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‘Fighting May Not Escalate, Jewish And Arab Attitudes Are Changing’

The Israelis and Arabs are again at each other’s throats with some of the worst fighting seen since 2014. But scholar diplomat Talmiz Ahmad believes the fighting will not escalate simply because neither side wants it. But yes, the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs want the Israeli government to respect the land they have lived on for centuries, and are prepared to fight eviction.

In Israel too, the hardline right wing politics exemplified by Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be giving way to something softer, more accommodative of Arab aspirations. For the first time, Israel could have a government with the Arabs and given time, Ambassador Ahmad believes, this could see a transformation of Jewish Arab relations.

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Ambassador Ahmad says the Israelis respect the armed group Hamas, which is seen to be driven by the same hard nosed attitude that characterises the Jewish state. Many Hamas commanders have been killed in the latest round of fighting but the group retains the ability to throw up new leadership, and yes it has the capability to fire rockets into Israel that are causing some physical and much more psychological damage.