Many will recall the sinking feeling experienced at the start of this month when, on the back of all the death and destruction in Gaza, it was revealed that Israel had decided to appropriate almost 1000 acres of Palestinian land to facilitate the construction of a new city near the settlement of Gvaot. The US and UK Governments, as the Guardian noted, condemned the move.
Definitely not Fair and Balanced
The paper reported “Israel's decision has been condemned by senior Palestinian government figures and Israel's chief negotiator in the stalled peace process, the justice minister, Tzipi Livni, who said the decision would damage Israel's security in the long run. ‘The decision was incorrect,’ Livni told Israel Radio News. ‘It was a decision that weakens Israel and damages its security’”.
Over at the Mail, a report noted “Israel has come under intense international criticism over its settlement activities, which most countries regard as illegal under international law and a major obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state in any future peace deal”. The report told that Binyamin Netenyahu was using the peace accord between Fatah and Hamas as an excuse for lack of negotiation.
Ha’Aretz went into more detail: “Eighteen percent of the land declared state land this week is west of the West Bank separation barrier, suggesting that the intent is not just to expand the Gush Etzion settlement bloc but to link the area up with Israel proper, says Dror Etkes, of the Peace Now settlement tracking project. The cabinet decided to take over the land in response to the June kidnapping and killing of three teenage Jewish boys by Hamas militants in the area”.
Yasmeen Serhan spelt out the consequences: “By illegally building on occupied land and destroying the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state, Israel severely undermines the opportunity to achieve a two-state solution to the conflict and ensure its own future security and stability”. But there was, as ever, a dissenting voice.
Yes, Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips was having none of it. “For those in West with still-functioning brain: why claim Israel illegally seizes ‘Palestinian’ land is wrong in law” she told subtly. Perhaps that was the law that comes from dubiously sourced scriptures from several thousand years ago.
And don’t tell her about the Palestinians having their own state: “Palestinians turn down yet another offer of a state of their own. There’s only one state that they want”. This was followed by the inevitable suggestion that information coming out of Gaza cannot be trusted: “‘Destroyed’ Gaza power plant miraculously repaired”, she crowed. To Mel, “put out of action” and “destroyed” are the same thing.
Meanwhile, there were still more than 500 children killed in the latest Gaza bombardment. But for Melanie Phillips, it’s just Carry On Screaming once more.