Hope and Understanding

Issue section: 

I was fascinated by the interview with John Rose ('Sparks of Hope in the Past', October SR), particularly his view that a small number of former Zionists are now realising their position is untenable.

It seems there are also a few brave and principled Jewish people prepared to defend Palestinian olive farmers on the occupied West Bank. In addition to offering physical support for Palestinian farmers who have regularly been attacked by settlers, the Rabbis for Human Rights group have joined with the Association of Civil Rights in Israel to force the Israeli army and police to fulfil their obligations under the Geneva Convention as an occupying power.

While the activists have few illusions that they will be able to make much more than a symbolic difference to the situation on the West Bank - a 17 year old Palestinian youth was killed by a settler in his father's olive grove while checking the crop last month - they believe in continuing to work alongside Palestinians as a challenge to anti-Arab attitudes and stereotypes in the hope of developing a lasting understanding.

Jon Tennison