Building years of hatred

From the Fanonite

Only last week I had posted Alison Weir’s harrowing account of the strip-searching by Israelis of Palestinian women and children — some as young as 7-10 years of age. Despite its outrageous treatment of the Palestinians, Israel always manages to escape censure thanks to the diplomatic cover provided by the Euro-American alliance. Here the Guardian reports a British diplomat receiving a taste of the same treatment they have frequently defended as long as the victims were Palestinians.

Janet Rogan, who is Britain’s consul general in Tel Aviv, was with a delegation of British Treasury officials, led by Ed Balls, the economic secretary to the Treasury, earlier this month. They arrived at the Jerusalem office of the prime minister, Ehud Olmert, ahead of a meeting with his chief of staff and his political adviser. The names of the visitors had been given in advance, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said yesterday.

But security guards ordered Ms Rogan to undergo a physical search, the paper said. She refused and presented her diplomatic identity card. However, she was then made to step behind a partition and to undergo a physical search, which included removing her blouse. The Yedioth described the search as a “prolonged, needless and humiliating process” and said the diplomat was visibly upset.

Members of the Labour Friends of Israel – the powerful British lobby group best known for the exploits of its financier, Michael Levy – also received a taste of Israeli hospitality during a trip to the Occupied Territories:

One of its visiting members got a first-hand glimpse of IDF tactics when he got shot at in Rafah even though he arrived in a clearly marked UN vehicle. The three British MPs, surrounded by 20 children got shot at in the presence of UN officials, which led to a demand for investigation by the MPs into the IDF’s “outrageous behaviour” bordering on “lunatic”. One of the MPs, Crispin Blunt, concluded “If they are prepared to do this to people who come out of two clearly marked UN cars, what do they do when there is no one there?” He added “They are building up levels of hatred that will take decades, if not centuries, to erase.”

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