Douwe Osinga's Blog: The Israel-Palestine problem

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Israel-Palestine problem

If you ask around, people will tell you that the conflict of Israel and the Pallestinians is one of the worst and possibly one of the biggest threads to peace and stability of the world. 9/11, the conflict in Iraq and the problems with the integration of Islamic new comers in European society are at times all connected to the problems in the Holy Land. I thought about it and here is the solution.

Let's look at the conflict again at measure the size of it. There are 2.2 million Palestinians on the West-Bank, another 1.2 million in Gaza. Israel has a population of 6.1 million, all in all 9.5 million people, slightly less than Belgium. The conflict has taken the lives of about 3500 people over three years, slightly less than half the people dying in traffic accidents in the same period in Belgium.

Compare this with other conflicts. The Civil War in Congo killed 4.7 million people in four and half years. In Somalia, 350.000 people died, Bosnia about 200.000. AIDS killed more than three million people last year and could kill 70 million people by 2020. Malaria and Diarrhoea together killed 5 million and quite a lot of children at that. Global warming killed 150.000 this year and this number could easily double.

These are real problems and these problems are solvable way easier than the conflict between Israel and Palestine. I'm not saying it isn't bad what's happening over there, but let's face it, the world put a lot of energy in that specific conflict all to no avail, we really should move on and focus on things that are fixable and have a bigger effect.

So just let's pretend this thing is happening somewhere in Africa (where it would be a minor confict) and ignore it. Let's learn to pick our battles.