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January 16, 2009



Ironically, Ben White's piece is accompanied by a picture that seems to show a Hamas weapons dump exploding after being targetted by Israeli forces. Funny how some people find the existential threat to Israel so easy to overlook.

I suppose you can't expect the author of a book called 'Israeli Apartheid: A beginner’s guide' to be the slightest bit interested in seeing the conflict from any other side.

Particularly noteworthy is White's whitewashing (not much pun intended!) of the persecution of Palestinian Christians. I've talked to Christian businessmen in the West Bank who are forced to pay extortion money to gangs in order to prevent their businesses being taken over. Attacks on Christians and their property are not 'isolated' as White claims. Even the BBC acknowledged the persecution of Palestinian Christians; referring to the US State Department's annual report of human rights abuses of 2005, acknowledged this persecution, they upheld my complaint against one of their programmes which carried a report making precisely the claim that Ben White does.

In fact the largest decline in the Christian population of the West Bank occurred between 1948 and 1967. After that it stabilised until, you guessed it, 1993 when it began to decline again. Since the second intifada, of course, there's been a haemorrhage of Christians.

Of course Israel is not perfect - neither her citizens nor her government nor its policies. But one wonders at the blindness afflicting people who can see any state in the world so totally in terms of disdainful blame as White's writing seems to betray.

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