January 16, 2005

Ariel Sharon stole my bag

At Tel Aviv airport I face tough questioning: who am I here to meet? Where am I staying? Before I left London I was told that in the past two years, 85 Palestinian Authority guests have mysteriously 'lost' their luggage here after saying they were visiting the West Bank or Gaza.

Sure enough, my suitcase disappears, along with all the bags belonging to a group of guests of the Palestinian Women's Union. Their luggage materialises that evening. Mine doesn't.

Interesting article in the Mail on Sunday today. Lauren Booth, Tony Blair's sister-in-law, went to Palestine to cover the election and :

go beyond those cliched images...urchins throwing stones at tanks; fatigue-wearing, baby-killing extremists; women in traditional dress wailing over dead children; and Arabic men shouting in broken English. It's an image that has never fared well in the West.

It's mostly very informative about how the Palestinians live now under occupation, but there is no history to it and I am certain that the Zionist movement will encourage and co-ordinate a massive response around the lack of context even though the context is as damning of Zionism as this microcosm of the current situation is. She mentioned the collective punishment aspect of the checkpoints and closures and the apartheid nature of Israel's governance of Jerusalem.

I must say that it's a pity she went and spoiled things a bit by finishing with the words:

I would like to bring my family here so they can meet these generous, clever people.

Patronising or what, eh? Still it is the Mail on Sunday. Peter Hitchens and Melanie Phillips must be turning in their graves, or wherever it is the undead turn these days.

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