There is a prevailing arrogance among Israeli authorities that smacks of high-handed bigotry, cronyism and sheer ignorance when it comes to dealing with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The latest example of this inexcusable intolerance comes from authorities who have blocked 70 patients from the Gaza Strip from entering into Israel. Why? Because the Gazans carried transfer documents that were marked “State of Palestine”.

This change in stationery replaces the previous “Palestinian Territories” carried on official documents. But this simple change in words is enough to bring Israel’s deep-seated and simmering bigotry to the fore. The documents were changed in mid-December to reflect the fact that a year ago, Palestinians had won recognition as an observer state from the United Nations General Assembly. Truth be told, Israeli proposals to expand the Jewish state into illegal colonies are only backed at the UN General Assembly by a coalition of the immoral forged by Tel Aviv with the US and the Marshall Islands! But the fact that Palestine has been rightfully granted observer status — and has the audacity to change its stationery — is enough to cause administrative palpitations in Israel’s bureaucracy.

Let us be clear — Palestine has every right to change its stationery to reflect UN observer status. Just as it has every right to continue its opposition to the unlawful occupation of its territories, to the destruction of its homes, the razing of its olive trees and the imprisonment of its sons and daughters.