Israeli raid on Gaza aid convoy

 

Madam, – We have strong reason to doubt the veracity of the current Israeli promise that humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza can safely be channelled through official government sources for distribution.

On January 12th, 2009, we wrote to the honourable Zion Evrony, Israeli ambassador to Ireland, expressing concern about the growing humanitarian emergency in Gaza and enclosing a postal order for €100. We asked that through the ambassador’s office the money be forwarded to an appropriate medical aid group responding to that humanitarian emergency.

We received no reply to our letter and no acknowledgment of our postal order. A second letter sent on the March 27th, 2009, asking that our previous letter and the postal order be acknowledged, was also met with silence. – Yours, etc,

Dr JO MURPHY-LAWLESS,

VIVIENNE BRADY,

MARGARET CARROLL,

MARGARET DUNLEA,

LOUISE GALLAGHER,

Prof AGNES HIGGINS,

Dr JOAN LALOR,

MARK MONAHAN

Dr COLM O’BOYLE,

C/o School of Nursing and

Midwifery,

D’Olier Street,

Trinity College Dublin,

Dublin, 2.

Madam, – I would not attempt to equate the horrors suffered by the Jewish people in the second World War with what the state of Israel is doing at present, but it does sadden me that a people who espouse truth and compassion have created a state that debases both.

There’s an old saying: those to whom evil is done, do evil in return.

Would that it were not so. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN MURTAGH,

Bunclody, Co Wexford.

Madam, – A psychological explanation for Israel’s recent behaviour is that the people of Israel are condemned to re-enact the inhumane treatment and horrendous victimisation they have endured over the centuries. In an attempt to master the abuse they are re-enacting upon others what has happened to themselves. This is a common pattern of those who have suffered abuse.

If a state has human characteristics it can be surmised that the state of Israel is collectively suffering from inherited and vicarious post traumatic stress disorder.

Many adult perpetrators of abuse have been abused as children and hope that by identifying with the aggressor they will master their abuse by integrating it and thus normalising it. This strategy of re-enacting the abuse upon others does not work.

A healthy intervention would be for the countries in Europe, including Ireland, which turned a blind eye to the inhumane treatment of European Jewry, to acknowledge their failure to protect innocent people. In doing so, the international community might in turn ask the Israeli government to acknowledge their present dysfunctional behaviour and seek “therapeutic” assistance in the form of defence guarantees.

Israel might begin its rehabilitation by immediately stopping re-enacting their abuse upon innocent Palestinians. This would have an immediate beneficial effect for the children of Israel who will ultimately pay a psychological price for supporting their government’s inhumane policies against the Palestinian people. – Yours, etc,

IAN Mc CABE, PhD PsyD,

St Kevin’s Park,

Dartry, Dublin 6.

Madam, – The Palestinian people have elected Hamas to govern the Gaza strip. Hamas’s Charter says, among other things, that there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.

On an ongoing basis they fire rockets indiscriminately into Israeli territory. Based on this, I do not think it unreasonable that Israel should seek to monitor what is imported into Gaza. While the Israeli actions recently might appear heavy handed, it should be viewed in context – were Ireland to be assailed daily by rockets fired into civilian areas, we might also take a dim view of those seeking to assist our assailants. Israel has made it clear that it will resist direct importation of goods by sea to Gaza.

Should Irish passport-holders, in this knowledge, continue to aid such importation attempts, they need to accept the consequences of their action, whatever those consequences might be. – Yours, etc,

CATHAL O’DONNELL,

Adare, Co Limerick.

Madam, – Desmond FitzGerald (June 2nd) asks why those on the flotilla bringing aid to Gaza didn’t bring the humanitarian aid through Israel. The simple answer is the Israelis would not have allowed all the aid through. If an Israeli child is injured by a Hamas rocket they are brought to a proper functioning hospital; a Palestinian child does not have this option, as Israel will not let in any building material to help rebuild hospitals blown up by Israel. This is the cargo – among other items – the Rachel Corrie is bringing to Gaza. It should be allowed to proceed unhindered to Gaza. Why should anyone have to ask the Israelis for permission to go to Gaza? If this ship and its crew are kidnapped by the Israelis and brought back to Israel then Micheál Martin must expel the Israeli ambassador. – Yours, etc,

ALAN FAIRBROTHER,

Glenvara Park,

Knocklyon, Dublin 16.

Madam, – I would like to clarify something in response to Michael Mac Guinness’s letter (June 3rd).

When I described the recent Israeli actions as an ” act of war ” and “a declaration of war on the rest of the world” I was referring to the multitude of different nationalities involved. The dead and wounded included Turks, Americans, British, Irish, etc.

Israel has a right to defend itself. But this does not mean it can murder innocent citizens of the world with impunity. – Yours, etc,

DERMOT SWEENEY,

Ushers Island, Dublin 8.

Madam, – I hear much talk about the evils of imported arms being used to kill civilians. So a few simple yes/no questions: 1. Does Israel import arms? 2. Does Israel use imported arms to kill civilians? 3. Has Israel killed many times more civilians than has Hamas? – Yours, etc,

JOSEPH MANNING,

Classes Lake,

Ballincollig,

Co Cork.

Madam, – What is needed is for thousands of yachts to sail to Gaza and keep the IDF and Israeli naval forces busy for the next 10 years arresting, jailing and processing the crews.

Maybe then Israel will end its criminal collective punishment, (a war crime) of the people of Gaza and its 60-year occupation. – Yours, etc,

LO WHITE,

Mooncoin,

Co Kilkenny.

Madam, – I found it interesting to read Fatemeh Ardaneh, Second Counsellor of the Iranian Embassy join in the condemnation of Israel’s attack on the Gaza aid convoy, and express concern for Israel’s violation of human rights (June 3rd). Isn’t this Iranian embassy part of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regime that last year shot and tortured many of its own citizens for peacefully demonstrating against a blatantly rigged election? I even remember a small group of Iranian ex-pats dressed in green protesting the election outside this very embassy in Dublin? And curiously, there were no Irish human right activists there to support them! – Yours, etc,

ANDREW MOYNIHAN,

Cullenswood,

Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

Madam, – Instead of issuing a “stern warning” to the Israeli government, surely Brian Cowen should be offering his heartfelt thanks! Israel’s attack on the aid flotilla has given him a free makeover, transforming his image of “economic traitor” to that of “humanitarian hero”.

“Unhelpful” comments about his Government’s handling of this country’s economy have been blasted out of the water, at least temporarily. – Yours, etc,

NICOLAS CLIFTON,

The Beeches,

Monkstown Valley,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – Your picture (World News, June 1st) of Hasidic Jews joining the protest in London is a reminder that there are many brave and principled Jews opposing the militaristic fascism of their government. – Yours, etc,

FRANK O NEILL,

Miltown Malbay, Co Clare.

Madam, – Your Front page photograph of the Dublin demo (June 1st) works brilliantly to discredit the anti-Israel protesters. On the right of the crowd, the Labour LGBT group is protesting against Israel, the only country in the Middle East where LGBT people have rights. To their left, protesters hold up the flag of Hamas, which tortures and executes gays. Nothing could better illustrate the failure of western democrats to support a democracy fighting totalitarians.

There is another strange photograph (World News, June 1st), of what is blandly described as “Hasidic Jews” protesting against Israel. You neglect to mention that these are Neturei Karta. It is an organisation of a tiny minority of fanatics who want Israel destroyed for arcane religious reasons. They praise Islamic extremists, and went to the Holocaust-denial conference in Iran. They are about as representative of Jews as the “God Hates Fags” church is representative of Christians.

As for the clash on the flotilla, at what point exactly, when they are being beaten to death with iron bars, should the Israeli soldiers draw their guns? Should they have waited until the first soldier died? – Yours, etc,

Dr MARK HUMPHRYS,

School of Computing,

Dublin City University,

Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

Madam, – Our ambassador to Israel was refused access by the Israeli authorities to seven of our citizens who had been kidnapped and held unlawfully by those same authorities. Our Government must make a diplomatic response to this insult that is proportionate, public and punitive.

Proportionate: we must deny the Israeli Ambassador his legitimate requests of the Irish state on seven occasions. Public: such denial of consular privilege will be notified to the media on each occasion. Punitive: the issues where privilege is refused must be substantive.

Otherwise, where is our self-respect? – Yours, etc,

DENIS HEALY,

Devon Park,

Salthill, Galway.

Madam, – Surely the defenders of the recent Israeli raid on the aid convoy to Gaza can raise their standards higher than comparing the Israeli actions with those of North Korea (Brendan McMahon, June 1st). Perhaps they could use international law as an acceptable standard. – Yours, etc,

PHILIP BYRNE,

Trafalgar Terrace,

Monkstown, Co Dublin.

Madam, – The overwhelming impression conveyed through your pages and by the media in general is that this was an aid convoy. The facts indicate that it was no such thing. The single purpose of this exercise was to break through the Israeli blockade on weapons and materials which Hamas could use to rebuild their war-making capacity.

If aid was the issue, then the Israeli offer to forward goods to the recipients would have been taken up. If aid was the issue, why could it not have been conveyed through the Egyptian border with Gaza? I am puzzled as to how there can be a blockade at all if the Egyptian border with Gaza is open. If this route is closed, why is there no outcry over the Egyptian blockade? Perhaps your readers or the Egyptian ambassador can enlighten me? In addition, I note the call to Israel by Brian Cowen and Micheál Martin to show restraint as the MV Rachel Corrie attempts to enter Israel’s territorial waters at Gaza. Why is there not a call by the same parties for the participants in this escapade to turn back and not put their lives at risk during the inevitable confrontation with the Israeli forces? – Yours, etc,

PAUL COULTER,

International Christian

Embassy – Irish Branch,

Ardmore Park,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.