Tuesday 15th May
Yesterday I lamented the lack of any “real” news. I commented that there may be trouble caused by the opening of America’s new embassy in Jerusalem. It used to be in Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel. And boy, was there trouble. At the last count (but this may be superceded by now) 52 people were killed by bullets fired by Israeli soldiers near the border with Gaza. Gaza is basically an occupied strip of land where 2 million Palestinians live. They are ‘peacefully’ protesting their right (denied of course by Israel) to return to the land they were kicked off 70 years ago at the creation of the state of Israel. Of course there are two sides to every story and the Palestinians (and the Arabs in general) have behaved atrociously to Israel in the past; Hamas refuses to recognise Israel and is de facto at war with it. Some of the protesters were reportedly throwing firebombs and stones at the border guards.
But none of this warrants the disproportionate use of bloody and fatal force by Israel. It seems that the current leadership of Israel simply wants to provoke and kill as many Palestinians as possible. There have been strong condemnations from the British and the French and many other nations and the UN itself, which declared that treating Jerusalem as the de facto capital of Israel (as Donald Trump has now acknowledged) is illegal. But condemnations will not work. America will always defend Israel, however wrong their actions may be seen by the rest of the world. The only weapon is to shame Israel, to make ordinary Israelis ashamed of the actions of their own Government. I do understand how many Israelis feel, that the world doesn’t understand them, that their Peace is being constantly threatened. But the only solution to this fear and misunderstanding, and the only long-term solution is for meaningful peace talks to begin and for the Palestinians to be given their own state. This will never be easy, but with good will it is achievable. But before that happens the killing must stop; the disproportionate use of bloody force must stop.
I know that by even talking about this means I will be branded an anti-semite, but just read the words I have used, the fact that I also blame the actions of many on the Arab side. This is the twenty-first Century, surely we must be capable of moving on and stop hurling abuse and stones and bullets at each other. Many in Israel are also appalled at this use of force and are speaking out as well. Good on them. I wonder if they are being accused of anti-semitism too?