People in glass houses… Part III

March 8th, 2008


Wychwood has responded to People in glass houses… Part II, saying that Israel does not oppress Palestinians but that it simply defends itself against terrorist attacks.

That Palestinian terrorists attack Israel is in no doubt. That Palestinian terrorists kill innocent
Israeli civilians is in no doubt. That Israel has a security problem is in no doubt.

But most Israelis don’t seem willing to ask why. Perhaps they just can’t bear to look into that particular mirror .

Is it appalling that Hamas and Hezbollah should fire rockets into Israel or send gunmen to mow down students? Absolutely.

Is it just as appalling that Israel should respond by bombing civilian populations? Absolutely.

“I repeat my condemnation of the rocket attacks by Palestinian militants against Israeli civilian targets, as well as of the Israel Defence Forces’ disproportionate use of force.”
Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

How many dead Israeli children will it take to make Hamas and Hezbollah happy?

How many dead Palestinian children will it take to make Israel feel safe? Can it pile those innocent bodies up and make a new security wall?

Wychwood, I know you are an intelligent and caring person, so here are some intellectual challenges for you…

Giving land back to its ancestral owners
How would you feel if the Australian government decided to compensate Australian Aboriginals for previous abuses and land theft, by handing your area over to them as a new Aboriginal State, kicking you out of your home, making you live in poverty, forcing you to queue for hours on end just to get to work and having you constantly at the mercy of Aboriginal troops? How would you feel if Aboriginals bulldozed your home and forced you to live in a shack for which they wouldn’t even give you planning permission? How would you feel if you had a farm and the Aboriginals built a wall between your farm house and your farm land and then built homes for Aboriginals on your farm land?

Don’t dismiss this comparison out of hand. It is an accurate one. Really look at it and ask how you would feel, because your arguments must hold true in both situations.

Israel does not oppress Palestinians
If you really believe this, then you will not be afraid, as an intellectual exercise, to explore the possibility that Israel is an oppressive state. If you are afraid to explore even the possibility, then it seems to me that your belief is not heart-felt, however fervent it may be.

Forget that Israel is involved for a few moments. Read the following and imagine that Switzerland is the state in question. Then ask yourself again whether this is not oppression.

Gaza conditions ‘at 40-year low’

What is the West Bank barrier?

West Bank settlements ‘expanding’

End ‘Illegal Occupation’

West Bank building ‘bias’ condemned

Palestine’s economy ‘impossible to fix’

The views of some Jews and Israelis:

Peace Now

Jews for Justice for Palestinians

Some people from both sides who also feel mutual “rock throwing” has to stop:

June 26, 2006 World Peace Forum Webcast

Despite his grief, a Palestinian calls for peace

Combatants for Peace


The United Nations potted history of the “Palestinian Problem”

By the way, the rock throwing image in my original post was an analogy for violence in general, rather than a specific reference to actual rocks.

Final thought
When peace came to Northern Ireland recently, neither side wanted to be seen to have lost. Indeed, many wanted to be seen to have won. A few years down the road and that doesn’t seem to be such an issue any more. Why? Because both sides finally realise that by stopping the violence, everyone wins.

“I don’t think that the present agreement has to do with the personalities of the leaders. I think it’s to do with the fact that this is the only way we can go. And if we don’t go this way others will take it out of our hands and they’ll go whatever way they want.”
Rev. Ian Paisley on peace in Northern Ireland

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