Dora McPhee (VIC) on Koutsoukis article “Israel defies US on settlements” The Age 30 June 2009 June 30, 2009

The Age: “Israel defies US on settlements” by Jason Koutsoukis

It is little wonder that there is so little optimism in resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict when the bare minimum that President Barak Obama demanded – “no new settlement construction” – is being fought tooth and nail by the present Israeli government. As the illegal Jewish settler growth rate outstrips the growth rate of the Jewish population in Israel it is clear where Israel’s priorities lie and suggests that the “natural growth” talked about is anything but natural. Meanwhile not only are Palestinians denied natural growth in Israel and the occupied territories but there is no hesitation to render them homeless by house demolitions either in the guise of town planning regulations, collective punishment or as “collateral damage” as was seen in Gaza.

As tens of thousands in Gaza are forced once again to a subsistence existence in tents because of the crippling siege that does not allow any building materials in it is little wonder they are cynical about their prospects of getting justice. The current public hearings of the victims of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” even have the UN personal pessimistic that it will bring Israel to account for its crimes against humanity. While Justice Richard Goldstone, who heads the hearings is to be commended for attempting to get the voices of the victims heard by a wider public he forgets that those who do not want to hear have already covered their ears claiming bias. So who is listening? Certainly not the people of Gaza, who don’t want to relive the horror they are still traumatised from and while this is supposed to be aired live it seems no outside media networks are making it their business to transmit the voices to a wider world. Palestinians have good reason to despair.

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