Letters to the Editor

It's laughable to state under Israeli law all citizens are equal

I wish to respond to Teresa Trainor (September 19) who criticised my previous letter (September 6) but did not answer any of the points I made with regard to the treatment of Palestinians. It would seem laughable that in a week when Israel demolished Khan al Ahmar, a Bedouin village on the west bank, which under International law is not Israeli land. The action is intended to make way for illegal colonisation by extreme Judaic settlers. According to this lady attacks on Palestinians are “not representative of government policy”. Really? She has to go back to the 16th and 19th century to remind us that Arabs attacked Jews and fails to understand that before the foundation of the Israeli state Palestinian and Jews lived for the most part peacefully. In Syria, Iraq and Tunisia and other Arab countries Jews lived without fear prior to this time. She fails to mention the fact that Jews attacked Palestinians and drove 700,000 from their homes and murdered thousand more in 1948. She states under Israeli law all citizens are equal. This statement is totally laughable more recently given the fact that the Knesset has declared Israel a total Jewish state and downgraded the rights of others.
She fails to mention the fact that Israel is an apartheid state that continues to push its borders at the expense of Palestinians. As for Israeli offers of peace they are just a pretence. Olmert never offered  withdrawal of the occupied area but offered them just 60 per cent of the west bank and nothing of Jerusalem as did Barak at Oslo and similar offers at Camp David. In other words they were requested to give up their own land to be colonised and thus the impossibility of a two state solution. If Israel is not racist or apartheid why have they been condemned by the UN/EEC and every democracy for their treatment of Palestinians, and why do they hold the record for being in breach of the most UN resolutions? Israel has attacked Palestinians before and continuously since 1948. The Jewish State has watched as thousand of olive trees have been demolished by settlers and soldiers and refuses to let those intimidated from their homes return to them but welcomes anyone, however, nefarious as long as they are declared as Jewish by any obscure ancestor. 

Denial is no excuse Ms Trainor, Israel is an apartheid state and in breach of human rights law and every international law.

 

FRANCIS RICE
Belfast BT11

 

Sinn Féin left with credibility gap over sexual abuse victims

Absolute disgust as a woman is the only way that I can describe Michelle O’Neill’s refusal to state publicly that she believes that Máiría Cahill was telling the truth about the sexual abuse that she suffered and the subsequent IRA inquiry into it. 

The Police Ombudsman has now confirmed that there was not one but three people who had made accusations against alleged IRA man Marty Morris.

There is evidence that the PSNI knew that the IRA was carrying out an investigation. There is evidence that the issue was raised with social services. There is an admission on behalf of the PSNI that the victims were let down. 
Gerry Adams previously made a statement saying that the republican movement, which effectively policed republican areas at the time, were not properly equipped to carry out sexual abuse investigations.

I think Gerry Adams’s statement really goes to the heart of this matter.  It is not simply a matter that the IRA was not equipped to carry out sexual abuse investigations but that when those allegations were against members of the IRA it was clearly counter productive to have those matters exposed publicly. 
People who were previous loyal to the republican movement looked to it to respond to sexual abuse that they had suffered but found themselves instead being revictimised by investigations sanctioned by the republican movement. The refusal of the current Sinn Fein leadership to acknowledge that it failed victims of sexual abuse
really leaves them with a credibility gap but particularly in relation to women’s issues.

BRENDA O'NEILL
Belfast BT9 

 

Needless suffering for people of West Tyrone

The past 20 months of no Stormont has meant that countless people across West Tyrone have suffered needlessly. 

My office has been inundated with people who have been failed by the political system. People told they will have to wait years for an operation. People struggling by living in unsuitable and cramped homes. People whose children are not getting the care and support they need in the education system. 

It’s clear that public services here have reached crisis conditions. No-one can argue with that. The fundamental rights of some of the most vulnerable people in society are being impeded – rights to health care, education and to a home. 

This crisis has its roots in the failure of Stormont to reconvene and the failure of the secretary of state to intervene. People here have been left in a state of hiatus, a state of limbo, all the while our political system is left to drift into the abyss leaving a wake of casualties. 

This house of cards has fallen. There is seemingly no room for manoeuvre. We can no longer let innocent people suffer. It’s time for a major rethink on how politics is done here. The DUP and Sinn Féin have been shown up. They cannot be trusted in government or even now to form one. The people of this constituency deserve better.”

DANIEL McCROSSAN MLA
SDLP, West Tyrone

 

Brexit confusion

On Monday September 17 we heard David Sterling, a senior NI civil servant, on the BBC News postulating on the consequences of a hard border between ‘Northern Ireland and Ireland’ and in the same news item we had Diane Dodds MEP, asserting that in any Brexit configuration the crucial issue is that Northern Ireland must leave the EU on the same terms as ‘the rest of Great Britain’. It’s extraordinary that we should have two significant players in our petty political world with such bizarre geographical views, one of them considering Ireland to be a place over the border and the other thinking that Northern Ireland is in Great Britain. We ought to be thankful that neither of them is at the negotiating table.

WES HOLMES
Belfast BT14

 

Top five DUP chart toppers

With due respect to the RHI Inquiry a little gaiety is needed after a long, hot summer.

The latest DUP top (hot) five is: 1. Fairytale of New York: Jonathan and The Bell Ringers;

2. We Didn’t Start the Fire: Dr Andrew and the firecrackers; 

3. Fire: Crazy World of Arlene and the Teen Queens; 

4. Summer Holiday: Ian and the Gospel Truth Choir; 

5. Distant Drums: Nigel and the Westminster Nine.

Subject to change as the next scandal is unearthed.

BRIAN WILSON
Craigavon, Co Armagh 

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