April 22, 2009

Take the apartheid out of Israel?

Hmm, here's a curiously honest letter from a friend, nay more, a lover of Israel in today's Independent:
Israel and the situation in the region is a constant vortex of spin, and the truth is not helped by the President of Iran's inaccurate grasp of history. The sources of modern Israel's existence can be traced to Russian anti-Semitism and the rise of nationalism in the 19th century.

But what must be clear to anyone who has spent time in the Arab areas of Israel is that there is a clear system of apartheid. Arabs are discriminated against in terms of housing, education and healthcare as well as opportunities after education.

For anyone to ignore this is to ignore one factor which will do great harm to Israel: and any lover of Israel needs to seek for Israel as a state to be a more pluralist society.

The Revd Stephen Griffith

Woking, Surrey

Hmm, the trouble there, Reverend, is that if you take away the apartheid from Israel there might not be anything left.

There are more letters slagging Israel too. Don't leave any hostages to fortune Mark, whatever you do. I can't help it. Don't do it. I must, I must. Sorry, I was just grappling with my cautious self. The Independent letters page is becoming a bit of a playground for Israel's critics these days. There I did it. It's becoming for Israel's critics what the Guardian's Comment is "free" is for the hasbara brigade. Woah! I did it again. See this next letter:
No wonder Durban II was boycotted by Israel and the USA. No wonder the British delegate led out a flock of others after hearing (but obviously not listening to) Ahmedinejad.

As my mother used to say whenever she rebuked me: the truth hurts. The simple truth in this case being that the Palestinian people have, with the help of colonialist Britain initially, been made to pay the price of crimes against the Jewish people. When will the world understand that two wrongs do not make a right?

Elizabeth Morley

Aberystwyth
Oh purlease!? Israel does not exist because of the holocaust. Foreign policy is not constructed by reference to who the foreign policy makers feel most sorry for. Still, criticism is criticism but we ought to get it right and we need to challenge every zionist narrative.

But moving on, the next one is a reminder of a post by Gabriel here. Ok class, hand up anyone that can remember Gabriel's post saying that we call Israel apartheid because we are polite. Well that's precisely what this woman is saying here:
Perhaps the BBC Trust should study President Ahmedinejad's text at the UN conference and learn to appreciate the accuracy and restraint of Jeremy Bowen's reporting?

Colin V Smith

Rainford, Merseyside
Alright, not precisely but close.

Ok, last one, refuting the myth of Israeli generosity over the Gaza disengagement:
Jeremy Sharman (Letters, 18 April) does nothing but repeat Zionist propaganda when he intimates that the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza settlements was some sort of concession. The abandonment of these settlements was not a concession or even part of the peace process but, as Ariel Sharon said at the time, a disengagement from the peace process.

To understand the thinking behind such a move one only has to read the teachings of Chief Rabbi Kook (1865-1935), one of the leading figures in combining religious and political Zionism. Kook often stated that to achieve the aims of Zionism, those outposts (settlements) which prove not to be viable should be abandoned to strengthen those that are (West Bank).

Michael W Cook

Soulbury, Buckinghamshire
And that, of course, is without getting into the fact that Israel still pretty much controls Gaza, its boundaries, its electricity supplies, its airspace, the sea, almost everything.

Still it's a good start to the day for our side.

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