West Bank apartheid

The ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report this week featured an interview with former Israeli cabinet minister, Ami Ayallon, who was also head of the Israeli navy and of the Israeli intelligence service, Shin Bet.

Mr Ayallon emphasised that he was not sympathetic to the Palestinian cause but was empathetic. He understood where the Palestinians were coming from and they want a better life. Most revealing were his comments about Gaza, where he repudiated the Israeli government’s claim that they had left Gaza.  Mr Ayallon said they have created a jail for two million people with Israel controlling land, sea, and air access.

Regarding the West Bank he said Israel had created an apartheid state and cited examples where two systems of law pertain, one for Palestinians and the other for Israelis. Palestinians who live in the same territory as Israeli settlers, he said, get much less water.

It is heartening to hear an establishment Israeli confirming the human rights abuses that Israeli human rights organisations like B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, as well as we, Byron Friends of Palestine, have accused Israel of. How impressive it would be if a senior Australian politician echoed his words!

Gareth Smith & Tony Christie, Palestine Liberation Centre, Byron Bay

Letter appeared in Echo.