William Hague, the UK Secretary of State blames Hamas for the state of affairs in Gaza and Southern Israel.  So let’s be clear. Firing rockets at people is wrong; any rockets, any bullets and shells, and bombs, whether Iranian made fired from Gaza or American made fired frokm Israel.

Jewish Voice for Peace in its statement points out that the conflict is ‘assymetric’.  Today we hear that 3 Israeli’s have been killed in a rocket attack. That is three too many. But why are Israeli victims worth more than Palestinian victims?  Because they seem to be; more ‘air-time’, more column inches,  more hysterical statements from Western diplomats.

Over the last 10 years more than four times as many Palestinians have been killed by Israel than have Israelis killed by ‘terrorists’.  Israel has assassinated people in foreign countries by agents using  forged UK (& other) identities. They have been condemned, by word; and rewarded in action. Recently the EU upgraded its trading agreement with Israel despite Israel having failed to meet its human rights commitments under the previous agreement.

Since ‘Operation Cast Lead’ Palestinians in Gaza, including women and children, have been killed at the rate of 1/2 each week, by Israeli rocket attacks, drone strikes and military incursions.  How many have died as a result of the immoral siege we cannot know.

If Israel is serious about peace there are a number of things it can do straight away. Remove the siege on Gaza. By its own reckoning it’s not working, so try something else, something peaceful; provide Gaza with everything it needs to rebuild and modernise.  Remove all illegal settlements in the West Bank and honour their obligations under international law. Pay the PA what it owes them and remove the economic, academic, cultural embargoes on Palestinian activity in West Bank and Gaza. And come to the negotiating table without preconditions that require Israel’s Arab citizens to accept secondary status. Israel cannot be both democratic and a ‘Jewish’ state.  That’s what we say about Islam; it’s what I say about Christianity; and it has to be said about Judaism, (which, by the way, has nothing whatsover to do with modern Israel!).

When all is done and said – Please – Pray for Israeli Jew, for Israeli Palestinian, for Palestinians everywhere, and the Jewish Diaspora…

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