Crossing red lines

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)

After moving a friendly football match between Israel and Argentina from Haifa to occupied Jerusalem, Israel’s Sports Minister Miri Regev has seen her plans unravel as the Argentines called off the match following Palestinian protests.

Upset, the head of Israel’s football association declared that Palestinian protests that led to the cancellation had “crossed a red line.”

Both officials have demonstrated exactly how desperately out of touch they are – Regev in particular, who is part of a Cabinet that is presiding over the daily execution of Palestinians at the Gaza border and in the occupied West Bank.

Since the beginning of the Great March of Return protests, peaking on May 14 with the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in occupied Jerusalem, Israel has demonstrated, under the eyes of the world, its utter contempt for Palestinians and their rights.

Last week, a 21-year-old Palestinian nurse was shot dead while attending to a wounded protester at the “fence of shame,” and Wednesday in the West Bank, Israeli troops shot a 21-year-old man dead in “cold blood” for throwing stones. It is the Israelis who have crossed every red line imaginable.

And as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits European leaders, it is clear that any talk is falling on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has effectively declared war on the Palestinians, using its veto power to block a U.N. resolution that sought to protect Palestinians while the Israelis continue to get away with murder.

International leaders must realize that all the words in the world aren’t going to stop the bloodshed. What is needed is real political will to find an agreement to stem the loss of Palestinian life.

The Palestinians have demonstrated their resolve. World leaders must step up and help get peace talks back on track.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 07, 2018, on page 1.




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