Gaza Violence Has Lessons For East Asia
November 20, 2012
Gaza violence has lessons for East Asia
Violence in the Gaza Strip has caused extensive civilian casualties. Israel has vowed to send Gaza “back to Middle Ages,” while Palestinian rage has been fueled. The Palestinians firmly resist Israel despite knowing they are unable to defeat the Israelis. For both Israel and Palestine, might is right.
Israel cannot make its revenge against Hamas sound reasonable, given the number of Palestinian civilian causalities. The West loathes the provocations by Hamas, but an increasing number of Westerners have begun to criticize Israel’s intemperance.
There is no foreseeable solution to the enmity between Palestine and Israel. Various negotiations, including the US road map for peace, can only bring temporary appeasement.
Rich oil reserves, scattered Arab peoples, cultural and socioeconomic gaps between Israel and its neighboring countries and the interference of external powers have all contributed to the continuing turmoil in the region. The world has become accustomed to a turbulent Middle East. The Middle East policy of the great powers, including their attitude on the Israel-Palestine issue, has remained rigid.
The US and European countries in fact are renouncing their responsibility to create peace in Middle East. Mediation efforts have been used many times as a tool to score political points.
The Israel-Palestine conflicts are the most enduring tragedy of the modern world. Heroes on each side are devils in the eyes of the other. There are many external powers offering support, but it’s hard to tell whether they are helping solve the conflicts or complicating them.
The US reaffirmed its support for Israel’s “right to defend itself” but meanwhile seized any opportune moment to call for both sides to be restrained. It’s hard to tell the influences of such contradictions on the chaos in the region.
China doesn’t have the capability to interfere in the Israel-Palestine conflict. China cannot afford for East Asia to turn into a second “Middle East.” The potential for a crisis in East Asia is increasing. The conflicts between the main powers in East Asia are not irreconcilable, and the degree of regional economic integration is high, but surprisingly, even a small provocation could stir up the region.
No one is predicting that East Asia will become another “Middle East,” but a solution to the territorial disputes in the region is impossible to reach in the foreseeable future. The question is, will countries in other regions use the continuing territorial disputes to define the political situation in East Asia and their policies against the region?
China is the most rational and restrained country in East Asia. We hope countries like Japan and the Philippines see China’s restraint. They should try to avoid pushing East Asia into a confrontational situation.
The Middle East situation is a lesson to the whole world, especially East Asia.