Rogue State?


West Bank settler expansion: a year on the frontline – Channel 4 News


Have a look at this Channel 4 report about a Palestinian farmer trying to live on land he owns on the West Bank.  It is scary, horrifying, and ridiculous all at the same time.  I said before in a previous piece about this damned conflict that Israel must take the moral high ground and live by the law.  If not, then how much better than the Hamas terrorists is it?

The report looks at a Palestinian family who lost their land when Israel was originally set up in 1948, but who managed to buy a plot in what is now the West Bank, to the south of Hebron.  So then the 1967 war happened and the family once more found themselves at least nominally in the stare of Israel.  That would be fine if the state actually treated all their citizens equally.

The report shows how numerous incursions by Israeli settlers are taking land by force from its existing owners, and how owners like this family have been trying for years to work with the Israeli system to protect their homes.  Imagine if someone came to your home and then, at gunpoint, demanded that you leave immediately!  Then imagine that when you call the Police they did nothing despite the obvious illegality of the Israeli settlers actions!

As you can imagine, the people demanding your home might well become somewhat bolder because of this lack of censure by the Police.  The report shows bulldozers being used to destroy houses, and even an unarmed person who was doing nothing more than trying to defend his home, being shot in the stomach at close range!  Surely that must be attempted murder, yet the Israeli perpetrator in question is still free, and only had his gun confiscated.  And the supposed justification for the settlers action?  One of them says in the report that because biblical characters walked this land, then the land is theirs!  Ridiculous or what?  Because the Doomsday Book says that one English family once owned a particular piece of land in 1086, would that make it right for someone with the same family name to use force to reclaim it today?  I think not.  That way lies madness, and the state of Israel needs urgently to enforce law and order on ALL its citizens before the whole country descends into open warfare.  If in that situation, I certainly would defend my home against similar thuggery with whatever means I could.

Now to the US, Britain and other western governments.  The situation in Israel has been likened to Apartheid.  I don’t think this is an unreasonable comparison.  Why then are we not condemning it openly and placing sanctions on Israel rather than making excuses and even supporting that state?  WE bloody our own hands with their folly and intransigence.  I cannot understand how a people with a history of persecution like the Israeli’s can do this to others.  I have been to Israel (I worked on a Moshav when in my 20’s) and met many holocaust survivors.  They were universally very gentle, generous, forgiving, open minded and wise people.  What the hell has happened over there since?

The West Bank is not Israeli land.  It was taken in war in 1967, and Israeli settlers have no claim to the land there.  In the Old Testament it says that God gave the Jews permission to kill the Canaanites so that the people of Israel could move into the promised land.  Are we going to have to stand by why some right wing religious nut uses this as an excuse to commit genocide today?  Are we going to make excuses for this as well as for the excessive force used against civilians in Gaza?  As I have said before, a legitimate state is ruled by the law, both national and international.  We know that Hamas are contemptable terrorists.  Just because other solutions are difficult, does not excuse Israel descending to their level.


  1. Hi Ian, your sentiments mirror not only mirror my views but I suspect much of the world who haven't got a political axe to grind or long term commercial interests in the region. Even the US is showing signs of running out of patience with Israel. No easy answer to it whilst major powers muddy the waters and organisations like United Nations are effectively toothless.

  2. Well said Geoff. I just wish a few politicians would listen to the majority of us. :-(


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