By Anne Thompson
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s longest-running and most controversial conflicts. At its heart, it’s a dispute between two self-determination movements — the Jewish Zionist project and the Palestinian nationalist project — that lay claim to the same territory. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a dispute over Jerusalem, a city sacred to three religions. It’s a refugee crisis that’s lasted for over seven decades. It’s a clash over national identity, human rights, and international law. It’s a fight over resources, borders, and power. And it’s a battle for peace, justice, and security. This piece delves into the complexities of this conflict, examining the underlying dynamics of power and control at play.
On a terrifying, soul-scarring day, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) took hours to respond to a situation in the southern part of Israel. This delay raises questions: Why was the military amassed in the West Bank? What were they doing there on that day? How long does it take to halt a military operation in motion, turn it around, and respond to a tactical distraction in the South? Could it take the 5 to 7 hours, as it did Israel’s Occupying Forces?  This incident sheds light on the underlying dynamics of power and control at play.



The West Bank: The Gem

The West Bank, often referred to as the ‘gem’ of the area, is a region coveted by extremist theocratic forces seeking control at any cost—Benjamin Netanyahu and his ilk.  These forces are 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.  It’s important to note that these views do not represent all Jewish people, but rather a specific group of individuals and political forces.  What the Netanyahu-led Israeli Government is operationalizing is the eviction of the people of the State of Palestine through intimidation and starvation, the erasure of all evidence of their existence in the area, and the perpetuation the myth that even if there are people there, they are an uncivilized, uneducateable, backward People. 

The actions of individuals such as a teacher in Winnipeg’s Kelvin High School, have shown me that adherents of supremacism justify dehumanization and othering—telling students they were sub-human, and that he couldn’t eat at the same table lest he be contaminated by this act.  My late husband, Petr Woytiuk, born in Ukraine and a survivor of Belsen Concentration Camp and Auschwitz D. P. Camp, experienced firsthand the devastating effects of such extremist views.  His father helped with the underground protecting the innocent Jews from the devastating effects of the supremacism embracing government and adherents until the whole family was captured, imprisoned and sent to Belsen Concentration Camp.  He learned in those places that people who adhere to supremacism justify their actions through lying, deception, trickery and obfuscation.  They follow a code allowing the same unimaginable suffering and loss as experienced by victims of the Holodomor to anybody identified as not part of their group (the discriminated), assisting the discriminated, or opposing these actions on the discriminated, as long as they do not break a commandment with any other member of that self-identified supremacist group.  This explains why, for instance, Bernie Madoff wasn’t stopped and arrested until after he ripped-off Jewish investors and a Jewish charity.



Supremacism and Its Impact
Supremacism espousing beliefs can be based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other characteristic that creates a division among people, including divisions within the divisions.  They are sources of othering, hatred, discrimination, and violence, and they violate the dignity and rights of all human beings.



The Struggle in the Middle East
In the heart of the Middle East, a struggle unfolds.  A struggle for land, for identity, for survival, and for philosophical dominance.  Our hearts are always with the families and loved ones of those who have been killed or injured in any horrific terror attack or abuse of power, such as collective punishment.  My training in emergency services has taught me, if it’s predictable: it’s preventable.  In a statement to the United Nations Security Council read Thursday, February 22, 2018 by former U.S. ambassador Richard Murphy, former US President Jimmy Carter warned that the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “is being overtaken by a one-state reality which will have dire consequences for Israel in the long-term”.  Canadians waking up on October 7 to horrifying images coming out of Israel after the terrorists’ attack of unspeakable brutality was predictable, and has been predicted since the first whispers of abuse of humans and their rights, and of non-compliance with international laws and obligations began secreting themselves out to the greater world.
In what activity were the IDF involved that it took so long for them to respond that fateful day? Why is the international community as well as the international media behaving as though time did not exist before October 8, 2023?  I put forward that the IDF had started their operation to take-over the coveted West Bank.  I further assert that the attack upon innocent civilians on October 7 by operatives within the occupied population was an act, though a long time in planning and preparation, that was hastily executed in desperation to distract and divert the IDF and halt the hostile takeover of more Palestinian land.



The Jetty: A Symbol of Valour
After too long, and in the midst of all this turmoil, a no-nonsense globally-supplied benevolent force, humanitarians united in purpose and with spirits filled with agape, arrives to empower the local war-ravaged northern Gazan community with hope and the necessary will, resilience and cunning to increase humanitarian food aid to the starving population.  World Central Kitchen (WCK) was the beacon of hope that emerged.  Their mission made all the more challenging by the ongoing conflict and blockade. Yet, they were undeterred. Their arrival marked a turning point, a tangible manifestation of benevolent forces working against the tide of supremacism, striving to alleviate the suffering of the people caught in the crossfire.
In the face of a total blockade and severe restrictions on land-based food deliveries, WCK devised an innovative solution to deliver aid. They began constructing a makeshift jetty, using rubble from buildings that had been destroyed by bombs. The head contractor even collected rubble from his own home nearby.  Over six days, dump trucks delivered loads of broken concrete to the site, and the new jetty slowly extended into the water.  The building of the jetty, a symbol of their valour, thwarted the use of food as a weapon of war. The murder of WCK humanitarians stems from these acts of benevolence.
Although official statements offer obscure narrativesdarkened by the tragic loss of so very many journalists, reporters, and reputable humanitarians, credible onsite eyewitnesses, their lives lost in the struggle bringing truth to life and to light—one can imagine the afront and sense of insult felt by the would-be ideologically malevolent colonisers, though perhaps not ever comprehend the complete depravity of its spiteful depths.  The unspoken message from this quarter seems to be, ‘Resistance to assimilation and servitude is futile. Give up or die.’



Remember the man-made starvation of the Holodomor as another man-made famine unfolds in real time.
The supremacist philosophy we watch expressing itself in the Middle East before our eyes is horrific, destructive, deeply concerning, and is fundamentally at odds with the principles of the rule of law, democracy, justice and human rights.  It has no place in our rules-based global order, not in the United Nations or any of humanity’s decision-making processes.