Letter: History under Israeli bulldozers

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article "Danger: Israeli colonialism at work" (19 March), and Patrick Cockburn's reports on the intended bulldozing of Har Homa have been percipient. Netanyahu's policy is obviously to make impossible Palestinian possession of East Jerusalem and even the pretence of a Palestinian state.

However, an aspect of this project on Har Homa to which no reference has been made is the damage to the historical heritage of Palestine. The Israeli government is extremely sensitive about any potential damage to the Jewish archaeological record. At Har Homa the bulldozing will destroy at least half-a-dozen Christian sites including 5th- and 6th-century Byzantine monasteries and the church at Bir Qadismu on the spot where Mary rested on her way to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus. What about the protection of that archaeological heritage?

Peace can never come whilst Netanyahu continues pursuing the agenda of creating Eretz Israel. Is it not time that the international community decided to exert political and economic pressure on Israel's present government? And can that not begin with the withdrawal of the trade and financial benefits the European Union has bestowed on Israel?

ANDREW FAULDS MP

(Warley East, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

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