Few readers of this column will ever have heard of them: two Bedouin villages on Palestinian land in the Israeli occupied West Bank of the Jordan; They are being destroyed to make way for the expansion of two illegal Israeli settlements Kfar Adumim and Ma’ale Adumim.
Contemplate the misery as homes and school are bulldozed, and by a people who should know better having experienced their own history of suffering greater than any.
If I understood the minister correctly, the Government has expressed its concern, even its condemnation, no less.
I’ve done that, and it isn’t trivial: when I expressed my concern as a minister I did it with sufficient force that the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Chief Negotiator stormed out of the meeting. Ultimately however, they are just words.
Insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing in the same situation but expecting a different outcome.
We are not insane: we don’t expect a different outcome; we know our words will have no effect, and Israel will continue with impunity, and so, by our inaction, we make ourselves complicit.
Of course, I understand the realpolitik of the situation: our reluctance to take unfriendly measures against an important ally in a troubled region, particularly when that ally has the robust backing of our most important ally.
Israel should consider however, the implications of what it is storing up. These expanding illegal settlements make a viable Palestinian state impossible.
Which means a large population will be condemned to continue to live without equal rights, and with restricted movement. We used to have a name for that, so let’s call a spade a bloody shovel: we used to call it Apartheid, and Israel will have effectively confined the Palestinians to bantustans.
Clearly the world is looking the other way for the present, but how long could such a situation endure, anymore that it endured in South Africa?