Thursday, February 11, 2010

State of denial: Robert Fisk searches for peace in Israel

Can peace in the Middle East be achieved while both Israelis and Palestinians refuse to give ground? Robert Fisk takes a road trip through a divided land, from Ben-Gurion's Tel Aviv villa to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the besieged Gaza Strip.

Read at Your Own Risk

"....And of course, it all boils down to this. The Israeli-Arab conflict is about land. It is about colonies and walls and about bi-national states and two states and – in the end – about who has power. The Israelis with their eternal American supporters? Or the Palestinians, hopelessly divided and soaked – in Gaza, at least – in corruption and nepotism. The tunnels that feed Gaza are skimmed for profits by Hamas.

But what of the hatred of the soul? I went to Hebron and saw, on the walls, for the foreign tourists, the words of the Jewish settlers: "The Torah, kindness and happiness." Then, just up the road, where the Palestinians are being driven out and tourists do not venture, another graffiti. "This is for the Arabs," it said in Hebrew. And beneath was drawn a dagger. Strength and rectitude, moral image and human values. What would Ben-Gurion have made of this? "

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