I was surprised to see a full article by Gary Spedding (“Israel subjects Palestinians to expulsion, occupation and abuse,” October 23) who has a track record for being very anti-Israel.
I would hope this would be countered by a similar piece that could give Israel’s side of the story. (I’d be very happy to oblige.)
His list of accusations against the Jewish state is representative of the virulent anti-Israel propaganda that is imbibed by so many here in the West and which many Israelis feel is also anti-Semitic, for no other country (or people) is subjected to such scrutiny or criticism as Israel does, and relentlessly year in year out.
Mr Spedding writes of a place called ‘Palestine’ although as far as I am aware there is no official state by that name.
It is not in any atlas, save Arab maps in the Middle East who deny Israel’s existence, nor is there any airport or flights to a place called ‘Palestine.’
The former territory known as Palestine ruled by the British and the Ottoman Turks until 1948 when it became Israel had both Jews and Arabs living in it, so the term ‘Palestinians’ that Mr Spedding applies solely to the Arabs also applied to the Jews who were also Palestinian before 1948.
Therefore I prefer to use the more correct term ‘Palestinian Arab’ which allows for the reality of former Palestinian Jews who are now termed ‘Israeli.’
Since 1948 the territory has been officially ‘disputed territories,’ and any so-called ‘occupation’ has resulted from the onslaught of war meted out against Israel by Arab states since 1948 when Israel was most vulnerable and by several countries banding together to ‘wipe Israel off the map.’ This is why Israel now has to have a strong army.
Also any skirmishes in the region, which are not usually reported until Israel takes any action, are time and again started by unprovoked attacks on Jewish civilians by the likes of Hamas or in the past Hezbollah. As Mr Netanyahu puts it, “We live in a difficult neighbourhood.”
When I lived in Tel-Aviv (1991-2002) my street was called Rehov Yeshayahu ben Amotz (Isaiah son of Amoz Street), the prophet in the Bible that predicted Jesus’ coming and of the vision for eventual world peace.
In Isaiah 2:4 it says: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
The name ‘Isaiah’ means ‘the salvation of the LORD’ and whilst it was the name of my street, which was a comfort when having to don a gas mask or rush to an underground bomb shelter like all Israelis, it gives us hope that God is in charge of the nations and will eventually usher in peace like predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures.
However, Israel will still be on the map.
Colin Nevin, Bangor