Wednesday 2 June 2010

Israeli attack on relief ships

The Israel/Palestine situation must be one of the most intractable in the world. The original Balfour Declaration of 1917 in which the British government, "view(ed) with favour" the setting up of a national home for the Jews in Palestine, continued with the phrase "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" (my emphasis.)

The ignoring of that condition is the source of the problem: there is, in my view, a very real sense in which Palestinians are being made to pay the cost of assuaging European guilt for the treatment of the Jews in the 1930s ands 40s. Nevertheless the state of Israel exists and it is unrealistic to expect it to cease to exist. A politically negotiated two-state solution seems the only answer.

In the meantime Israel must be made to recognise that disproportionate reactions to acts of Palestinian terrorism are unacceptable. An obvious step is that the US government, alleged champions of democracy (and Hamas was democratically elected) should cease arming and funding the Israelis.

There may seem little we as individuals can do, but the philosopher Burke said that no on made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do little. To that end I've just signed this petition at

We call for an immediate, independent investigation into the flotilla assault, full accountability for those responsible, and the lifting of the Gaza blockade.

Please join me in signing at this link:

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