Letters to the Editor: Readers respond to the attacks on Israel, and on Gaza in Palestine

Irish Examiner readers write about the bloodshed in the Middle East including the roots of the conflict, how Ireland and the EU are responding, and how it is being reported by the media
Letters to the Editor: Readers respond to the attacks on Israel, and on Gaza in Palestine

A Palestinian woman weeps as bodies of people killed in overnight Israeli shelling arrive for their funerals in Khan Yunis on Tuesday. Picture: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty

Reading 'Israeli death toll rises to 900; 680 Palestinians killed in strikes on Gaza' (Irish Examiner, October 9) is terribly sad, the world does not need any more war.

All efforts should be made to pursue peace, no matter how difficult in the ongoing and long-running dispute between Israel and the Palestinian people in the disputed territory of the Gaza Strip.

Talk of “complete siege” by Israel in response to what appears a surprise attack by Hamas will make this extremely unlikely in the short term notwithstanding the right of Israel to defend itself. 

However, the EU suspending all aid to the Palestinian people as is threatened and an EU Commissioner attempting to act unilaterally in that regard is not going to help in any way. In fact, it will prolong suffering and hardship — Ireland should resist this.

Stephen O’Hara, Carrowmore, Co Sligo

EU must suspend Israeli trade deal

In years gone by, media outlets often repeated the UN’s prediction that the Gaza Strip would be “unliveable” by 2020. That year has come and gone, and this damning indictment of global political inaction was quietly dropped.

Palestinian human rights have barely been granted a footnote in agitation against the Israeli state’s imminent judicial overhaul, or indeed in global media coverage of it.

For many governments, and media outlets, Palestinian human rights remain an inconvenient truth.

It is unrealistic — not to mention unethical — to expect Palestinians to be content with their worsening lot; either in the Gaza Strip, where over two million people, mostly from refugee families, have been imprisoned for 17 years, their electricity cut off at the stroke of an Israeli minister’s pen, or in the West Bank where Palestinians are confined to fragmented enclaves while illegal Israeli settlements expand relentlessly. Successive Israeli governments have scornfully dismissed the possibility of negotiations.

 The blueprint of a “two-state solution” has long been overtaken by grim facts on the ground.

We must mourn each untimely death, but we must also look to the root cause of the carnage; global complicity in Israeli expansionism.

The EU must suspend the Israeli state from the Euro-Med Trade Agreement; Israeli authorities have never complied with the human rights stipulations which “form the very basis” of the agreement.

In Ireland, the right course of action is clear; our Government must admit that human rights organisations are correct in their well-documented accusations of apartheid. Fine Gael must quit stonewalling the long overdue Occupied Territories Bill, and must cease delaying the Illegal Israeli Settlements Divestment Bill.

Enacting this legislation is simply doing the decent thing. Then, perhaps our political leaders can mourn fatalities and condemn atrocities with credibility and a clear conscience.

Brian Ó Éigeartaigh, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Failure to reach settlement a factor

I’ve spent more than 30 years with UN peacekeeping operations.

I have served with various UN missions in the Middle East.

I would like to offer the following comments in relation to the current situation: Let me begin by stating — I am totally opposed to violence.

We should bear in mind almost daily incursions into Gaza by Israeli forces. These incursions target individuals or buildings. Many are killed including innocent bystanders. Similar incursions also take place on the West Bank.

In addition, airstrikes are carried out on targets not only in Gaza but also in Lebanon and Syria — often resulting in deaths of civilians.

Further to above, Israeli settlers have begun unprovoked attacks on Palestinians on the West Bank — killing and injuring many civilians, and destroying crops and homes.

The ongoing failure of Israeli governments to reach a negotiated settlement with Palestinians contributes to the situation.

There are two sides to each story. Unfortunately.

Michael Moriarty, Rochestown, Co Cork

It’s time to share the wealth

The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is for the people of the world to share the wealth of the world. We are all born naked, wealth-less, and free from ideology, but wealth subsequently attaches itself to us through inheritance or privilege.

The wealth we eventually attain and our standard of living is largely by chance and through institutional allocation. The denial of wealth and a decent standard of living is also largely a systemic bias.

We are all born free of ideology, but soon learn the ideologies of our different cultures or are indoctrinated with polarising, divisive ideas that just happen to serve the needs of established power.

Particularly, the disparity of life chances and conditions leads to resentment and conflict. Private ownership of the means of production, markets, profits, and the commodification of everything has had its day. That system has created the world we live in today, but a continuance will now destroy the world, as it is now in the Middle East, Yemen, Ukraine, etc. To create peace, we have to share the wealth of the world to meet the needs of all people and maintain the health of the environment. The needs of investment firms and all profiteering should be banished to history.

Louis Shawcross, Hillsborough, Co Down

Resist vengeance

At this truly dreadful moment, may I bring the remarks of Justice Robert Jackson, on opening the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg on November 21, 1945, to the attention of the leaders of Israel.

“…That great nations…stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that power has ever paid to civilization.”

Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, Co Sligo

Just another Groundhog Day

The inevitable result of the repression and dispossession of a people in their own land has produced this latest chapter in the Gaza/Israeli tragedy.

Israel’s call for vengeance like the US after 9/11 is understandable and attractive but long term disastrous for all sides.

If we never learn this lesson, if we have forgotten the atrocities on both sides of our war of independence, followed by the Canary Wharf, Birmingham and Brighton bombings in relation to the struggles in the Northern Ireland, we are doomed to worse.

Ireland knows well that a violated people will resist until their oppressor exterminates them or compromises. It’s Groundhog Day again.

John Cronin, via email

Look at both sides

Why did the Irish Examiner headline the article about Mary Lou McDonald’s response with a quote about Israel? She, almost uniquely, criticised both parties in the weekend’s action. She, correctly, criticised Hamas and Israel for their approach to the problems in the area. She suggested the only solution is to talk, despite the fact that Israel’s actions have been, since the beginning, illegal.

The media has a responsibility to report both sides of any actions.

Barry Mahon, Sherkin Island, Co Cork

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