Letters to the Editor

Attacks on Corbyn are being fuelled by pro-Israeli sentiment

Observers of politics across these islands will have noticed the furore that has erupted in Britain over allegations of widespread anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

As said party currently has approximately 552,000 members [January, 2018], it would be unusual if there were not some anti-Semites within that number. That is neither to excuse nor condone such attitudes, merely to face hard realities. But what influence do any anti-Semites in the Labour Party have upon official policy? Truthfully, they have none.

Anyone familiar with Corbyn will accept that he is not anti-Semitic. Palestinians are Semites. One cannot be pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic – excluding Arabic people from the term anti-Semitic is discriminatory. Nor is Corbyn anti-Jewish.

So why the fuss over his position and that of the Labour Party? Put simply, the attacks on Corbyn are being fuelled by pro-Israeli sentiment dressed up as legitimate concern for the rights of Jews.

The main focus of Corbyn’s detractors appears to be his reluctance to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. Their actual definition excludes non-Jewish Semites. But it is the examples of anti-Semitism provided by the IHRA that seem to be most contentious. The IHRA website states that ‘manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel’. This is sinister, granting de facto immunity from criticism to the Zionist state. Remember, anti-Zionism is not anti-Judaism.

Other examples of ‘anti-Semitism’ from the IHRA website include; ‘accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations’; ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour’; ‘Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis’.

Israelis, and pro-Israelis, have sought to conflate Judaism and Zionism for decades. They have done so with the intent of using anti-Semitism as a weapon, and the Holocaust as a shield, with which to take all of Palestine. They have thus far succeeded and are determined to prevent any emergent opposition to their ploy.

The IHRA lists one more example of anti-Semitism: ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel’. It will be found that it is Zionism and Israel in particular, that is responsible for this. 

ANTÁN Ó DÁLA AN RÍ
Newry, Co Down

 

Untruth can travel half way around world while truth ties its laces

Political scandals have been part of Northern Ireland’s history throughout the decades. Three of which have received adverse publicity in recent times.

Two of these were played down by their respective colleagues who are obviously determined to hold on to the positions that they have. Therefore, the wagons were circled in both cases where political unaccountability doesn’t seem to matter. An unlighted light has shone on double standards.

The most recent publicised scandal had its wrong doings financed by a country well known for its appalling human rights record.

All of this is in stark contrast to Barry McElduff’s flippant and clownish misbehaviour that incurred the wrath of the echelons of his political party and others. Summoned to Belfast and after accepting their dictate ‘to resign’ he emerged, obedient as ever, with his hands up. His unfortunate misjudgement made him a victim of his own spiky attitude, a trait that sometimes made him appear like a parodied contrarian. Barry’s work ethic was unbelievable, his poll topping in elections proven and his attention to his constituents excellent. His unintentional clownish act caused him to fall on his own sword. He regularly used anecdotes purposely to take the toxicity out of politics.

On January 4 he arranged to pick up his daughter in a shop in Omagh where she worked. On seeing him she beckoned him in. On entering she informed him that her mother phoned her to take a few provisions home.

Being beside the bread shelves he picked up a loaf with which he had absolutely no association. There were only three youngsters present and to entertain them, as he usually did, he put it on his head. Kingsmill was the brand written on it. He was nine years old, when the horrible massacre took place, so it was far from his consciousness then. A number of prominent journalists met together to assess veracity of what actually happened. All were unanimous. He was truthful.  

Truth is an absolute. A untruth can travel half way around the world while the truth ties its laces.

Rev PATRICK MARRON
Fintona, Co Tyrone

 

Living with diabetes can be tough

Almost 3.7 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, with more than100,000 people living with the condition in Northern Ireland. Diabetes doesn’t just affect people physically but has a big emotional impact that is equally harmful and is often overlooked.

Living with diabetes can be tough and a lack of emotional and psychological support can make it even harder to manage the condition.

At Diabetes UK we want emotional, psychological and mental health support for people with diabetes to become a priority. We believe everyone should have the space and opportunity to talk about their emotional well being, be empowered to seek support and know where to go to get it. Readers’ experiences will help us make the case – so please take part in our online survey and tell us how living with diabetes makes you feel, and whether the care you receive gives enough support to cope with managing diabetes when your emotional well being is low.

Please complete our survey by September 30 at bit.ly/diabetesemotionalsupport. 

JILLIAN PATCHETT
Diabetes UK Northern Ireland

 

Obnoxious assertions

Once more, I refute the obnoxious and obtuse assertions of Dr Niall Meehan in my regard (Aug 7).

I have ‘banned’ no one from marrying in church. I have simply raised the issue – and it must be faced – as to why persons, who dissent from such a core moral teaching of the Church as the forbidding of intentional abortion, would wish to marry in a Catholic church?

On the very sensitive issue of abortion, I have sought to clearly enunciate the teaching of the Church at a time when it is being widely misrepresented and rejected.

Abortion differs from other moral failures, such as the use of artificial contraception, because it is as profoundly an inhuman act of violence as is possible to perpetrate, against the most vulnerable and defenceless human beings of all.

No man or woman has ‘the right to choose’ such a brutal course of action against another person. For that reason, the penalty of immediate excommunication is attached, by the Church, to the crime and sin of abortion.

It must be emphasised that this excommunication in itself is designed to bring those who have offended to their senses, so that they will repent and be reconciled with God.

At the very heart of the abortion issue is the denial of the truth of the humanity of the unborn child. 

The only ‘edict’ that matters – not the views of a priest – is the command of Almighty God: “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). It is absolutely binding upon all human beings, in every circumstance, for all time.

Fr PATRICK McCAFFERTY
Belfast BT12

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