February 21, 2007

Which Israel?

My friend Dina Turner offers a consumer's guide to Israel in today's Guardian.
Which Israel would ambassador Zfi Heifetz like the Palestinians to recognise (Hamas has not delivered, February 20). The Israel created by the UN in 1948, which comprised 55% of historic Palestine? The Israel after June 1967, which consists of 78% of historic Palestine? The Israel of today, 85% of historic Palestine? Or perhaps the Israel that will be, after it has finished building its illegal barrier and settlements, which will then consist of 90% of historic Palestine?
Dina Turner
Farnham, Surrey
In the same group of three letters, representatives of seven different groups call for the ending of sanctions against the Palestinians and the imposition of sanctions on Israel:
On February 8, Fatah and Hamas issued the Mecca agreement. Palestinians are now working to create a national-unity government to rebuild Palestinian society, which has faced systematic destruction under Israeli occupation (Leaders, February 20). Given the international Quartet is meeting today, the British government must seize this opportunity to overturn its wrong and disastrous position of supporting sanctions against the Palestinians, which have created a humanitarian disaster.

For over a year, our government has been complicit with the European Union, the US and Israel in collectively punishing the Palestinian people, because they did not agree with the result of the Palestinian Authority elections. The EU, previously the largest donor, withdrew its funding to the PA from April 2006. The US also stopped its funding, and the Israeli government has withheld tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA of around $60m a month. A recent report by the Commons international development committee said: "As a result, the Palestinian Authority is facing financial crisis and this is seriously affecting the Palestinian people: 51% of Palestinians are now food insecure and 66% of families are below the poverty line." The report concluded that the withdrawal of aid was counterproductive and threatened the viability of the occupied territories.

The government must end its role in punishing the occupied people, the Palestinians, rather than the occupying nation, Israel. It should ensure the EU resumes its funding of the Palestinian Authority, and that it puts all possible pressure both on the US to resume its aid and on Israel to release the withheld tax revenues.
Betty Hunter
Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Louise Richards
War On Want
Ismael Patel
British Muslim Initiative
Deborah Maccoby
Majed Al Zeer
Palestinian Return Centre
Caroline Qutteneh
Welfare Association
Dan Judelson
Jews for Justice for Palestinians
See anyone you recognise? Incidentally, if you're not suffering Atzmon fatigue you might like to check out this little article on the AMIN site.

And the last of the three is this call to end the occupation:
After 40 years, the world is still waiting for five simple words from the Israeli government: "We will end the occupation."
Leon Rosselson
Wembley Park, Middlesex
I think it's a bit late for that now Leon.

No comments:

Post a comment