Saturday, 5 June 2010


I really enjoyed my two visits to the Holy Land a few years ago but was quite distressed by the awful wall surrounding the little city of Bethlehem. Nobody denies that Israel has a right to defend itself against the attacks it experiences from terrorists but the wall means that lawful people are unable to go about their daily business without the greatest of difficulty. The area is closely guarded by unsympathetic Israeli soldiers who seem to go out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for the residents.

The blockade of Gaza is a different matter though. After the Israeli attacks on Gaza the place has been left devastated but has no materials to allow the inhabitants to rebuild their shattered buildings. What’s more, although the Israelis allow a certain amount of food and other essential supplies into Gaza it is not nearly enough and as consequence many go hungry or suffer needlessly due to the shortage of medical and other supplies. Unemployment stands at 44%. Sadly. homemade rockets are still killing innocent Israelis launched from Gaza by Hammas.

The killing of some Turks on the ship carrying relief supplies and attempting to break the blockade last week has been roundly condemned around the world. Now, today they have boarded an Irish Ship, and are forcing it to go to an Israeli port. All this is in International Waters. Is what they are doing legal. Certainly the way the Israelis are treating Palestinians is immoral and does not accord with Biblical principles of proportionality.

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