Kibbutzim, Moshavim, Settlements and a Wall

The drive towards individualism and personal ownership seems to have undermined the communal spirit of the kibbutzim established early in the history of the state of Israel. Some have left for a life on their own; others have remained with increasing rewards.

The moshavim, small plots operated collectively, with full ownership rights have become the more  popular model. But all were strategically located to assist with a policy of Palestinian 'containment', or for national defence - for example in northern Galilee, near Syria.

With Israeli occupation beyond 'the green line' after the 1967 war, and in response to uprisings and attacks came the next policy of establishing Jewish 'settlements' in the occupied territories, first in Jerusalem, and later further afield. Financed by mortgages, with good communication with bigger cities but always strategically placed to circle Palestinian towns, their intention is clear.

And to crown it all there is now the 600-mile-long nine metre high wall (at a cost of a million dollars a mile) often well camouflaged by rubble and recently planted trees, with watchtowers here and there. We pass some of it as we travel south on the Yitsak Rabin Highway - by the way of Samaria towards Jerusalem. Perhaps this is where Donald Trump got his idea of a wall? Hadrian would surely have smiled: 'Same idea as mine,' he'd be saying.  I wonder what Jan Smuts, (South African PM in the 30s who had quite a say in persuading the UN to adopt its 1948 resolution that led to the state of Israel) would be thinking. 'Apartheid was not my idea!'

But the man who taught us to love both neighbour and enemies was not only chased out of Nazareth and vilified by the authorities of the day, but executed, would surely still say - just keep trying to live peacefully together. That must happen even in Willett House.

We travel on the highway into and out of occupied territory (with graduated levels of authority), but are not allowed on the less well-kept Palestinian roads. Separation is the order of the day.