By Mojan Najmabadi
To say that the summer of 2014 has been a season of political unrest worldwide is an understatement. As Israeli forces invaded Gaza and the world witnessed the exchange of air strikes and rocket fire taking place, the American public found itself standing on the sidelines with quite a dilemma on its door steps.
In the past the United States has held an iron-clad pro-Israel attitude, and at first it seemed as though the same attitude would continue as Gaza and Israel began exchanging fire. However, as the magnitude of the conflict progressed and casualties rose, the U.S. government was left to consider its role as an intermediary in the conflict.
The U.S. suffered through two recent wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that far outlasted their purpose. According to a Gallup poll taken this past June, 57 percent of participants believed that the U.S. sending troops to Iraq was a mistake. Sending military force into either Gaza or Israel is unfeasible and unnecessary, for it will accomplish nothing.
Even with the ceasefire now in place, the U.S. continues to arm Israel as talks of helping a war-torn Gaza begun to rise. While sending humanitarian aid is the right move, many are left to wonder if the U.S. aims to help enflame and lengthen this conflict or does it hope to stop the bloodshed.
To truly be able to intervene in the Israel and Gaza conflict, the U.S. has three likely options. In option one, the U.S. places enough political stress on both Gaza and Israel, demanding the two countries to meet and come to some form of agreement and ideally create a treaty. The chance of U.S taking this route is very slim due to the harm these actions will have on both U.S and Israeli companies and economies.
The second option calls for cutting all ties from both countries, stopping all sorts of aid be it humanitarian or military. If neither country is interested in solving the issues, then perhaps the U.S. should leave the two countries to deal with their own problems; getting involved on both sides will help no one. However, inaction by the U.S may be seen by the rest of the world as evidence to our country’s lack of compassion, even though our foreign actions have also been received with criticism by other people.
U.S. foreign involvement in the past decade has proven to be controversial and costly. Harvard University estimates the cost of the war on Afghanistan and Iraq to be around $6 trillion. However, one has to wonder how much conflict one nation can accept and witness before intervention becomes necessary.
The last option would require the U.S. to join forces with the U.N. and other world powers to form an intervention. Such political pressure might be enough to cause the conflicting countries to come together. This route, though most difficult, is the surest way to create a long lasting solution with the least amount of damage to all parties involved and the least likely to create more damage. The unification of world powers, even on one issue would signify a change in world politics that could affect generations to come.
Growing up in a Middle Eastern country, it was often easy to feel as though the world powers had forgotten about the people affected by the deadly conflicts in the Middle East. While guns and ammo seemed always quick to arrive, humanitarian intervention arrived too little too late.
However, the U.S. is not solely responsible for the rest of the world population. The best option would be to mobilize the U.N. Though the conflict between Gaza and Israel will not be the last to gather the world’s attention, it is a chance for the international community to come together and create a stronger response system.
Mojan is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at email@example.com.