While newly released documents in Australia allegedly show that Palestinian “terrorists” wanted to kill prominent Jewish and union leaders in the 1970s – such news, if accurate, will certainly harm the Palestinian cause though the facts are shameful if true – the conflict shows no sign of improving (Haaretz yesterday editorialised on the obsession of Israelis to continue building illegal settlements in the West Bank.)
A wider less discussed context of the war is the effect on other conflicts. Take Darfur. The Guardian recently explained the paralysis:
Darfur is too often used as a propaganda tool in a political slanging match in which supporters of Israel highlight what Washington has officially called “genocide” carried out by an Islamist regime and are in turn accused of hypocrisy by ignoring what Israel is doing to Palestinians. Mr Annan’s strictures about learning the terrible lessons of Rwanda and Bosnia are lost in the white heat of this argument. So global “days of action” come and go, and Darfur bleeds on.
Such inaction shames us all, of course. “Never again” has become little more than an empty slogan. It appears that Israel, though, a nation of immigrants, is turning its back on refugees from the war-torn nation (and has clearly been influenced by Australia’s harsh refugee policies):
Ever since they [the Sudanese] arrived here, Israel has not disdained any means in its attempt to get rid of them. Neither the lessons of history, the protests of human rights organizations, the commands of conscience nor moral considerations interfere in the least.
As the new year arrives, it’s worth remembering that nation states around the world are becoming less tolerant of resolving conflicts in far away lands. The UN is often helpless. The US prefers invasion, occupation and subjugation to any other form of behaviour. The EU is frequently tongue-tied and gutless. So who is left?