Frank Field MP
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Three is not a crowd

I have always been a natural optimist about Israel’s future. Just as I have been a supporter of that country’s independence for as long as I can remember. But how much longer can Israel have an independent future?

I was struck by how many Jewish friends now believe that, metaphorically speaking, Israel will be driven into the sea at some stage, and perhaps quite soon. Whether the Americans would allow that scenario to take place is of course another question. That Israel’s friends, Jew and non-Jew alike, have such forebodings makes politics rather than war that much more important.

Throughout its short history, Israel has always been successful in facing only one immediate threat. It is now in the position – through dragging its negotiating feet – in not only having the beginnings ofan armed enemy in Gaza, but for that armed enemy to be gaining supplies from Israel’s, and our, enemy, the Government of Iran.

If I were Israel, I would pretty quickly give the West Bank sovereignty so its government could put a stop to new Jewish settlements. I would hope also that its electorate would be Palestinian and Jewish alike.

In Gaza, at the last election, when Hamas won control, it was far from clear that the ruling party wanted to move to the wretched Iranian model. Western Diplomats, in true style, rebuffed those first tentative moves the ruling party made to the outside world.

So what now?

Friends have to get over to Israel how late the hour is even if it is to survive in the short run. As a supporter of Israel, I have always been amazed at how modest the Palestinian demands are. One only has to look over the history of Israel’s establishment to realise the exploitation of Arab-land. Only in accepting the validity of the West Bank as a member of a three-state solution, can Israel hope to safeguard its continued existence.
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