Saturday, January 26, 2008

Palestine Open Prison

The tragedies of inhabitants of many Middle Eastern countries
continue seemingly forever. Palestine has been much in the news
of late as the open prison conditions imposed on its civilians
are being broken by sheer human spirit which is prevailing
over politics, gunmen and possibly even some apparent
historical imperatives themselves.

The UK history of involvement with Palestine cannot really be judged
fairly decades afterwards as lives and circumstances have moved on.
From the little I know there were good intentions but little
understanding on the part of the UK authorities.

Suffice it to say that the UK involvement settled little
yet now that the baton has moved on to others to try to settle such deep seated
conflicts, mistrusts and hatred,
the current arbiters' attempts at resolution are proving no more successful.

Israel's usual 'eye for an eye tooth for a tooth' response is presumably
an approach familiar to scholars of both the Torah and Koran.
I also presume that most people so tragically affected in that part of the world,
empathise with the Jewish or Islamic faith so may have more understanding
of escalation by way of retaliation, than I do as an armchair catholic,
more familiar with the Biblical New Testament than the Old.

Hamas supported rocketeers fire indiscriminately into
Israeli civilian settlements and Israeli army likewise launch counter
attacks affecting Palestian civilians. That such meeting evil with evil
cannot do any good to anyone seems obvious -
from the vantage point of the armchair.

Less obvious however is why the Egyptians should want to close their
borders with Gaza. The people of Gaza have collectively incurred
the wrath of Israel for whatever reason but why should Egypt not
offer the same freedom of movement to Palestians to and from
its borders as say the UK does to those from Pakistan or these
days Russia?

I see no justification for Egypt facilitating
a blockade of Gaza instigated by Israel although Israel is of course free
to deny access to its territory by blockade or otherwise.

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