A murdered Palestinian toddler won't change the 'facts on the ground'

The latest Palestinian death should be a hideous wake-up call for ordinary Israelis to do some serious soul searching over the policies of the government they elected, and the damage it is doing to them all.

An 18 month old Palestinian toddler is burned to death.

The parents of Ali Saad Dawabsheh and 4 yr old brother are in critical conditions with burns up fo 70 % of their bodies.

Are we horrified?

Well most of us are.

Should we be surprised?

No. An attack on their home in the middle of the night, allegedly by Jewish settlers, is by no means the first of what are euphemistically called 'price tag' attacks, and it won't be the last.

The reason for such pessimism is because Palestinians live under daily threats, intimidation and attacks from the people who have stolen their lands and, with the sanction and often financing of the Israeli government, built on that land.

This time there was a family inside asleep when their walls were daubed in extremist settler calling card hate symbols - the Hebrew for 'revenge' and ' long live Messiah'.

Perhaps they were woken when the firebombs smashed the windows on their way in.

Their tiny little home without working electricity was immediately on fire and the burned and choking parents couldn't save their baby.

International focus and repulsion was swift, but it is too late for more and more and more words.

This innocent little baby has died because Israel has absolutely no intention of allowing a two state solution to be enforced as a way of ending the Israeli-Palestinisn conflict.

Israeli politicians are crawling over each other in a sickening race to be the most settler friendly Knesset Member simply because the extreme right wing religious parties in the current coalition call the shots and threaten PM Netanyahu that they will bolt and bring down his house if he doesn't do their bidding.

Netanyahu is not alone. A settlement issue this week shows what's actually going on. The High Court recently ordered the demolition of two illegal settler buildings in the settlement of Beit Il. The buildings were constructed on stolen private Palestinian land. Netanyahu and his Jusitce, Defense and Education Ministers objected vociferously. The court refused to change its decision, and buildings were demolished but before the bulldozers had cooled off, Netanyahu announced 300 new housing units for Jews only in the settlement.

'Justice' Minister Ayelet Shaked pronounced "this is the Jewish way - you don't lose hope and you keep building, building, building". This is the minister who has declared all Palestinians the enemy and that Palestinian mothers are mothers that give birth to little snakes. Her genocidal comments about Palestinains don't stop there.

She was quickly joined by 'Education' Minister Naftali Bennett who believes "the courts role is to judge; the government's role is to build. This ( more settlements) is the appropriate Ziionist response. This is how you build our state."

Meanwhile in Susiya in the illegally occupied West Bank, a Palestinian village is fighting for survival against demolition. It is a village initially destroyed in 1948 when the Palestinians were driven off their lands in the hundreds of thousands; it was rebuilt only for the residents to be pushed out in 1968 because the Israeli authorities decided to create an archeological site there; without compensation the expelled residents rebuilt on what little remained of their agricultural lands and they now face destruction again as the Ministry of Defence has declared structures including living quarters, shops, businesses to be without permit.

Don't forget these are on private lands and the decision was upheld by Supreme Court justice Noam Sohlberg who is a settler - an address considered illegal by under international law.

Perhaps they should have permits, but 98% of Palestinian building permits are rejected. Go figure.

In the Duma village area where the latest destruction of a Palestinain family occurred, there are three illegal Israeli settlements, and in the wider Nablus area, 12 illegal settlements and 27 illegal outposts housing 23,000 Jewish settlers.

Local authorities report them to be amongst the most extremist of the settlers.

The United Nations counts 120 attacks by settlers on Palestinian civilians so far this year. However when a growing number of Israeli politicians live in illegal settlements, and now an increasing number of IDF soldiers have grown up in the settlements, it doesn't bode well for change.

It is almost overwhelming when driving around the Occupied Palestinian Territories to see settlement upon settlement on almost very hill, with grand tree lined drives that sweep down to IDF outposts at the entrance where armed soldiers protect the inhabitants regardless of what the law says about them all being there.

So it is no wonder settler attacks on Palestinians, destruction of their crops, forced displacement, firebombing of mosques and churches and homes continues unabated.

Referring particularly to the most extreme, it has to be said they operate with no heed to the law, armed and protected by an army Netanyahu insists on calling the most moral army in the world.

Israeli politicians have reacted to the latest murder, labelling it terrorism and vowing to catch the perpetrators. Be mindful that of all settler attacks, 92.6% go without charges being filed according to the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin added his few shekels to the outrage, but it has to be said, it is difficult to understand where he's been all his life and how much history he has actually studied...

"To my great sorrow" he said, "until now it seems we have been lax in our treatment of the phenomena of Jewish terrorism. perhaps we did not internalize that we are faced with a determined and dangerous, ideological group which aims to destroy the fragile bridges which we work so tirelessly to build". He went on to plead to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians to "avoid stoking tension....do not succumb to the shock and anger".

He shouldn't have wasted his breath on such a disingenuous statement following the barbaric acts of greedy, cold blooded assailants. After all, these actions are little different from the words that members of the parliament he is the figurehead of trot out in defence of their belief that the whole of the lands of former Palestine are theirs and they have no intention of making it otherwise. Certainly not their PM because he will lose the thing most precious to him in all the world - his office.