Only dialogue will bring peace

The 14,000 kilometres which separate Tamworth and Tel Aviv dull our consciousness of the serious events that are unfolding in Israel and Gaza and the potential for the situation to worsen.

To many here it is just another conflict between waring states in a troubled part of the world where we have seen it all happen before.

Our dismissiveness discounts the ramifications of a worsening conflict which could spread to include other nations with a vendetta against Israel, particularly Iran.

The one-sided conflict which pitches the firepower of Israel against the ad hoc resources of Hamas will receive sympathy and support from Palestinian allies the longer the battle drags on.

Australia has joined the chorus of nations calling for a cease-fire as Israel ramps up its resources with the threat of launching a ground war. The United Nations and the United States know the longer this conflict drags on, the greater likelihood that others could become involved.

To its credit, Egypt is also calling for the conflict to end. It will perform an important job as a mediator with Hamas. While it supports the Palestinian cause, it knows from first hand experience conflict with Israel will not achieve the outcome Hamas wants.

This is a futile quarrel. The tit-for-tat missile strikes which are generating a growing death toll will not resolve the contempt each side has for one another.

Establishing peace can only be found through dialogue, and therefore, the rest of the world has an important role to play to pressure the Israelis and the Palestinians to broker a cease fire.

Israel’s stronghold in the region will not be diminished. It will remain on guard and has expressed its fear of a nuclear-armed Iran. It has also said it will not allow Iran to finish its nuclear weapons project which is currently underway at the point of enriching nuclear fuel.

An ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza could be the flash point for more trouble on a bigger scale.

Let’s hope not and let’s hope the diplomatic efforts now underway achieve their objective quickly, for the world’s sake.

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