Letters to the Editor: EU must be at the forefront of advocating for balanced dialogue

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a long-standing and intricate issue, and it is essential that we approach it with a balanced and nuanced perspective
Letters to the Editor: EU must be at the forefront of advocating for balanced dialogue

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's comments appeared to be one-sided and did not sufficiently address the intricate dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Picture: Jean-Francois Badias/AP

I am writing to express my deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Gaza and the recent statements made by the European Council president, Ursula von der Leyen. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a long-standing and intricate issue, and it is essential that we approach it with a balanced and nuanced perspective that recognises the complexities on both sides.

The situation in Gaza continues to be marked by violence, loss of life, and immense suffering. We must not overlook the humanitarian crises and the pain endured by the people in this region. While it is crucial to affirm Israel’s right to self-defence and security, we must also acknowledge the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Ms von der Leyen’s recent comments appeared to be one-sided and did not sufficiently address the
intricate dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In our pursuit of a just and lasting solution, it is essential that we consider the multifaceted reality on the ground.

The EU, comprising 27 member states, wields considerable influence and plays a significant role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. It is incumbent upon the EU to adopt a more balanced approach that reflects the perspectives of all stakeholders and recognises the unique challenges of the conflict.

I believe that a diplomatic and multilateral approach, informed by empathy and sensitivity to the challenges faced by Israelis and Palestinians, is the most effective path toward lasting peace. The EU must be at the forefront of advocating for a comprehensive, inclusive, and unbiased dialogue that respects the rights and aspirations of all parties involved.

I urge our European leaders to lead the way in fostering a more balanced and constructive dialogue that seeks to bring an end to the suffering in Gaza and to facilitate a peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

By prioritising such a path, we not only serve the interests of the parties directly involved, but also contribute to global peace and stability.

In this time of turbulence, let us remember that the pursuit of peace is a shared responsibility, and it is one that demands a holistic understanding of the situation. It is my hope that the European Council, under Ms von der Leyen’s guidance, will champion a more balanced perspective, grounded in
empathy and fairness, that paves the way for a brighter and more peaceful future in the Middle East.

Killian Bremnan

Malahide Road

Dublin 17

Why Gaza Strip is densely populated

Aside from an interview between the insightful and assertive Sarah McInerney and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmer, Tuesday’s edition of RTÉ’s Prime Time left a lot to be desired.

It opened with a section claiming to provide a “background to the current conflict”, but neglected to explain why the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth; 75% of the Strip’s 2.3m population is comprised of refugee families, displaced from their homes, in what is now the Israeli state, in 1948.

There is little excuse for a national broadcaster being oblivious to this core fact; the people of the Gaza Strip have striven valiantly and peacefully to raise awareness of their imprisonment and their right, mandated by UN resolution 241, to return to their homes. Some years ago, the Great March of Return saw tens of thousands of Palestinians join recurring demonstrations at the Gaza fence.

The New York Times found the face-off to be eminently newsworthy, with front-page features on the life and death of 21-year-old medic Razan Al-Najjar, shot dead by an Israeli sniper as she tended to wounded protesters.

The repeated assertion that this is “a conflict lasting 100 if not 1,000 years” was misleading; the ideology of Zionism dates back only to 1897. Such remarks perpetuate a misleading narrative of an age-old, intractable conflict, allowing political leaders to sit on their hands while colonial oppression continues.

We must expect better from the flagship current affairs show of our national broadcaster.

David Murphy


Dublin 14

Gas supply volatility

Here we go again! Despite the recent unconvincing assurance from EirGrid, managers of our national electricity grid, Ireland is heading into another winter with our national energy security on an increasingly precarious knife edge, depending very much on the mythical stars aligning in our favour.

Our EU partners, many with Green credentials, have this year ensured over 90% storage of gas supplies, while believe it or not,
Ireland has none, which will inevitably result in alerts or blackouts, while embarrassingly being dependent on the goodwill and compliance of the private sector for shortfall support.

The Coalition energy policy, dominated by irrational and irresponsible Green Party dogma, has resulted in a potential shortfall of around 600 megawatts of electricity generating capacity.

Given the notorious volatility and unreliability of wind, for now and the foreseeable future it is entirely naive and foolish to depend on such an unreliable source, without sufficient constant backup supplies of natural gas as well as oil. Uniquely, Ireland doesn’t even discuss nuclear.

This extreme volatility, never highlighted by the wind lobby, can be realised by perusal of a typical 30-day wind electricity generation graph from EirGrid (smartgriddashboard.com).

The recent agreement signed by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan in London, where the UK is expected to supply 90% of our natural gas needs into the future, further crystallises the foolishness and irresponsibility of coalition energy policy.

As a result, present and future energy policy means that Ireland’s total economic and societal wellbeing depends on unreliable Tory-led, Brexit-embroiled Britain, (which receives 30% of its supply pumped thousands of kilometres from Norway) rather than our own native source on our doorstep, with significantly lower costs and carbon footprint.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s grandstanding, and his irrational and inexplicable U-turn to stop issuing prospecting licences for native oil and natural gas off our shores, as well as blocking the development of the Inishkea prospect near Corrib and the Barryroe field off the Cork coast, defies common sense as well as economic and environmental sense.

Barryroe has been independently proven to have 300bn barrels of oil and copious quantities of low-carbon natural gas, which together would give us energy independence and security for decades to come as we move ponderously towards more renewables.

A number of requests for an explanation from the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and Green Party leader, unsurprisingly, have been ignored.

John Leahy



Religion’s role in long-running war

Just like the proverbial elephant in the room which everybody ignores, most commentators in the media have mistakenly ignored the role of religion in the 75-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But in attempting to judge how religion affects people’s behaviour in any conflict, there is to be noted an important kernel of truth in Karl Marx’s observation that religion is “the opium of the people”.

This is because, like most addictive drugs, there can be both an
upside and a downside to the effects of religion on the way that its followers think and feel towards strangers.

The upside of religion on its followers is where, I believe, they are filled with thoughts full of love and generosity towards everybody in the world.

But on the opposite hand, the downside of religion means that its followers can become narrow-minded and feel that they are superior to everybody else who does not belong to their own religion and that they can also interfere at will with other people’s human rights and property.

It appears to me that the negative effects of religion have clearly kept the wounds of the opposing sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict open and hurting far longer than those open wounds in most other types of conflicts which lack a religious aspect.

It is to be greatly wondered why it is not the case that sadly the upside of religion, with its very wholesome aspects of love and concern for all, does not seem to have the ability to bring the conflicts that it is involved in to a permanent end quickly?

Sean O’Brien


Co Clare

More in this section

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy Brand Safety FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Examiner Echo Group Limited