Looking back on the lasted bout of violence between Israel and Hamas this past summer, the amount of attention and devotion the decades-old conflict has received is staggering. As the world struggled to address the Ukraine Crisis, the Islamic State was spreading like wildfire, and nuclear talks with Iran were at a critical juncture, the likes of US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon were running around like chickens with their heads cutoff literally begging for a ceasefire.
Given the broader instability of the region and security threats, the Israel-Palestinian conflict is now a tertiary issue that will largely determine the fate of Israel, not the Middle East. For Israel, the threat of a globalizing, democratizing Muslim world and globalized terrorism put the Jewish State in a position where their failure to resolve their issues with the Palestinians may well eventually result in a Middle East united against Israel.
Unfortunately, Israel has chosen to antagonize the Muslim world since a tedious ceasefire in August was declared by doing everything from taking property currently owned by Palestinians for new Israeli settlements to destroying the homes of alleged Palestinian terrorists, without a legal justification for doing so, to officially declaring itself the Jewish State. Even today, the International Community continues to heavily focus on the Israel-Palestinians conflict in hopes of finally resolving it, but the efforts appear to be seen as doomed inconveniences to the Israel leadership than a welcome undertaking they appreciate.
At the same time, there is the long running conflict between India and Pakistan. Where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif have a workable relationship, the long running conflict between their Peoples of similar cultures drives the current bouts of violence between these two highly-populated nuclear powers. For the US and the rest of the International Community, peace between India and Pakistan is actually a far more critical interest than what is happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Although areas of Afghanistan have long provided safe havens for globalized terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and other criminal networks, Pakistan plays a similar role while it also serves as a conduit for terrorist groups into Asia as well as the Middle East. Consequently, India and Pakistan need to foster peace and stabilize in order to allow the security forces of both nations to focus more on terrorism and less on war with each other. This is especially important given the political instability Pakistan has experienced over decades and the increasing needs of the growing populations of both nations.
Meanwhile, the conflict between India and Pakistan is a distraction from economic and other regional issues. It is no secret the West fears China, as a rising global power, will become a threat to Western interests and Asian allies, thus the US needs India to be a regional leader while the US also needs countries like India to help improve its troubled relationship with ally Pakistan. As it is, the conflict between India and Pakistan is helping China bolster its influence at a time when an aggressive China has created opportunities for greater Indian engagement.
Consequently, the International Community needs to do more to invest in the relationship between Pakistan and India. In fact, the world needs pay closer attention to what is happening between these two giants. After all, should the conflict between Pakistan and India escalate like the conflict between Israel and Hamas did this summer, the world may well be facing a nuclear threat while a major war between these giants is certain to have major ripple effects throughout the world.
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