"Most western politicians and the West’s media pundits should bow their heads in shame at the lack of criticism and analysis of what is being done to Gazans. " - IAWM letter in Irish Times re Israel's onslaught on Gaza - & an edited version in The Examiner -

IAWM condemns response of Israeli armed forces to abduction and killing of three Israeli settler teenagers


• IAWM condemns response of Israeli armed forces to abduction and killing of three Israeli settler teenagers
• Media silence on a brutal IDF response shows bias towards Israel

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) issued a statement today condemning the harsh and unjustified response by the Israeli armed forces to the abduction and now confirmed killing of three Israeli settler teenagers. Their deaths are no less tragic than the thousands of Palestinian deaths due to the endless brutal occupation of Palestinian land and the oppression of its people. The only difference is in the mainstream media coverage, for which every Israeli death is top of the news agenda, in contrast to Palestinian deaths, which in most cases will not be reported at all.

Quoting from a weekly report from the internationally award-winning Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued last Thursday (26 June); the statement noted that since the teenagers were abducted near Hebron the Israeli armed forces had carried out operations in the West Bank that resulted in the following happening:



two cultural events by Palestinian visitors to Ireland last weekend almost did not happen. The first is the art exhibition by artists from Gaza entitled Windows into Gaza (Art & Design, 12th April), the second, a series of countrywide dance performances by the young Lajee Dabka dancers from the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, which got off to a rousing start supported by many renowned Irish musicians and singers at a sold out concert in Liberty Hall on Sunday night.

The two Gazan artists who were accompanying the art exhibition, Mohammed al Hawajri and Shareef Sarhan were denied their rights to leave Gaza and travel to Ireland last week. In addition, Mohammed al Azraq, the Lajee Cultural Centre's coordinator, was violently arrested on 26th March by the Israeli army and was beaten and ill-treated so badly in the notorious Al Jalama Prison that his health is now threatened. No charges have been brought against him.

It is truly shameful that the Israeli authorities even harass the cultural expression of Palestinians which seeks to see beyond conflict and aspires to a better world. Is Israel so threatened by these artists that they must harass them in such demeaning ways and hamper their possibilities of travelling to Ireland to share their culture with us. The Irish Government should object strongly to this treatment particularly in this International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as declared by the UN General Assembly.

Yours etc.

Chair, Academics for Palestine,
Dublin 8.



Absurd claim over Israel's territorial compromises
Published 05/03/2014
ANDREW J Shaw (February 26) writes that Israel "has made territorial compromises in the interests of peace". This is an absurd assertion. In reality, the history of Zionism had been one of grabbing more and more Palestinian land for Jewish colonisation, a process that is continuing unremittingly today.
Indeed since 1995 and the signing of the Oslo Accords, which divided the west Bank into three separate administrative areas, on an interim basis, over 500,000 settlers have been planted in the west Bank and East Jerusalem. All of this in breach of international law, which forbids an occupying power from transferring its citizens to territory it occupies and also frustrating any credible promise of a two state solution.
If the founders of Israel had accepted the 1947 UN partition plan, Israel would exist today in 56 per cent of mandate Palestine and Jerusalem and the surrounding area would be under international control. That's what the UN General Assembly recommended in resolution 181, passed on november 29 1947.

LEGACY OF ARIEL SHARON - unpublished letter to Irish Times 160114


Denis Staunton (Politics, 13 January 2014) manages to chart some of Ariel Sharon’s war crimes yet still retrieve him as a courageous statesman.  

He claims for example, that Sharon’s “unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which involved the evacuation of all Israeli settlers from the strip, demonstrated that the colonisation of Palestinian territory by settlements must not be irreversible.” In fact, the reverse is true. This absurd theatrical public relations exercise by Israel, orchestrated primarily to show the world the difficulty of removing settlers in any future peace deal, was merely a ruse by Israel to camouflage the illegal settlement expansion within the West Bank. In any case Israel still terrorises Gaza by land, sea and air on a daily basis, in what is the largest open air prison in the world.

Sharon’s main legacy, apart from the awful memories of his obvious war crimes, is the permanent state of separation, lockdown and war against the people of Palestine that has attracted the worst forms of xenophobia, racism and hatred within Israel. His twin track approach of demolition and settlement, an open policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territories as part of his vision of a greater Israel, is now normalised and an everyday experience for Palestinians, and seems to be accepted by almost all western political leaders. For example, on 10th December last, 30 Palestinian homes were demolished in the Jordan valley resulting in the displacement of 41 people, including 24 children.  Illegal settlements continue apace during the farcical peace talks. Where is the outcry? Instead we have the appalling sycophantic scenes of western leaders praising Sharon.

“We don’t have the luxury to wait” for Israel to change on its own, says Ilan Pappe

“We don’t have the luxury to wait” for Israel to change on its own, says Ilan Pappe

8 December 2013


Few, if any, historians have done more to unearth the truth about Israel than Ilan Pappe.

His 2006 book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine documents how the uprooting of more than 750,000 Palestinians was the direct consequence of a plan drawn up by Zionist leaders in 1947. It arguably remains the most serious study published yet of the Nakba (catastrophe), the violent expulsion of Palestinians leading to Israel’s formation the following year.

Pappe’s outspoken criticisms of Israel have resulted in him being isolated by many of his Israeli peers. When he supported a Palestinian-led campaign for an academic boycott of Israel in 2005, the president of Haifa University called on Pappe to resign his teaching post at that college. Since moving to the UK, Pappe has remained a prolific writer on both Israel’s past and present.

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