The Israel Defense Force attack on flotilla of aid-carrying ships off the coast of the Gaza Strip is not merely a shock to the international humanitarian law but also to humanity itself. The firing which took ten lives of international humanitarian activists on board is headlined in worldwide newspapers which in majority report on condemnation toward the act. But is “condemning” enough to level up the casualties made so far? No, it is not even close. From the morality and religious point of view, killing one man is equal to murder of all humanity. And the international law and politics through The Geneva Convention on Humanitarian necessitates that any arm conflicts should adopt the efficient military approach within which the armed should only deal with the equal armed militia, otherwise it will fall in the criteria of war crime or violation against humanitarian law. Also, it is within the common logics of people that a fully equipped soldier should do no harm to any civilian people and the international humanitarian activist, in this context, particularly.
But, as well put previously in defense of Israel attacks on Gaza December 2008, the firing on the Mavi Marmara passengers in the international sea is legitimized by the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, after the international activists on board, as showed on the Israel Defence Force footage, attacked the soldiers whom made an entrance to the ship from a helicopter. The justification made by the administration of Benyamin Netanyahu is made to avoid international accusation toward the raid.
Then, again, the conflict of Israel and Palestine is not arriving to any potential stage towards the end unless we understand the nature of conflicts, especially, the factors that hardened resolution of the conflict. Then, in my point of view, there are three indicators that hindered the conflict from reaching a sustained settlement.
First, tracking back to the history of five decades of conflict, religious issue is inherent in the two Abrahamic faiths, however, a secular approach of conflict resolution is appropriately considered for a more viable way to resolve the conflict. Even, the claim of “The Promised Land” over the disputed territory are religiously originated. The study of conflict resolution always highlighted the core “problems” against “subject-ive” perspective which commonly adopt in the cognitive perception of conflicting parties. And, for the frequent references toward religious identity involved in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it is concluded as the most difficult conflict in the history of humanity; yet it is not impossible to be resolved.
The second reason that contributes to the complex dimension of the conflict is the way in which inequality and unbalanced of international politics properly represented from the two conflicting parties. Israel, in the one hand, represents a well developed nation with comprehensive arm power and facilities that well positioned in the international stage thanks to its close ally, The United States. On the other side of the token we have a not-recognized-independent state of Palestine which referred in the international forum as a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and not as a state like what most people and the government of Indonesia would like to. The unbalance relations that unfortunately take scene in this conflict affects the possibility in resolving the conflicts since, naturally, conflicting parties are easier to talk concessions when they perceive their “counterpart” as an equal entity. The common perception toward HAMAS (Harakat al-Muqawwamatul Islamiyyah) as one of the key player in the Palestinian side, is to some extent biased into a harmful-terrorist organization, regardless of the fact that HAMAS, as a political party, was a winning party in a General Election in January 2006; though HAMAS is also not a non-violent based organization especially when it comes to its defense organization. In addition to the points above, disparity of economic condition between citizens of Israel and Palestinian people
Thus, the role international political actors have played, especially by the government of United States, in the process of negotiating the resolution of the conflict is also the determinant factor that would make solution viable. Then, however, despite the tireless effort to mediate both Israel and Palestine authority, the critics is still addressed to the world hegemony for its close relations with Israel and its reluctant reaction toward possession of nuclear armaments of Israel in particular. The strong bond between Israel and the United States as the mediator in the conflict, then, always the one to be blamed in the long existing and yet to be resolved conflicts.
Furthermore, the other external reason which generated from the second reason is the non-decisive role played by international community, The United Nations to be specific, in response for any violation made by Israel that has put the innocent lives of women and children of Palestinian put into waste in December 2008, and, then, the current blockade of Gaza Strip which also “sacrifice” another lives, but this time is international activists’. The slow movement of United Nations Security Council to come up with effective resolutions against Israel humanitarian violations, as compare to the fast and decisive resolutions after resolutions sanctioned to Iran nuclear program for example, clearly instigate the constellation and willingness of international actors toward the conflict. This fact can tell us but one thing, the international law is not working for all nations; it works in favor of the powerful, therefore, an appropriate way to refer to international relations is somehow degraded into merely international politics.
In conclusion, the story of on-going territorial conflict that is between Israel and Palestine will never become a success story of conflict resolution to remember unless the hindrance factors (religious affiliated, unbalance relation between conflicting parties, and lack of decisive role of the UN) are lifted. But then again, how easy is not considering your own identity in a conflict?