Former US President Barack Obama recently stated that solving the Israel-Palestine conflict requires understanding its complexity. But is it really so complicated? Is that really the case? Or is the myth of complexity just another way for world leaders to avoid holding Israel to account and whitewashing their own complicity in what is now the longest illegal occupation in modern history?
In fact, if we take universal principles, international law and morality as our judge, what you find is not complexity but clarity.
Here are just some facts:
- Israel has violated more UN Security Council Resolutions than any other country.
- On every major issue that is contested, there is no complexity, the law is on the side of the Palestinians.
- Regarding the right of refugees to return; the status of Jewish only settlements; the status of Israel’s illegal occupation; the right of Palestinians to self-determination; the status of East Jerusalem, there is no complexity, only clarity.
- On Israel’s practice of the crime of apartheid, here too we have clarity, because every major human rights group has concluded that Israel has imposed a system of racial segregation and domination on historic Palestine.
Don’t take my word for it, listen to one of America’s celebrated authors, Ta-Nehisi Coates describing how he felt after discovering how uncomplicated Israel’s occupation of Palestine is. “It is made to sound as if you need a degree in Middle East Studies or a PhD to really understand what’s happening,” he says, “but I understood the first day; US tax dollars are subsidising apartheid, subsidising segregationist order, a Jim Crow regime.”
So the next time someone says this conflict is too complex to understand, remember that this is an appeal for you to remain indifferent to the crimes committed by Israel and the suffering of Palestinians.
There’s no ‘complexity’ when one side is committing genocide.