21 december 2016, it takes is a village

The world is atwitter with news about trump's new ambassador to israel and their intention to move the israeli embassy in tel aviv to jerusalem. Whilst it shouldn't be, to do so would be a very incendiary move, in what is, almost literally, a tinderbox. The situation, whilst unusually out of the spotlight, is not calm, with deaths, seemingly as ever, of both israelis and palestinians. One of the vicious settler gang that firebombed a palestinian home in the village of douma, killing 3 including an 18-month old baby, was finally brought to trial. As the world has looked away this last while, aghast at syria, exasperated at the israel-palestine conflict's stubborn refusal to submit to compromise, many small steps are being taken to secure the status quo of increasing israeli settlements the world holds to be illegal. The so-called "regulation law" being taken through the knesset (parliament) is unprecedented: it enables the state to retroactively allow settlers to stay on private palestinian land they occupied, which apart from being wrong is an exercise of israeli law that shows clearly a new non-acceptance of the west bank being seen as occupied territory. It crosses a threshold, to quote the eu. Its all profoundly depressing. Israel is a land of such divides and these have worsened incessantly over the last 20 years. They continue to do so and american bravado replacing its absence may very well create another leap in that direction. Seemingly, there's no going back.