By Anne Thompson

Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, “It is possible, even probable that hopelessness among a people can be a far more potent cause of war than greed.  War – in such case – is a symptom: not the disease.”

In the complex and often volatile landscape of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recent events have brought a perplexing development to the forefront.  The sudden decision by the Israeli government to allow more humanitarian aid into the northern Gaza through the Erez Crossing is as perplexing as it is overdue.  Until this deed was done, UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ plea for “rapid, unimpeded humanitarian access” has been pretty much met with the indifference of cold words and, at its worst, the alleged targeting of aid workers by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  It’s an abrupt pivot that smacks of political expediency as well as media diversionary tactic rather than of genuine empathy for human suffering.

It wasn’t some sort of magic trick that caused this event to occur: this is a humanitarian crisis controlled by whomever snaps their fingers.  As if by some unseen hand, paperwork moves along, barriers fall, and a deal is quickly brokered whereby protesters previously blocking aid trucks are persuaded to stand back (and stand by?) as the desperately needed aid is finally allowed in.

And not the thin trickle of half-empty trailers we’ve become accustomed to seeing!  Oh, no indeed: there were 500 fully-loaded trucks allowed in.  This sudden change of heart raises more questions than it answers.  Why now?  Why not sooner?

Unless one can understand the allure of possessing THE GEM, the whole of the West Bank, the answers could seem as elusive as the reasons behind the hours long delay in the IDF’s response on October 7.

More intently for months now, certain Israelis have been killing Palestinians, their livestock, and their orchard and field plants.  They’ve been destroying livelihoods, homes, and roads, and generally been behaving like nasty, nasty, nasty people.  They are adherents to and driven by a philosophy of supremacism, a belief that one group of people is superior to another and that the superior group has the right to dominate, oppress, or eliminate the inferior group by any means, including the vulgar.

“Settlers and soldiers have displaced entire Palestinian communities, destroying every home, with the apparent backing of higher Israeli authorities,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “While the attention of the world is focused on Gaza, abuses in the West Bank, fueled by decades of impunity and complacency among Israel’s allies, are soaring.”

It’s important to note that these views are not representative of nor held by all Jewish or Israeli people, but rather only by a specific group of individuals and their associated political forces implementing their own Final Solution.

Supremacism, in any form, is a dangerous ideology that has no place in our global society.  It is high time we universally recognize it as such – vulgar unacceptable and inhumane.  The audacity of an occupying government declaring war on the very people it occupies, and with the hubris to believe that the rest of the world’s population will accept this twisted narrative, is a stark reminder of the dangerous path down which supremacism can lead an unquestioning world.

The plight of the displaced villagers — seniors, mothers, children — is a testament to the urgent need for change.  Are they being forced into a situation of forced migration out of the West Bank and into a now stocked northern Gaza region through the now open Erez Crossing?  Is this all part of a cold strategy to prevent a food riot uprising and to assure a more compliant and docile herded population?  They’ve felt the stick wielded by the state.  Is the allure of cupboards filled with the necessaries of life in northern Gaza the carrot?

As we ponder these questions, let us not forget that it is within our power to challenge and change the narrative.  We have made strides in the past, deeming the idea of owning another human as vulgar as well as illegal.  It is time we apply the same moral and intellectual evolution to reject supremacism in all its forms.  Let us strive for a world where every individual is respected and valued for their shared humanity.  It’s about acknowledging the inherent dignity of every human being.  The path to this world may be long and fraught with challenges, but it is a journey we must undertake for the sake of our shared future.

As Guterres rightly pointed out, “history is judging us all”.