April 01, 2009

Collective punishment and why it's not nice

Did I post the letter justifying Israel's wholesale slaughter of Palestinian civilians including children from the Independent almost two weeks ago? Let me find it. Hold on a min. Here it is:
Thank you Stan Brennan for reminding us (letter, 13 March) that "legitimacy was conferred on Hamas by the people of Gaza in a democratic election". Doesn't it therefore follow that the people of Gaza as a whole are collectively responsible for their government's open policy of never to recognise or to make peace with Israel, to continue for ever the struggle to eliminate Israel, to support the daily firing of rockets into Israeli cities and acts of terrorism and the holding of an Israeli soldier without any visitation rights from family or even the Red Cross? In this case, surely they cannot complain against collective punishment when finally Israel's patience runs out and they suffer together with their leaders?

Alan Halibard

Bet Shemesh, Israel

That was back on 21 March, 2009. Well here's a response in tomorrow's Indie (I know it's bizarre, the timing that is):
Alan Halibard makes a good stab at justifying collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza (letters, 21 March). But are two snags to his logic. First, those under voting age in Gaza – children – do not deserve collective punishment so should not face power cuts, medical blockades and tank shells. Second, Palestinians neither voted to be ejected from Israel in 1947 nor for the continuing Zionist colonisation of the West Bank in the area recognised by the whole international community as the territory of Palestine.

Simon Jones

Chelmsford, Essex
Honestly, as if a letter has to be published explaining why collective punishment is out of order.


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