Robert Sharp makes an important point with relevance to the upcoming
One group of people who get very little attention in the Middle-East are the Arab citizens of Israel. One in five Israelis are Arabs, but as either Muslims or Christians they are effectively second-class citizens in what is, after all, a Jewish State. Even if a utopian reconciliation between the Israelis and the Palestinians were to take place, a two-state solution would still leave discrimmination of Arab Israelis unaddressed.
They say a democracy is judged by how it treats its most vunerable minorities. What does this say about Israel’s continuing claim to be a strong democracy when it continues to harass journalists and arbitarily hands out injunctions?
We need a movement in the U.K. for a just peace, one that campaigns in solidarity with the Palestinian and Israeli peace camps. Such a movement has to be conscious of where the boundaries lie between reasonable criticism of Israeli and Palestinian actions on the one hand, and the demonization of Israel,
Jews, Palestinians and Muslimson the other. We need to resist those who try to force us to choose between one camp and the other. We need to work for the politics of peace and reconciliation within both Israel and Palestine.
While I agree that the British left has been reactionary, it isn’t as bad as the defensiveness and completely lack of empathy shown by British Muslims and Jews to the other side. Many on the left are caught in the middle between wanting justice for Palestinians yet sympathise with the Israelis when Muslim suicide terrorists kill innocents or when the President of Iran opens his mouth. Rock and a hard place, anyone?
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