The Palestinian and Israeli tussle represents a David vs Goliath kind of a duel, always one-sided. While the weaker one is beaten up virtually to its death, the entire world looks on without so much as an utterance in protest. Any hope that there could be an independent state for Palestinians has been dashed by constant encroachment of their territories by illegal settlements. So what we have today are small ‘colonies’, shanty towns manned by Israeli soldiers that are now further cut off by a gigantic concrete wall. The leftover territory invariably looks like what Noam Chomsky calls the world’s largest open-air prison.

As part of his plan, Prime Minister Netanyahu is up to building 300 new homes near Ramallah. This is despite, his assurance to US Secretary of State John Kerry that he would put a brake on such activity. The systematic construction has been going on for a long time; on each occasion a few hundred acres are taken over, the families dragged out of their homes and made to watch the bulldozers smash the buildings down, though the West is told that the ‘compensation’ has been paid. Often these families end up in makeshift tents, where the children succumb to inhuman conditions due to lack of medicine and food. The quandary worsens since even in the neighbouring Muslim countries, these refugees fail to get a roof over their heads. Wherever they might go, they are strangers, a poignant tale of suffering aptly reflected in the life of a renowned intellectual Edward Saed, whose own home was decimated by an Israeli mortar and who all his life kept moving from one place to another. He had no place he could call home, neither any sense of belonging; he died in a foreign land, a metaphor for his countrymen’s agony.

What needs to be done is that the world community must come forward to keep Jerusalem under restraint. The indigenous people living there for centuries need an independent country of their own. By acting to fulfil its agenda of ‘redeeming’ that place under a misplaced divine right, Israel would invite more anger.