Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The problem with the fast to support Palestine is that — like all Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (or BDS) initiatives — it does not support Palestine at all. It supports the futile dream of removing Israel from the Middle East, expressed through the politics of gimmickry such as unproductive appeals to the UN, rejectionism, terrorism, tunnel-building and rocket-firing, always at the expense of the Palestinians themselves. These are policies that, while satisfying armchair Israel haters, are doomed to continue the failures of the past 70 years.

Anybody with the slightest knowledge of Israel would know that fasting will achieve nothing. Israel is a well-established, functional and democratic state. If there are groups that genuinely wish to support Palestinian aspirations and not just promulgate their own hatred of Israel and/or anti-Semitism, Palestinian leaders should be encouraged to set aside terrorism and forget about recovering "the whole of Palestine" (meaning Israel). They should enter into good-faith discussions, in particular to accept that Jewish Israel is there to stay.

No reasonable person would expect a state to expose itself to future harm from neighbours who have proved time and again to be intractable, aggressive enemies who wish it harm. But imagine a situation where there is genuine peace and where both states co-operate in trade and regional affairs. The Palestinian state, through its proximity to and neighbourliness with a booming Israel, would be brought into the 21st century and flourish.

That would be the genuine way to support the people of Palestine, who have been unfortunate in their leadership and those who supported that leadership.

Sydney KayeCape Town

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