The union is being imperilled by the people who treasure it most

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu

AN article published in 1977 by the US Department of Justice stated: “Jewish terrorism did contribute heavily to the creation of Israel.”

The gun-running exploits of Protestant terrorists in 1914 contributed heavily to the creation of Northern Ireland. Both states were set up for the benefit of a particular religious denomination and, once established, a discriminating, persecuting ethos was employed to subjugate their religious counterparts.

Indigenous Palestinians were bulldozed off their land, corralled into Gaza and the West Bank and their land given to Jewish settlers who could come from anywhere in the world. Catholics were condemned to live in squalor without sanitation, employment or education, while Protestants living south of the border after partition were invited north with the promise of housing and employment.

The pseudo-democrats that ruled the respective states accept no responsibility for the violence and if Muslims and Catholics had submitted to their lowly, sub-human status, Israel and Northern Ireland would have been great wee countries. Jews have a God-given right to occupy Palestine, as they interpret the bible to their own advantage, and ‘For God and Ulster’ gave Protestants all the authority they needed.

Benjamin Netanyahu commends the actions of his troops who ‘only target terrorists’. The citizens of Gaza, with up to 14,000 fatalities, may have a different interpretation on the actions of the IDF. The British government also defended the impeccable behaviour of their troops, most notably after Bloody Sunday – it took almost 40 years to get an apology for that.

Netanyahu may well achieve his objective of destroying Hamas and in the process obliterate Gaza. He could, however, leave Israel in a perilous situation; it is almost totally dependent on Western support, particularly from Britain and America, and while Israel had the sympathy of the world after the October 7 attack, this has been greatly diminished by its brutality since. Western powers will only continue this support as long as it is politically expedient to do so. We have already seen fractures within the British Labour Party and further excesses could see Israel totally isolated.

The political representatives of Protestants are total obsessed with the union to the detriment of almost everything else; at the last general election these politicians had a combined vote of 343,000, one third the population of Birmingham, and they think they can hold the rest of Britain to random. Similar to Israel, the union is being imperilled by the people who treasure it most.

P McKenna

Newry. Co Down

Will Christmas dreams for Stormont come true?

IT is almost December and the excitement is growing: will Santa Jeffrey make our Christmas dreams come true?

When we unwrap our present, will the colourful wrapping paper hide an unchanged Windsor Framework box, and when we open that will we find the Northern Ireland Protocol inside with minimal changes? Or will it contain a ‘supermajority’ for the border poll? Is Emma LP still hoping to be the fairy at the top of the Christmas tree or will Michelle get her wings?

The choice is not just down to Jeffrey; the views of the thee kings of Westminster (Sammy, Nigel and Ian) will have to be taken into account and Santa’s little helper from Donaghadee already seems to have linked up with the traditional grinch of North Antrim. Will Mervyn Gibson follow the star back to Stormont, or encourage Jeffrey to lead his flock into the wilderness?

Peter (the Ghost of Christmas Past) was correct – you don’t always get everything you want for Christmas or in negotiations, but the most important gift has already been delivered for the DUP. We were all shocked when the Lucid Talk poll of August 2021 placed them at only 13 per cent of the vote but with their protocol protests, they are now back at a healthy 25 per cent, and to some, that is what really matters. The two years of angry protests were more about covering up for the DUP’s mistaken trust in Boris and Brexit than about achieving any real change for the people of Northern Ireland. They were putting party before country.

So, what of the future?

If Jamie Bryson is the ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’, whose gravestone is he pointing to? Will it be that of Jeffrey, or does Jeffrey’s Christmas box already contain ermine robes?

Either way, last year you might not have given the DUP your heart (apologies George Michael) but if you were unionist, you probably gave them your vote. This year, will you give it to someone better?

Arnold Carton

Belfast BT6

Planned Casement stadium should not be built

I DON’T think they should build the planned stadium for Casement Park.

Antrim Championship days in Casement Park were incredible. I don’t see why anyone would want to increase seating from 7,000 to 26,000. Terraces are much more enjoyable than seating and help create a much better atmosphere. You are more engaged when standing and it allows groups to come together and start chants.

The overall increase in capacity from 32,500 to 34,500 is not significant. I don’t think Ulster finals should be at Casement. I love days out at Clones and walks up and down the main street and in and out of establishments.

I don’t really care about two European Cup games in 2028. Yes, bigger music gigs will be possible to hold but if that is the sole reason it is compromising the experience for money.

The parking for Antrim Championship games was always bad, at what point do you reach tipping point?

Finally I don’t think it’s fair. Casement was originally to cost £61 million, roughly the same as the money allotted to football which included the redevelopment of Windsor (£31m) and local football grounds (£36). Casement is now expected to cost at least £110m and could be as much as £168m, while the GAA will only commit £15m.

I propose they rebuild or refurbish the original stadium. £67m should be allocated and any extra money should be distributed around Ulster Gaelic clubs. As soccer clubs received £36 it is possible to imagine Ulster Gaelic clubs receiving a similar amount. I think GAA club members would prefer this option. I certainly hope Glenavy GAC would vote for this as we need a gym.

Dominic Gallagher

Glenavy, Co Antrim