Is Palestinian Authority now complicit in the siege of Gaza?

While Israel recently murdered 132 unarmed men, women and children on the great right to return march, with more than 15,000 injured and as Egypt floods the tunnels – the lifelines of Gaza – and refuses to open the Rafa border crossing, we now have the Palestinian Authority (PA) using sound bombs, tear gas and arrests against Palestinians in the West Bank who were protesting in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Without rehashing history, Hamas were democratically elected with a mandate in 2006/7 to represent the Palestinian people. An election which was more or less demanded by America which claimed to be seeking a compliant partner to work with in the peace process. Their preferred choice was the Palestinian authority and Fatah. 

The election returned Hamas as the people’s choice. This democratic result did not suit Israel, America or the west and so they began the siege by land, sea and air as collective punishment but also as a catalyst to force the people to choose different leaders.

After an attempted coup in both the West Bank and Gaza by the PA it resulted in the PA in charge of the West Bank and Hamas in charge of Gaza. 

Following reconciliation and unity talks last year, as the siege destroyed much of the infrastructure and much of civil society in Gaza, Hamas agreed that the PA would take charge of Gaza.

The PA now refuses to pay full wages to civil society in Gaza resulting in devastating poverty for those employed in government positions from doctors to road cleaners, prompting the demonstrations in the West Bank.

While the illegal settlements flourish, while the PA assists Israel in the occupation via arrests and detentions of Palestinians, as it continues to provide security co-ordination and information on its citizens to a foreign illegal military occupation, it is now complicit in the siege on Gaza.

While the PA and its unelected leader Mahmoud Abass continue to be financially beholding and dependent to its benefactors from America and the west it will continue to be a silent partner in the destruction of Palestine. 


Belfast BT14

Admiration of Israel’s democracy defies all evidence 

Where does Andrew J Shaw (June 22) get his information about Israel and its government? His gushing admiration of Israel’s democracy and Supreme Court defies all evidence to the contrary. Let us look at some recent evidence of well-known Israelis whose views differ to an extraordinary extent from his.

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin 2014 said: “The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society with an illness that demands treatment.” Has Mr Shaw not seen or read this statement in his studies of Israel and its history?

Israeli minister General Moshe Dyan stated that: “Israel must invent dangers and to do this it must adopt the strategy of provocation and revenge.” This statement is consistent with every war Israel has fought with the exception of the Yom Kippur war of 1973 when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel to drive them from lands occupied by Israel during the six-day ‘war’.   

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine was justified to the West by the Holocaust, carried out by Germans, Poles, Ukrainians and several other national groups, but had nothing whatsoever to do with Palestinians who had lived for centuries in peace with Jewish neighbours. Zionism was invented in the late 19th century, long before Hitler and the Third Reich was even thought of.  

The thinking behind Zionism can be illustrated by the speech of David Ben Gurion, (prime minister of Israel 1949 to 1954 and 1955 to 1963) when he told his followers: “We will expel the Arabs and take their place. In each attack a decisive blow should be struck resulting in the destruction of homes and the expulsion of the population.”

Could there be a clearer explanation of ethnic cleansing? 


Belfast BT9

Pope not the first to break final taboo

The final taboo, that the Shoah must never be equated with abortion has been broken (June 18) – but it was not by the Pope. In August 1984, at a Mass celebrating the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Paris, Cardinal Lustiger  of Paris, a Jewish convert, whose mother perished at Auschwitz in 1943, stated that the eugenic policies pursued by  the occupiers, find a white gloved justification in the hospitals of 1984.

He also observed that once respect for humanity goes, we will all acquiesce to everything and that abortion will be seen as but an idolatrous pursuit of power, possessions and pleasure,  which must be relentlessly promoted.

As Paul Ricouer observed  correctly,  that the human body is the guardian of all lived metaphors. In this, Lustiger called upon those who espouse Christ, cannot shirk from a negation to this duty, which must be upheld.

In the actions of Pope Francis, Jim Wells and Fr McCafferty and many others this is being accomplished.   However, for those who celebrated the abortion  message at Dublin and Belfast, their moral vision  has been found wanting. 


Clonoe, Co Tyrone

No SF double standards

Just to get the record straight – Sinn Féin’s double standards (Laurence O’Neill, June 7) – Section Eight criminalised abortion. Republicans argued that criminalisation such as this has no part in 21st  century Ireland. It was not as I understood it a vote for abortion on demand.

Any extension of this debate into when abortion is approved or whether it will be supported is a Sinn Féin call. There are no double standards here, just a move to decriminalise abortion. The ethical issues remain as we face forced pregnancies and proven foetal conditions. To deny these issues is cowardly. 


Derry City 

Sharing misgivings

As Northern Ireland is under increasing pressure from both the Irish and British governments to legalise abortion-on-demand, perhaps it’s time that we formed our own Ulster Nation –also incorporating counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan who share our misgivings over the path towards a Fine Gael dictatorship.

I personally couldn’t care less about flags, emblems, legacy cases or the never ending gripes towards ‘defensive football’. Ulster is viewed by both governments in question as a pariah who stands in the way of their hegemony. If we opened our province simply to those who hold either an Irish or British passport we would save ourselves significant time and money with the reduced bureaucracy while honouring the principles of the Good Friday Agreement –which were broken by Sinn Fein at St Andrew’s in 2007.


Ardboe, Co Tyrone