In response to your article (‘Veteran Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers: My misgivings over handling of books of condolence,’ June 3, see link below), which covered councillor Jim Rodgers’ concern about the number of books of condolence, after the latest one was opened by the former Belfast Lord Mayor Michael Long for the Palestinian Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by the Israeli army.
There is no specific time for when someone should stand for free press and freedom of expression. Councillor Long and Belfast City Council should be congratulated for the book of condolence.
Shireen was a Palestinian Christian journalist from Jerusalem who was killed by the Israeli army for no reason, as there was no incident of shooting or even stone throwing when the Israeli army opened fire at a group of journalists, killing Shireen and wounding another in the impoverished Jenin refugee camp, inhabited by Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed from their homes in 1948 in order to create the state of Israel on Palestinian land.
This history shows that silencing criticism of Israel is a threat to democracy in the West, as it interferes with freedom of expression.
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