The present Middle East crisis is affecting us all.
And it's confusing. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine are never ending and full of controversial influences upon the rest of the world.
Years ago the BBC talked about the 'separation barrier' dividing the West Bank from Israel:
- The BBC uses the terms barrier, separation barrier or West Bank barrier as acceptable generic descriptions to avoid the political connotations of "security fence" (preferred by the Israeli government) or "apartheid wall" (preferred by the Palestinians).
The Palestinian Gaza Strip has significant social difficulties. It's over-crowded and has limited abilities to create housing. Plus it's been blockaded by the Egyptians and Israelis. Hardly a major threat to the Israelis but then they have concerns about the Palestinian Hamas administration and their alleged terrorist actions.
It could be relatively straight forward if the Israelis and Palestinians worked together but... Amnesty International condemns Israel and a recent article reported:
- Israeli forces are killing Palestinian civilians in the West Bank — including children — with "callous disregard for human life," enjoying near impunity for likely war crimes, and should be immediately cut off from arms shipments by the international community, declares a damning report released by Amnesty International.
Now in the UK, things are getting unpleasant. According to the Jerusalem Post:
- LONDON – Britain’s Jewish community has seen an almost unprecedented doubling of anti-Semitic incidents over the last few weeks, the Jewish Community Trust reported.
The Manchester Evening News has reported "Police make five arrests during city centre clash during Gaza protest" during a clash between Palestinian and Israeli groups. Charlotte Cox from the newspaper wrote:
- While praising the police, the council’s city centre spokesman Pat Karney said "Everyone in Manchester is horrified by the death and destruction in Gaza and everyone would hope that both sides would respond to the UN in getting round the table,” he said.
- “But what has to end is the protests outside the shops on Market Street and the intimidation and bullying of shop workers and shoppers. In my opinion it does not advance the Palestinian cause one iota.”
He has a point. A family member said to me, "If these protestors really want to change things over in Gaza they should go over there and protest." Even then I don't think it'll change things. Relatively peaceful protests are a luxury in the UK...
Now the UK Government is in disarray as well... The Guardian website reports:
- Sayeeda Warsi, the senior Foreign Office minister, has resigned from the government in protest at its policy on Gaza, describing it as “morally indefensible”.
Plus the deputy PM Nick Clegg contradicts the stance of David Cameron PM. The BBC writes that these events are putting him under pressure.
Should this really affect us here though? The events in the Middle East are terrible. I'm not going to debate that. The actions Israel has taken are certainly counter productive and will only exacerbate the situation as well as killing innocent people. However, can we, in the UK, change that? Are the
Palestinians and Israelis ever going to live peacefully? Sadly, I doubt that.
In the UK though I praise the protestors for their concerns, however misguided some may be. But perhaps we, in the UK, should be an example to the world and show that our different cultures and identities are our strengths. Let us champion our Diversity and show how it can positively affect communities and businesses...