Gareth Smith (NSW) writes to the Byron Echo about the injustice re Palestine April 12, 2013

Obama’s March 21 speech to Israeli students calls for empathy for Palestinians but nowhere does he mention Israel’s violations of international and humanitarian law. He says: “But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized. Put yourself in their shoes – look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day. It is not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It is not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; to restrict a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or to displace Palestinian families from their home. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.” Why doesn’t he say it’s “illegal” rather than “it’s not fair”, “it’s not right” and why did the US vote against Palestine’s bid for U.N. non-observer status? The answer is clear: Palestine has now the ability to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court and that’s an outcome too embarrassing for the U.S., Australia and their fellow travellers to contemplate. 

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