‘Accusations against Israel hide the real issues’

Sir, – Alan Shatter's assertions in his recent article "Accusations against Israel hide the real issues" (Opinion & Analysis, January 25th) reveal a poor reading of the history and current machinations of the Israeli and Palestinian states. Mr Shatter's tone demeans the legitimate struggles of the Palestinian people, portraying their current plight as the result of internecine conflict rather than the realities of ongoing violent imperialism perpetrated by the Israeli state.

This article comes just days after announcements from Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Knesset that up to 2,500 new, illegal settler homes will be built in the occupied West Bank as well as 600 in occupied East Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu’s administration continues to disregard UN directives and condemned the Conference for Peace in the Middle East before it had even begun, openly acknowledging that under US president Donald Trump “the rules of the game have changed.”

Stating that the various factions claiming leadership of the Palestinian people are unproblematic would be an obvious falsehood, but while Mr Shatter condemns the instability of the Middle East he forgoes the truth that it is Israel’s greatest ally and financier which has been the primary architect of this instability.

Mr Shatter seems to suggest that until the Palestinian people quell the troublemakers within their ranks there will be no peace, that until they are ready, there will be no freedom from oppression. But to paraphrase Immanuel Kant, freedom is a prerequisite for developing the maturity for freedom.

The onus is on the Israeli state, as the disproportionately powerful aggressor, to provide the conditions for peace. To hold otherwise is both to denigrate the struggles of the Palestinian people and ultimately to endanger any hope for a stable and legitimate Israeli state in the future. – Yours, etc,


Glasnevin, Dublin 11.