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Humanity on trial

Calls have been going out to the humanitarian individuals around the world to prevail upon their governments to at last take honest steps to be even-handed in actions in the Middle East. Humiliated and oppressed Palestinians, and peace-loving and peace-seeking Israelis need their help.

Humanity has long been a victim of the political turmoil. Its beaten, robbed and stripped body lies on the Jerusalem to Jericho road and others. Paraphrasing some words of philosopher Isaiah Berlin, we can agree that neighbours can disagree and even argue, but within the limits of what we accept as being human.

Humanitarian leaders had reached out to the two million people of West Berlin during the 15 months of the famous airlift of needed supplies in 1948/1949 when the Soviets blocked all land and water routes to that part of the city.

US President Truman said, at the time, it was out of the question that Berlin would be abandoned. Those who took active part in that enormous relief effort did not expect to be fired on and apprehended. There were fatalities, but mainly from crashes.

The attempts to have even-handed NATO troops’ operations in Afghanistan today are lacking in the Middle East. Past incursions in Gaza Strip and the continued throttling of the Gaza people have gone beyond “the limits of what we regard as being human”.

The counter to the official Israeli reasoning can remain that when the throttling, decades-long siege of Gaza stops, rockets will stop and honest, meaningful talks can be conducted for peace.

The best friends are those who check the mistakes of those they support. Unless corrected, the policies of Israeli governments will lead their own people to disaster.

Strong, honest international diplomatic action is needed now, even in the interests of Israelis themselves