Monday, 14 July 2014
The visionless Israeli policy: 'An eye for an eye...'
The escalation of violence in Israel/Palestine is as distressing as it is inevitable. At last count, nearly 200 people have died in the bombing of Gaza - 80% of whom at least are estimated by the UN to be civilians.
This is a predictable outcome of Israeli military policy: Crush the opposition, and if the Palestinians find some way of fighting back, the Israeli military response will be massive. We have seen this sort of collective punishment many times before. It is barbaric, and the Israeli government don't give a damn about how it looks to the rest of the world. As long as Obama keeps out, Israeli can do what it wants.
Does it always have to be this way? I hope not, but here are some of the ways forward: First, those of us opposed to Israeli violence must consistently attack all forms of violence. I'm sick of watching Palestinian leaders justify the killing of Israeli's or equating the sending of rockets into Israel as the same as throwing stones. We must openly condemn all forms of violence.
Second. Take action. Let us boycott Israeli goods - places like Tesco seem happy to sell Israeli goods - so lets be happy to make our views known by demonstrating outside shops who put profits before peoples lives. Lets take public direct action in a legitimate non-violent way.
Three. Lets get our message on the streets. I'll be at the regional demonstration at the Monument in Newcastle tomorrow at 5:30, and despite the distance, will try to get to the National demonstration called for Saturday at 12noon London. Israel thrives because countries like England refuse to condemn Israeli atrocities - so we must make it impossible for Cameron to appear neutral while such slaughter occurs. We need to expose lies about Palestine and tell the truth about conditions for Palestinians.
If there is to be a lasting peace in Israel/Palestine - it will come from peacemakers both inside and outside Jerusalem, it will come from the people who are sick of the ways of violence.
The policy of 'an eye for an eye' has left the bulk of Israeli and Palestinian politicians unable to see the truth of the situation. It is the women, children and ordinary citizens who cry out for peace who need to be listened to today. We must do all we can to make sure those cries are heard.