It is Israel which is the beleaguered state, surrounded by hostile forces

A letter from Micheal O’Cathail:

Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:46 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:51 pm
Israeli soldiers near the southern Israeli city of Sderot on May 13, 2021 during the recent brief war. Israel faces an existential threat, writes Micheal O'Cathail. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Following the recent anti-Israel Irish Parliamentary motion, Jackie Goodall writes in the News Letter (‘Ireland shows itself to be Europe’s most anti-Israel nation,’ May 27, see link below).

She says: “Yesterday, Ireland stood against the world’s only Jewish state — and showed itself to be Europe’s most anti-Israel nation.”

This hostile mentality towards Israel can also be present in Northern Ireland.

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For example, on May 26, Mr Alban Maginness wrote a piece in the Belfast Telegraph which includes a snippet such as “Disappointingly, President Biden has in fact already approved a previously agreed $735m (£520m) arms sale to Israel, instead of freezing it in the aftermath of this latest war.”

Alban doesn’t mention that the US has been selling billions of dollars’ worth of arms to Israel’s neighbour Saudi Arabia, as well as to other Muslim states. Alban seems to think that it’s all right to weaken Israel’s defence capability relative to neighbouring Muslim states.

Because I found Mr Maginness’ article to be objectionable, in the antipathic attitude it expresses towards Israel, I wrote to the editor of the Belfast Telegraph and which letter may bear repeating.

My letter reads:

“Alban Maginness gives a rather one-sided (and unsympathetic to Israel) view of the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land. The Belfast Telegraph, May 26.

“Alban views the conflict from a narrow Northern Ireland perspective: he appears to be blind to the geographic and political realities of the Middle East and Israel’s precarious security situation there.

“In the ongoing conflict, it is Israel that is the beleaguered state and Israel is, and has always been, facing an existential threat from the neighbouring States. By comparison with these states, Israel is a tiny Jewish state with little by way of natural geographical defences for its protection against the much larger surrounding Muslim states and hostile forces (including the Palestinians) with their huge land mass, oil and other resources and populations amounting to hundreds of millions.

“To look at the Holy Land conflict exclusively as a Jewish Palestinian problem without reference to this much bigger political, geographical and military landscape, seems to be poor, if not threadbare, analysis.”

Micheal O’Cathail, By email

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