It’s not often that I’m embarrassed and uncomfortable about the fact that I am British. But occasionally it does happen.
Benjamin Netanyahu is in town today and has been welcomed by our PM, David Cameron. Read the transcript here.
I don’t know why I’m so surprised. Britain has long been a friend to Israel, with Tony Blair being a member of the ‘Friends of Israel’ organisation as well as numerous other MPs. I just find it bewildering that treating this man with respect and importance is acceptable. I don’t need to sit here and list the atrocities that Israel has committed since its creation in 1947. The sheer number of Palestinians that have been kicked out of their homes and made into refugees comes into the thousands. The injustice towards the Palestinians in their own land is so incomprehensible that most of the world have given up trying to fight the Palestinian cause. With such strong economic and moral support from the US, Israel is in such a strong position that it can get away with such mistreatment and injustice.
The good news however is that Fateh and Hamas have reconciliated and are joining forces in a move which shines as a glimmer of hope for Palestine. Of course Netanyahu has condemned this move and is claiming that it is a blow for peace and ‘victory for terrorism’. He knows that Fateh and Hamas combining will cause big problems for Israel. Together the Palestinian side will be stronger and able to play a bigger part in the peace process. Netanyahu is here in the UK on his way to the states, apparently to present a peace initiative. This is a man who has built illegal settlement after settlement on Palestinian land, displacing thousands of people from their homes. After Obama told Israel they couldn’t keep building settlements in the West Bank, Netanyahu did not really adhere. He said he will curb some expansion but that is limited by the ‘natural growth’ of the population. Where else in the world can an individual go and gain citizenship in a foreign land based solely on their religious background, at the cost of displacing the original occupier of the land? Nowhere is the answer, as it’s completely outrageous.
I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a new era. I pray that Palestine is able to become the free sovereign independent state that it was for so many centuries prior to the Zionist movement. Long live Palestine!