There are many influential voices both within Israel and in the rest of the world speaking about what has been going on in Israel and Palestine over the last seven decades. Let’s hear what they have to say.
But before we do, let’s first hear from someone who spoke about the issue 10 years before the State of Israel was even founded:
Albert Einstein (No introduction needed)
“. . . I should much rather see agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state . . .”
Einstein believed in peaceful coexistence in Palestine many years before it became the serious international issue that it is today.
Now let’s move on and see what influential people have said from within Israel in recent history even before the current conflict began.
What Influential Israelis Have Said
Ehud Barak (10th Prime Minister of Israel 1999-2001)
“If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
One of Israel’s former Prime Ministers has pointed out that if Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are under the occupation of the Israeli Government but cannot vote in Israeli elections then what does that make the State of Israel?
Tamir Pardo (Former Director of Mossad from 2011 to 2016)
“There is an apartheid state here”
“In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state.”
As someone who served as the Head of Israeli Intelligence for 5 years, Tamir Pardo might know a thing or two about Israel.
Amiram Levin (Retired Major General of the Israeli Army)
“Walk around Hebron and you will see streets where Arabs cannot walk, just like what happened in Germany.”
“They came from the West Bank. For 57 years there has been no democracy there. There is absolute apartheid there.”
“The IDF against its will has to enforce sovereignty there and is standing by and watching the rampant settlers and is beginning to be complicit in war crimes.”
Yossi Sarid (Israeli Minister of the Environment 1992-1996, Israeli Minister of Education 1999-2000)
“And what acts like apartheid, is run like apartheid and harasses like apartheid, is not a duck – it is apartheid.”
Now let’s move on to what the rest of the world has been saying, particularly about the current situation in Gaza.
What Others Have Been Saying
Barack Obama (Former US President)
“The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity to a captive civilian population [in Gaza] threatens not only to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis – it could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long-term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region,”
Emmanuel Macron (25th President of France)
“….. civilians are bombed – de facto. These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.”
Gabor Maté (Renowned Addiction Expert, Bestselling Author, Holocaust Survivor)
“The words fail me at this point”
“I feel that it’s the worst thing I’ve seen in my whole life”
“What is different about this is I have never seen anything so publicly committed, such atrocities perpetrated on television and the victims are presented as the perpetrators and either this spectacle, this obscene vicious spectacle that we are subjected to is either supported or condoned by the major media and all the politicians.”
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO Director-General)
“In Gaza, nowhere and no one is safe . . .”
“Imagine…imagine that you’re trapped in that situation”
“That’s why we’re asking for a ceasefire and unfettered humanitarian access”
António Guterres (Secretary-General of the UN)
“The UN Special Coordinator and I are engaging with leaders in the region to express our concern, our outrage, and to advance efforts to avoid any spillover to the wider Middle East. This most recent violence does not come in a vacuum. The reality is that it grows out of a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year long occupation, and no political end in sight. It’s time to end this vicious circle of bloodshed, hatred and polarization.”
Elon Musk (Tech Billionaire)
“For every Hamas member that you kill, how many did you create? And if you create more than you kill, you’ve not succeeded.”
People who watch innocent members of their friends and family being killed are much more susceptible to radicalism and are far more likely to become terrorists.
Zhang Jun (Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations)
“In the face of all this, the world must speak out together . . . Enough is enough”
Leo Varadkar (Irish Prime Minister)
“But what I’m seeing unfolding at the moment, isn’t just self-defence. It looks, resembles something more approaching revenge and that’s not where we should be. And I don’t think that’s how Israel will guarantee its future freedom and its future security.”
Vassily Nebenzia (Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations)
“In all wars, there are laws”
“Safe zones today simply do not exist in the Gaza Strip.”
Karim Khan (Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court)
“For those responsible for targeting and firing missiles, I wish to be clear on three points in particular. One: in relation to every dwelling house, in relation to any school, any hospital, any church, any mosque – those places are protected, unless the protective status has been lost because they are being used for military purposes. Two: if there is a doubt that a civilian object has lost its protective status, the attacker must assume that it is protected. Three: the burden of demonstrating that this protective status is lost rests with those who fire the gun, the missile, or the rocket in question.”
“At the Rafah crossing, I saw trucks full of goods, full of humanitarian assistance, stuck where nobody needs them. These supplies must be allowed in to the civilians of Gaza without delay. Impeding relief supplies as provided by the Geneva conventions may constitute a war crime. I want to underline, in the clearest possible terms, that there must be discernible efforts by Israel, without further delay, to allow civilians to receive basic food, water, medicine, anaesthetics, morphine.”
Let us hope and pray that God the Almighty brings peace and justice to a region beleaguered by violence and enables civilians and innocent people everywhere to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Ameen.
About the Author: Mansoor Dahri is an online editor for The Review of Religions. He graduated from UCL in BA Ancient Languages.
About the Author: Sarah Waseem is the Editor of the Book Review Section of The Review of Religions. She works as a clinical psychologist and also volunteers as Head of the Ladies’ Production Team for Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International (MTA).