Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Beat(ings) Go On

"Shalom shalom v'eyn shalom" - " 'Peace! Peace!' , but there is no peace" says Jeremiah, commenting on the hypocritical peace talk of his day. But his harsh words could be equally applied to the Israeli leadership of today.

While the leaders talk about peace plans, on the ground the occupation continues to expand, and the day to day oppression of Palestinians continues. This story from Haaretz tells of Jewish settlers from an illegal outpost who beat and harass Palestinians trying to harvest their olive groves. The government does nothing to remove or limit the growth of the outpost nor to stop the, now annual, disruption of the olive harvest. The army does nothing to stop (and many say it actively encourages) the Jewish nationalist thugs, and the police only pretend to investigate. The government is aware (they read the same newspapers I do) but chooses to do nothing.

Peace is not just (or even primarily) geo-political strategy papers, but fair and neighborly relations on the the ground. But it seems that the Israeli leadership - and a large part of the people - is not ready for that.

Abed Al-Fatah Al-Hindi, a resident of the Nablus-area village of Tal, reaches the main highway between the Hawara and Git junctions, near the Gilad Farm. An International Red Cross crew stands waiting for him. He is bleeding from a large scalp wound, and his left eye is swollen.

A paramedic bandages his head, and a volunteer from Rabbis for Human Rights cleans his face. "Every year there's a mess," the villager tells Haaretz. "It's just the first day of the olive harvest, and six settlers attacked me. There wasn't much we could do."
Read the rest of the story here.


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