I was watching Question Time the other night, and inevitably the Israeli assault on Gaza was raised. None of the panellists seemed able to respond in a way that took both sides of the story into account. A liberal peer was one-sidedly, and with outrage, attacking the Israelis. The editor of the Jewish Chronicle, an otherwise intelligent man, couldn’t stop talking about Hamas’ commitment to killing every Jew in the world. The nearest we came to impartiality was from a Tory MP.
It’s no wonder you get endless battles like Israel versus the Palestinians. Their situation is not something ‘other’. It reflects the same tendency towards partiality, towards our own loyalties, towards our own point of view that we saw in the panel that was agonising over the dispute. The seeds of the conflict were, ironically, there in front of us in the collection of the Great and the Good called upon to shed light on it.
I’ve never been able to follow all the ins and outs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try to use some astrology to understand it. Below is the chart for Israel. Some astrologers use a time 32, or even 37 minutes later.
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Either way, Israel has Libra Rising or Sun in the 7th, Libra’s House. This suggests that it is basic to Israel to operate in partnership with another country. And there are 2 obvious candidates: its relationship with the USA, which itself has 7th House Sun and Libra MC; and its struggle to the death with the Palestinians, an endless situation that seems to have no solution for either side.
Palestine does not exist as a state. The nearest we have to a chart is Yasser Arafat’s declaration of Palestinian Independence on Nov 15 1988 at 00.40 in Algiers (chart relocated to Jerusalem, the capital.)
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Again we see Libra Rising. Palestine too is locked into a partnership, in its case with Israel. For each country, it is part of who they are. This relationship is felt as one of survival on both sides, and we might therefore expect to see Pluto/Scorpio at work. What we find is that Palestine has a loose conjunction between the Sun and Pluto in Scorpio, which widely squares the Israeli Saturn-Pluto-Moon in Leo stellium. So for Palestine it is an existential Sun struggle: Palestine has yet to come into being as a country, it does not yet have a true identity. Whereas for Israel it is the Moon, the sense of home and homeland for which it feels it is having to fight.
The Israeli and Palestinian Suns oppose each other: each country feels the other to be a hindrance to its own identity. Yet it is shadow boxing, for opposite signs contain the other. Israelis and Palestinians are more similar than they would like to think, and each is almost certainly guilty of what it accuses the other side of being.
For now it is Israel which is the main perpetrator of violence. But I have no doubt that the Palestinians – and much of the Arab world – would more than return the favour given the chance. A lot of ethnic conflicts are like this. The victims now were often the perpetrators before and could easily become so again. Israel itself is almost the classic case, the Jews having been the victims of the holocaust, and now the Chosen People (cf Master Race) have created a ghetto out of Gaza. This is not an anti-semitic point, just a simple psychological truth. If you are a victim of abuse, you need to deal with what has happened to you, or you may find yourself acting it out.
So Israel and Palestine both have charts that describe the partnership they are locked into, and the existential nature of the struggle it involves. Their composite chart has the nodal axis running along the Asc/Desc, showing how this struggle is part of their mutual destiny or karma.
Countries can re-incarnate and acquire a different chart. It seems to me that the patterns run so deep in the 2 countries, the struggle has become so much part of who they are, that re-incarnation is needed on both sides. It is not a matter of a negotiated settlement with agreed boundaries. It requires a new Israel and a new Palestine.
This is easy to say, but I don’t have any answers. One thing I do wonder about is whether the problem can be dealt with under the eyes of the western democracies. Take Iraq. They had a dictator like Saddam Hussein for a reason. The country was composed of potentially warring tribes, and democracy often only serves to deepen such divisions. Brutal as the old Iraq was, there was probably a lot less carnage than has happened, and continues to happen, since the US invaded and attempted to impose a democracy. The same, in my view, goes for Africa. You have problems there because they are artificial countries made up of competing tribes. Ireland 1000 years ago was like that: a bunch of warring tribes. You have to either give them separate countries, or you need a dictator to stamp out the local warlords. In Afghanistan the Taliban were awful, but the country was for the first time governable.
In my view the Israeli-Palestine conflict needs a dictator to sort it. Maybe you enlarge the West Bank and move everyone from the Gaza strip there. The Israelis move any settlements they have from the West Bank, they settle Gaza, and they let the UN control East Jerusalem. Gaza can never work, it is an anomaly. Something like this would be pretty grim to carry out, but it might eventually work. But it’s never going to happen.
The Turks and Greeks did this in 1923. They had a population exchange in which 1.5 million Greeks were forced to leave Turkey (they had been there for centuries or even millenia and only spoke Turkish), and 1/2 a million Turks likewise left Greece. It was an awful thing to have happened. But we live in a nationalistic age, and what might have occurred since if they hadn’t exchanged populations is possibly a lot worse.
The Palestinian chart has a Chiron-Neptune opposition running along its MC/IC axis. This perfectly describes the lack/loss (Neptune) of traditional homeland (IC in Capricorn) and the hopeless aspiration to create one (Chiron/MC in Cancer). Neptune has been squaring the Sun for the last couple of years, describing the rise of Hamas in the Gaza strip and the dissolution (Neptune) of a unified Palestinian leadership. Pluto has been squaring natal Mars over the last year, describing the rocket attacks and general aggressive stance of Hamas towards Israel. Uranus and Pluto will be hard aspecting the natal Angles in a few years. So we can expect to see a lot of instability. With Uranus hitting the natal Mars Uranus-Square over the next couple of years, the rocket attacks and other asymmetrical warfare methods are likely to continue.
But with Pluto also coming in hard in 3-4 years, we are likely also to see a profound change of some sort. This ties in with a Progressed New Moon for Palestine in 4 years time: some big new beginning will be seeded.
As for Israel, they were at the beginning of a Neptune-Sun square in 2006 when Ariel Sharon went into a coma. This square is still very active, and I think describes the lack of clear, decisive headway in its foreign policy and wars, and the lack of confidence in the leadership (Sun) that has resulted. This was particularly so with the 2006 Lebanon War, where Israel was not able to dominate its enemy in its customary fashion.
And even now in its invasion of the Gaza strip, Hamas was still firing rockets after Israel declared a ceasefire. Hamas has now declared a ceasefire for a week to enable Israel to withdraw. So again, the clear victory that Israel so much felt it needed has been denied to them.
Neptune is still at work, and with natal Mars at 28 Leo, Israel probably has a few more years of this to go. Israel's enemies have found a way to get at them through asymmetrical warfare - rockets and suicide bombs - which while limited in physical destructiveness, have a big psychological and political impact. It means Israel can no longer obtain the decisive victories of old. The continuation of the Neptune transit onto Mars would suggest Israel having to accept and adjust to this new military reality over the next few years.
Israel's acceptance of this may well mean it has to mellow in its negotiating stance. And this may pave the way for the big changes we see in the Palestinian chart in 3 to 4 years time, just as Neptune finally finishes with Israel.