(1)ISRAELI BOMBARDMENT OF GAZA
30 December 2008
(published in the Irish Times)
Madam, - Permit me to express outrage at the inhuman attacks by Israel against Gaza that have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives and injuries to many hundreds more.
Also please permit me to add my condemnation of the lies emanating from Messrs Olmert, Barak, Ms Levine and other Israeli spokespersons, including the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, concerning the origin of, and the alleged necessity for, this murderous assault even while they continue to escalate it.
I commend the forthright condemnation of Israel's action by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mícheál Martin. It would be even better if, with the full backing of all Opposition parties, the Government shut down the Israeli Embassy because of this atrocity. - Yours, etc,
(2)GAZA ATROCITY WILL HAPPEN AGAIN
(published in the Irish Independent)
20 January 2009
Hamas and Israel have agreed to a truce that may allow children to sleep in Israel and Gaza. In Israel, there will be no need to run to shelters.
In Gaza, parents can collect the tangled bodies, blasted heads and torn-apart limbs of their own little ones from the hospitals without fear of being themselves blown to similar pieces there, or along the way.
We should be grateful for small mercies. Only the cynical will be unhappy. Only the cynical will be afraid.
And only the cynical will know that this respite is not out of mercy or feelings of humanity but timed accurately by a rogue state that appears to have gone mad with power and patronage.
The cynical know of this because some brave citizens of that rogue state, to whom we should be forever grateful, have spoken openly against its disgraceful treatment of Palestinians in general and in particular of its war crimes these past horrendous weeks in the tiny strip of Gaza.
Israel's now disgraced leaders rush their last troops from Gaza, hours before the demise of the reviled Presidency of George W Bush sets in, two continents away from the awful action.
There is no doubt about it: a holocaust has been perpetrated on the population of the caged-in population of Gaza and no-one was able to prevent it.
There is also little doubt that a state which has perpetrated such a holocaust weeks before an election in Israel, if it gets away with it now, will repeat the process whenever it feels that it is necessary.
No major international power, neither the EU nor the UN or USA, was willing or able to take any serious action, or even disapprove.
Our own country has so far not seen fit to expel the Israeli ambassador who has been allowed, all through this sad and sorry period, to use the Irish media to express his opinions, repeatedly, ad nauseam, mostly unchallenged and usually in defiance of facts.
I again request our government to take that step.
(3)ISRAELI OFFENSIVE AGAINST GAZA
29 January 2009
(Published in the Irish Times)
Madam, – The letter of January 22nd from Katrina Goldstone and seven others, Jewish or of Jewish descent, was welcome as it was courageous. The recent Israeli attack on Gaza – they accurately describe as a massacre – cannot be justified by Israel’s alleged “security concerns”.
It has long been particularly difficult for Jewish people or people of Jewish extraction to criticise the state of Israel. The point was made tellingly by the (Jewish) president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, on January 23rd.
In blaming himself and other Jews in the US for having remained silent on Gaza, he remarked: “Some of our hesitation to act results from the condemnation and opprobrium anyone, but especially Jews, encounter with even mild criticisms of Israel”
We have listened for four weeks to the outpouring of that opprobrium and condemnation against Irish citizens. – Yours, etc,
NOTE: The last letter above was curtailed by the Editor. The full version is here:
The letter by Katrina Goldstone and seven of her fellows, Jews or of Jewish descent in Ireland, was welcome as it was courageous. (IT 23 January 2009) The recent attack on Gaza by the State of Israel which they accurately describe as a "massacre" can never be justified, and it is not justified by Israel's alleged "security concerns".
It is refreshing and reassuring to find these eight humane people give the lie to much of the Israeli spin that has been woven without intermission throughout that shocking and shameful episode and beyond.
It appears that for long it has been particularly difficult for Jewish people or people of Jewish extraction to criticise the State of Israel. The point was made tellingly by the (Jewish) President of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, on 23 January last.
Mr Ratner, in blaming himself and other Jews in the USA for having until then remained silent on Gaza, remarks: "Some of our hesitation to act results from the condemnation and opprobrium anyone, but especially Jews, encounter with even mild criticisms of Israel"
We have listened for four weeks to the outpouring of that opprobrium and condemnation against Irish citizens and, inevitably, Ms Goldstone and friends were confronted by Drs David Abrahamson, Leonard W Abrahamson and Mr Stephen Molins. (IT, 26January and 27 January.)
The latter two of these eminent gentlemen in particular are able to leap-frog over three weeks of cynical and barbaric killing by Israel in Gaza, giving us patronising lectures instead about their "concern" re media fairness and, outrage of all outrages, how Hamas is to blame for the massacre carried out by Israel in Gaza.
Against such cynicism, the humane Katrina Goldstone and her fellows can, I presume, only gnash their teeth in disbelief