Saturday, 20 August 2005


Who would have thought that Ariel Sharon, a supporter of settlements, would be the person to evacuate them in Gaza?

That was a brave move. Mr Sharon must realise that there will be no peace in Israel until the Palestinians have their own land.

The Palestinians once occupied what is now Israel. They lost that land. Some say that they left the land voluntarily. Others say that they fled because they feared death and always intended coming back.

Why would anyone leave their home and all their possessions? Would you? You might do if you feared the alternative was death. Even then you would expect to return home eventually. The Palestinians never got that opportunity. They lost their homes and their land. They’ve never been compensated.

Despite that, during negotiations, they’ve been asking not for 100% of what they believe is theirs. They’ve asked for 22% - and successive Israeli governments quibbled with even that.

I hope Mr Sharon also evacuates the West Bank and lets the Palestinians live in a land that they can call home and govern themselves. Be generous Mr Sharon: the lives of many are in your hands. If you're tempted not to be generous, remember Jesus's words, "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me".

Then, maybe, one day it won’t seem oxymoronic to refer to some people as Palestinian Arabs, Palestinian Jews, and Palestinian Christians – as was the case before 1948.


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