Looking in vain for a brave parliamentarian who calls things as they are

Another wonderful speech by departing Australian Labor MP Julia Irwin (here are some recent comments) given on 23 June. A rare voice of honesty in the Australian parliament:

(Fowler) (9.39 am)—The development of Israeli settlements in the West Bank continues unabated. With the world occupied in getting the parties to the negotiating table, the reality on the ground is changing to the point that a real and meaningful settlement based on a two-state solution may soon become practically unachievable. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is being painted into such a corner as will prevent him from agreeing to any peace plan that does not provide the Palestinian people with a meaningful unified state and not a series of fractured Palestinian cities and towns.

The building of the so-called separation wall has only increased the likelihood of this occurring. The wall goes beyond the internationally recognised West Bank border with Israel. Clearly it is designed not to keep out the terrorists but, rather, to seize additional territory to be claimed in any settlement by Israel under the pretext of security. It divides Palestinian farms, divides Palestinian families and even denies access to Arab universities. Further, it is designed to inconvenience the Palestinian people by surrounding towns, denying access and rendering the ability to lead a normal life impossible. Encouraging Palestinians to leave the territories and the building of Israeli-only roads leads one to think that Israeli governments intend this as their permanent solution.

As the Israeli government drive this settlement bus at breakneck speeds they are driving the state of Israel to the edge of an abyss that endangers its existence as a Jewish state. It is very simple. More settlement construction means that a viable Palestinian state is unachievable. More settlement construction will make it impossible to resettle Israelis from the occupied territories. More settlement construction means the Israeli army will be unable or even unwilling to remove settlers by force to facilitate any peace agreement. Many settlers are on the public record as saying they will not leave and will violently resist any attempt to remove them from the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria. This claim is no more valid than the Italian Prime Minister whipping out maps of the former Roman Empire and laying claim to larger tracts of Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.

The argument is nonsensical. But the Jewish people will be left in charge of an apartheid state, ruling second- class citizens with limited rights. This is no more acceptable to the rest of the world than the former apartheid regime in South Africa.