” Zainab, 29.
“Many of us view Hamas as extremists and the Israelis as our new friends. It is unfortunate that our new friends are acting exactly like extremists by pushing people out of their homes and killing them” Hassan, 34.
“The wise Israelis should come forward and reject such acts. Hamas and the Palestinians seem like a hopeless case. Perhaps an intervention from other countries is required” Amal, 40.
“Lack of respect for human rights”
“Attention has moved away from the issue of Jewish settlements and Sheikh Jarah. Let’s not forget what started this whole issue. It’s Israel’s lack of respect for human rights. The Israelis cannot claim that all Palestinians are terrorists just because they throw stones at Israeli soldiers or use Hamas to push that agenda” Mohammed, 27.
“This is a terrible start for the new era of Arab-Israeli relations. Just when people started talking about tolerance and normalising with Israel, we are at crossroads with this violence. Israel needs to do more to be accepted by its neighbours” Aisha, 34.
“The Palestinians need to sideline Hamas and limit their authority and power. They need to understand that nothing good comes out of militant groups. Hamas – a puppet of the Iranian Ayatollahs – has succeeded in bringing international attention to Palestine and demonising Israel.” Faisal, 32.
“Where is the Arab world? Israel rightly believes that it can do what it likes because the Arabs are sleeping and won’t stand up for the Palestinians. Arabs used to make their weight felt on the world stage. There used to be a time when we cared that Palestinians were being killed.” Marwa, 36.
“Both the Palestinians and Israelis should find a way to live alongside each other. A two state solution doesn’t seem realistic with the current circumstances. It will only lead to further conflict.” Hanan, 30.
“Palestinians have sidelined themselves”
“Israel isn’t going anywhere. The Palestinians and all other Arabs need to understand this. We need to work together and not against each other. Palestine will not be freed and that’s the reality people need to accept and move on. Israel should be able to deal with Hamas and Hezbollah. However without killing hundreds of innocent civilians” Abdulrahman, 38.
“We have a common enemy with Israel. But attacking our own people doesn’t help this cause that brings us together with them. The Israelis need to gain the Arabs and that does not happen by killing innocent Palestinians” Fahad, 36.
“In this part of the world we are used to blaming Israel for everything. Violence is certainly unacceptable, however we also need to consider that Israel has been dealing with groups like Hamas and it needs to protect its security first” Yousif, 32.
“There’s a new government in Israel and we hope that Palestinians will be able to work with this government to settle their disputes” Manal, 29.
“Palestinians have sidelined themselves and they seem to want their lands back by force. Israel is an internationally recognised state for the past seventy years, whereas Palestine is not. It’s about time for people to face this fact and move on” Saud, 35.
“People need to stop blaming the UAE and Bahrain for signing a peace agreement with Israel. The world has moved forward, it’s not the 1950’s, whatever is going on between Israel and Palestine is their business. Our peace accords are about us and Israel, our sovereignty and national interests are more important than the Palestinian cause” Mahmood, 37.