Monday, October 25, 2010


The recent demise of the Peace Talks on the Palestinian / Israel question, in a cloud of new Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, begs the question. Does Israel really want peace? In a Times Magazine article, Sept. 2, 2010, the answer appears to be the Israelis aren't interested.
"The truth? As three Presidents, a King and their own Prime Minister gather at the White House to begin a fresh round of talks on peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still see their country as being defined by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on." [1] Reading the full article on these shifting attitudes is instructive. A possible U.S. answer to this problem of Israeli apathy will be part of next weeks posting.

Photo by Larry Towell, WEST BANK. Hebron. February 2003. A religious Muslim woman and her children navigate their way around an Israeli tank during the Army's invasion of Hebron which helps to enforce a 24-hour curfew on the city center.

These talks are now in limbo, and 300 new settlement structures [2] are furiously being built to add to the thousands that now stand in the way of an independent Palestinian state. Israel, which didn't exist over 60 years ago, has moved on, behind a tall wall, confident of its prosperity and military dominance, with 10,000 troops stationed in the West Bank, in the midst of the Palestinians, on the other side.

Barrier wall West Bank, by Joshua Hough, morning lines [presumably Palestinians awaiting work in Israel]

Image may be enlarged to better view extent of wall, and geography, "West Bank "[of Jordan River] to the east of most of Israel. Palestine landlocked, with only coast in the small Gaza strip to the southwest of this image.

They have placed their trust in weapons, massive amounts provided by the U.S., not remembering the ancient lessons of their scriptures, only their more recent terrible persecutions in the World War. David has now become Goliath, and faces a new stone throwing David within his realm.

Photo by Larry Towell, Bethlehem. West Bank. Rachael's Tomb. Young Palestinian man loading stone into home made catapult during clash with Israeli Army following funeral of 13 year old Moayad Osama Jawareesh, shot and killed the previous day on the same spot by Israeli soldiers. Jawareesh was a resident of the adjacent Aida Refugee Camp. 2000.

The polls show most Israelis agree with a true two state solution. Can't Goliath leadership lay down the swords of military conflict, and both peoples be given lands of milk and honey? Justice demands that Israel has its home in the Middle East, and that Palestine be guaranteed their ancient homelands also, and compensated for that taken to make the modern state of Israel.

Let the walls come tumbling down. Remember Jericho? May there be bountiful harvests in peace, in the gardens of the Kibbutzim, and the olive orchards of the Palestinians. [3]
Omar on his way with sacks to harvest his olives in the West Bank near Awarta, a crop often stolen by residents of neighboring illegal settlements. Michigan Peace Team has accompanied him--see below.

Please read some or all of these, and other sources, to inform on this most crucial central area struggle between war and peace and justice in our world.



3 Helping in this harvest we have Sandy Quintano of Port Huron, who is now in the West Bank with a long term Michigan Peace Team. [see their webpage: ]

For a report on "Peace Now " flights over the West Bank to show extent of settlements to peace activists and hardliners alike,

The statement also criticized some Zionists who use the Bible to justify the Jewish presence in the occupied territories, saying that "recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable." --from just concluded Vatican synod of Middle East bishops, which supports the 2 state solution. For full report see: "Bishops at Meeting Urge Israel to End Its Occupation of Palestinian Territories" NYT 10-24-10,

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