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A plight - triggered to explode

Haaretz reports:

"Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into a prison for Palestinians where life is "intolerable, appalling, tragic" and appears to have thrown away the key, a United Nations human rights envoy said on Tuesday.

Special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory John Dugard said that the suffering of the Palestinians was a test of the readiness of the international community to protect human rights".

Needless to say Israel rejects the finding. How long Israelis can ignore what is going on in their name - the misery caused by its actions - and effectively in their midst, and expect nothing to happen in the fullness of time, must surely be living in a delusional state. The situation is set to explode with probably dire consequences all round.

Meanwhile, this op-ed piece in the IHT reflecting on American policies in the Middle East is timely - for sooner or later reality will need to sink in and the US not continue to be the "big" protector of Israel. As the authors write:

"Though there may well be no possibility for a negotiated solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the end of this administration's term, the United States must, together with European and Arab countries, put forward an inspiring, detailed vision of a comprehensive settlement. For years, a debate has raged in Washington over the desirability of such a move, with powerful arguments marshaled against it: the time is not ripe; Israel will object; failure to implement the vision will discredit it. All true, but at this point superseded by an overriding concern - the dizzying collapse of America's reputation and standing in the region at a time when Washington is more heavily invested in it than ever."

Bear in the mind that the authors of the piece are two men with vast experience in the politics of the Middle East.


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