On Israel/Palestine

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Facts on the ground: the open air misery of Isreali occupation” (Tuesday)

Bernard Keane asks whether we are on the right side of history; or on the wrong side?
To premise the Arab- Israeli conflict by worrying about who is right or wrong is just rubbish. To pontificate solutions and fault finding is equally nonsensical.
Who are we to lecture a country entirely surrounded by peoples who don’t and will not recognise its existence, who send in bombs and suicidal fanatics to kill, who use a group of displaced people that were forced to flee by the very states who have consistently ignored their plight, who have invested millions in a fake news world- wide propaganda campaign, who hide behind children and in hospitals when they face retribution.
Just who is at fault here?
We are!
We, the world democracies have done nothing to help, nothing to bring peace to the region. Instead we participate in wars, we help monsters kill innocent people all over the middle east and take sides against the only democracy in the entire area.
So Bernard, you, me and many others don’t like the fact that Israel has a right wing government. Probably we all feel the same way about the USA and many other countries – so what.
You want to help? Don’t take sides from the safety of your comfortable position. Try and use what influence you may or might believe you have to pontificate peace in this conflict. Oh of course you know that isn’t possible when the enemies of Israel vow, time and time again, to kill every Israeli and if it takes forever so be it. That makes your bleating somewhat duplicitous.

Robert Johnson writes: Re. “Facts on the ground: the open air misery of Isreali occupation” (Tuesday)

Well done, Bernard, for a succinct description of the injustice (let alone illegality) of the creeping occupation of Palestinian lands. Knowing full well the impending scarcity of water in the West Bank, Israel issued an order declaring all water resources in the region as Israeli state property following its 1967 occupation. Israel retains an effective veto over Palestinian water and sanitation planning and approvals, for which settlements have long been exempted as Israel claims that they fall outside of the Oslo Agreement. As I saw when meeting with the Palestinian Water Authority in Ramallah in late 2008, where servicing from underground water sources requires a shared pipe, outlets for Palestinian communities are set higher up the pipe than for settlements, effectively providing an early warning system for settlements when Palestinian households run out of water. Alternatives to piped water for too many Palestinians requires exorbitant water trucks or complex travel heavily impeded by settlement placement and barriers. In too many instances, Palestinians’ right to water has, like their land, been confiscated from them. I hope that Bernard has more “Facts on the ground” to follow on his trip.

Peter Fray

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