Peace talks are about to start, between representatives of Israel and West Bank Palestine.
Meanwhile, the Israelis are making lots of noises about building more settlements; and they are taking steps to forcibly move Bedouin (citizens of Israel) off their own lands.
Perhaps the term “settlements” sounds innocuous. But settlements are not innocuous: they are permanent; they are on Palestinian lands (often on private property); they consume vast quantities of water and leave little or none for the Palestinians; moreover, the “settlers” are heavily armed – and they threaten their Palestinians from time to time and damage their olive trees.
At the same time, the Israeli army and settlers are taking over the Jordan Valley and, in effect, surrounding Palestinian towns and villages and Arab East Jerusalem, on all sides. The Palestinians will end up living on “reservations” or “bantustans”.
The move is towards an Israel that stretches from the sea to the River Jordan. The Palestinians are in the way of this vision. It would be best, for the hardliners, if they disappeared and joined the existing Palestinian diaspora.
Security? Israel has total control over land routes, the air-space and the sea; she has aircraft, machine-guns and nuclear weapons; she has a vast military forces and a huge reserve army. One only has to spend a few minutes in Israel or Palestine to see evidence of this.
So, it does not look as if the Israeli government is serious about peace, at all. No change there, I’d say.
When will the West in general and the USA in particular wake up to the fact that Israel’s policies are fundamentally racist? Racism on this scale, in any other country, would be condemned, vigorously and openly, by Western democracies; and real pressure would be put on.
Blame on both sides? Yes. But Israel has the power and has the one-sided support of the USA.
Israel has been given a special dispensation for her behaviours, for far too long.
May we have genuine peace talks, please, without further “facts on the ground”?