This week Israel authorised the building of 3000 houses on Palestinian land in East Jeruslam. This is illegal but the rest of the world watches on passively as Israel continues their strategy to cut the West Bank in half and make Palestinian statehood almost impossible. I wonder why Israel chose this week to make this move…!?
Earlier in the week the UN General Assembly passed a resolution which recognised Palestine as a non-member state with observer status. As BBC Middle East Bureau Chief Paul Danahar tweeted it is the word ‘state’ which is important as this is another step along the road towards being accepted by the world as a country in its own right.
However, the vote wasn’t passed unanimously. Less than 5% of nations voted against the resolution and joining the United States and Israel were Canada, Panama, Czech Republic and those huge and influential nations called Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru. Despite being part of a tiny minority it is tragic that Israel and United States are able to hold Palestine in such an oppressive grip.
This tragedy is allowed to happen because dozens of other countries are, I believe, too chicken. Amongst others Great Britain abstained – despite William Hague’s reasoning I believe we are just too under the thumb of the United States to take a stand on Palestine. I think it’s time that the United States and Israel accept they’re in the minority on this instead of churning out media that gives the impression they hold a rational point of view that stands on the moral high ground.
Countries that recognise the state of Palestine
As you can see from the map above it is pretty much only the ‘West’ that doesn’t recognise Palestine as a nation in its own right. But I suppose we must be right because we are the free West after all.
Maybe this picture gives a tiny clue as to why the Palestinian people feel a tad oppressed.
I suggest the only way forward is to give half of Britain to the Palestinian people to set-up their own homeland, and then over the next 50 years allow them to reduce native British occupied land to a few towns in Yorkshire and the Blackpool seafront, and cut us off from the rest of the world.
How would we like it?
I’m so disturbed by developments in Gaza. Please, please, please don’t assume that Israel are just defending themselves. It must be horrific for Israeli citizens to take cover because of rocket fire. But multiply that horror 100 times and you’re maybe close to what Gazan civilians are experiencing.
Please watch this video and put yourself or your loved ones in the positions of those involved. This violence on both sides has to stop but with the US giving their full backing to Israel’s action I can only see hundreds of Palestinians being killed in coming weeks.
95 years ago today the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, made the following declaration:
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
This declaration was used to pave the way toward the beginning of the state of Israel. I’d like to make one point:
We in Britain should not underestimate our responsibility for the current situation in Palestine and Israel. If it was not for Britain then the cycle of oppression and terrorism may not have even started. We hold ourselves up as beacons of liberty yet fail to take responsibility for world changing decisions we have made that lead to hundreds of thousands being displaced and killed.
The wife and the daughter are having a little boogie on Just Dance which prevents me from watching the Paralympics. Was at a loose end for a few moments having had the European Champs, Olympics, start of the football season and now the Paralympics to keep me occupied all summer. So I went on a bit of a browse round some of the links from my blog and quickly remember a whole stimulating world of innovation, learning and observation that I had forgotten about.
The sport has been pretty inspiring this year but it all takes place in a big bubble that doesn’t transfer too easily into the real world. After a week down in London at the start of August I returned to life in the West Midlands and realised there are whole bunch of people who don’t give a monkeys about Sheffield’s finest heptathlete or a sideburned hero from Wigan. They have much more pressing matters to think about like trying to scrounge a few cigarettes, wondering whether to get another abortion or whether they’d be sleeping on a bench, sofa or bed that night.
So, sports junkies, there is another world out there. Don’t forget to engage your brain with it or pay attention to those who might need a bit deeper support than ‘our greatest team’.
Click the image to see it in more detail. The black and white scarf denotes a Palestinian.
If you have read much of my blog you will know that one of my passions is the cause of the Palestinian people. The more I find out about their plight the angrier I get. Why?
I find it hard to suppress the desire within me to see justice. When I see somebody cheating in sport I get angry. When I see someone betraying their family I get angry. When I see one nation oppressing another I get angry. Why?
I believe that God put somewhere deep inside me, when he created me, a bit of himself that knows right from wrong. I believe he also put a love for others inside me. When you combine these two things you can get a great driving force for good. However, I have lived in a world that distorts these motives and adds selfishness, frustration, unrighteous anger and a misinterpretation of justice.
I think justice is very much about reconciliation but the justice I often seek simply wants revenge for wrongs committed. It is a justice focused on what is fair rather than what will produce the best outcome. I think this often shows itself in some of my posts about Israel and Palestine. Part of me simply wants to highlight the truth of the situation to those who don’t have the facts but my writing often becomes a bitter dead end for bad feeling.
If I really love the Palestinian people what I need to do is find productive ways that I can play a part, no matter how big or small, in the reconciliation of these people with the rest of the world. Any ideas!?