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31 December 2017

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Unsettling Settlements:

Since 1948 the Israeli state has confined Palestinians into smaller pockets

A protest in support of BDS

Illegal Israeli settlement comes at a cost to the Palestinians who regularly see their homes bulldozed, their land reclaimed and their crops destroyed in order to make way for Israeli settlements.

The signing of the Balfour Declaration in November 1917, effectively saw the British support the Zionists in the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, and essentially paved the way for Palestine to be occupied ever since.

The birth of the state of Israel in 1948 saw the misery suffered by the Palestinians increase, with Israel slowly but surely confining the Palestinians into deeper and deeper pockets, by 'reclaiming' more and more land off them in order to build settlements.

Israel has actively been promoting the migration of Jewish people back to the 'homeland', and offers housing and jobs for those who come, however, this comes at a cost to the Palestinians who regularly see their homes bulldozed, their land reclaimed and their crops destroyed in order to make way for Israeli settlements.

The situation in Palestine has become so dire, that in Gaza alone, unemployment is one of the highest in the region, sanitation is on the verge of collapse as water and electricity is controlled by the Israelis, and borders are so strictly controlled, that even aid and food packages are being blocked by the Israelis. Add to all this, the disproportionate use of force by the Israelis on the Palestinians, and we have a humanitarian crisis, and yet again another typical injustice openly supported by British, French, American and many other politicians and governments.

UN UN-Able

UN Resolution 2334, signed on the 23rd December 2016 stated that 'Israel's settlements have no legal validity, and constitute a fragrant violation of International Law'. This was confirmed by the UN Security Council.

Of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, 14 voted in favour of Resolution 2334, with the US abstaining from the vote.

The abstention from the vote sent a clear message to the world that the US is a staunch supporter of Israel, and in spite of the opportunity of being able to veto the resolution, sent an equally strong message to the world that it was fully behind Israel's blatant abuse of power in the region.

Israel rejected the resolution, calling it 'shameful', and saw Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stop Israeli funding to five UN bodies.

In spite of Resolution 2334, Israel ignored the ruling, and still continues to build settlements in occupied Palestinian land. Furthermore, even though President Donald Trump publicly advised Netanyahu to stop the settlements, the destruction of Palestinian homes in order to build Israeli ones continue nonetheless.

The fact of the matter is; nobody appears to be objecting to the Israeli's unashamed continuation in the building of settlements. When such events are allowed to happen, one has to question why the world continues to allow a tyrannical regime to suppress and abuse the way it does, but when one thinks deeper, is this not typical of the behavior of the British Empire? The drawing of lines following British occupation has always left the minorities in the weaker position. 

Cringe worthy figures:

According to a report the media news channel, AL Jazeera, the Israelis saw a surge in the announcement of settlement building since the resolution, with plans for a further 5,500 housing units in the West Bank alone.

In 2016 alone, Israel built 2,630 illegal settler homes in the West Bank, (an increase of 40% since 2015), and now sees 430,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank and a further 200,000 living in the occupied East Jerusalem, the proposed capital of the Palestinian state.

Protest in support of BDS

SF at Gaza protest

Whereas Israel are again furious at the notion of the BDS, it is believed that should the BDS movement continue as it is for the next decade, Israel could see up to $47 Billion lost through actions taken by BDS, and those who oppose the Israeli regime.

Of those who oppose the actions taken by BDS, yet again the British figure heavily on the list, including former Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and David Cameron, and current Prime Minster Theresa May.

Whatever happens in the future, and whether the Israelis will stop the unlawful actions they take, what is clear, is that until there is active resistance from those who support Israel, like with many other similar cases of discrimination in the world, those who suffer will continue to do so, and reflect the injustice seen by many similar cases in the world.

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Uncomfortable Conversations 

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An initiative for dialogue 

for reconciliation 

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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures


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