Letters to the Editor

Governments must demand an end to this one-sided war

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip (Leo Correa/AP)
Letters to the Editor


ANDREW Shaw – “Accusing Israel of being apartheid a common slur” (November 6) – in reply to my letter “Israel consistently ignoring UN’s countless resolutions’ (November 2) – seems to suggest that because Israel is the only democratic state in the region, it has the right to defy international and humanitarian laws. This is not a slur but a fact. The majority of governments at the United Nations demand that the Israeli state respects and protects the right to life, human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people and to end its occupation.

The Israeli state was created by forcing the majority population (Palestinians) from their lands in 1948, the 1967 wars and the current illegal occupation (two-thirds of the population of Gaza are refugees) to create a Jewish state that allows immigration from other countries as long as they are Jewish or have the appropriate roots, while the millions of Palestinians have no right of return. This is not democracy; this is an apartheid based on a built-in sectarian headcount controlled by a far-right Israeli regime.

I encourage Mr Shaw to study the 2022 report of Amnesty International titled “Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians – cruel system of domination and crime against humanity”. This was strongly endorsed by up to 14 Israeli human rights groups including human rights defenders Fund Israel and B’tselem.

If you doubt this report then I direct you to the experiences of the “Courage to Refuse” group (members of the Israeli Defence Forces) who refuse to fight beyond the 1967 borders of Israel because they believe they have no right to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people (the Palestinians). Another group of military veterans who actually served in the occupied territories called “Breaking the Silence” provide hundreds of testimonies from concerned Israeli soldiers and border guards on human rights abuses committed by the state of Israel on defenceless Palestinians we should all recognise their honourable actions.

Today we are witnessing new levels of inhuman cruelty committed by Israel on defenceless civilians who are being starved and slaughtered in their thousands. Every civilised person must demand their governments and the international communities end this one-sided war now. There must be a political solution to the conflict and those guilty of war crimes on both sides punished.

Michael Hagan
Dunmurry, Co Antrim


No proper accountability achieved for genocide

GENOCIDE is the most serious crime against humanity. Up to six million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust, which was by far the most serious act of genocide. The UN was founded so that such catastrophes could never happen again. Why does genocide keep happening?

The German colonisation of South-West Africa was facilitated by the genocide of the Herrero and Nama people. The Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government killed up to two million Armenians and other Christians and ‘successfully’ ethnically cleansed most of Turkey of Armenian people. In September 2023 the Armenian people living in Nagorno Karabakh were ethnically cleansed from the homeland they occupied for many centuries by Azerbaijan supported by Turkey.

In Cambodia the Pol Pot regime killed up to two million Cambodian people from 1975-79, yet the UN continued to recognise the Pol Pot regime as the legitimate ruler of Cambodia until the 1990s. The genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia ‘successfully’ helped establish the semi-independent region of Republika Srpska. The genocide in East Timor by Indonesia was supported by the US, UK and Australia, and only ended because Indonesia went bankrupt in 1999.

The Rwandan genocide, supported by France, reduced the proportion of the Tutsi population significantly and is still contributing to the chaos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The genocide in Darfur Sudan is still happening and being ignored by the international community. Is genocide now happening in Gaza?

The United Nations established the Responsibility to Protect principle (R2P), but R2P has instead been abused to wage wars of aggression. Genocide keeps reoccurring because history shows that acts of genocide have for the most part been ‘successful’. No proper accountability has ever been achieved for genocide, and no effective efforts are being implemented to prevent genocide.

Edward Horgan
Castletroy, Co Limerick


Indiscriminate massacres need to be challenged

I WATCH on daily, wondering if I live in an alternate universe, seeing British politicians wearing poppies celebrating the defeat of genocide and then seconds later offering support to Israel in their genocide.

They claim that Israel has a right to defend itself but it’s gone way, way beyond that now. This is slaughter. The support for Ukraine followed by ignoring far worse happening in Gaza just makes the whole thing more ridiculous.

Indiscriminate massacres need called out and challenged and the offer to investigate both sides afterwards is horrifying. If one child in Ireland or the UK was murdered there would be an immediate reaction and media attention and rightly so. But if it happens in Palestine its another stroke on the tally sheet and move on.

Enough is enough. And the worst thing is that Israel is telling the world leaders what their intentions are. You can guarantee that the Gaza Strip will soon be occupied by Israeli settlers. But sure, I’m a Celebrity... will be on soon. People are more interested in that.

Barry Fegan


Letters to the Editor