Israel and the Eurovision
Sir, – Paul Williams interprets my suggestion that Israel’s ruling Likud is at least as deserving of the epithet “militant” as is Hamas (Letters, May 10th) as “a moral comparison between Likud, a democratic party that has just won a free and fair election, and Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organisation by most western countries and one which rules without elections” (Letters, May 11th)
Mr Williams seems unaware that “militant” far-right parties and individuals have quite recently been elected in “free and fair” elections in, for example, Hungary, Brazil and indeed the US; Hamas itself won a fair if not free (given the Israeli occupation) election in 2006, the result of which was undemocratically spurned by “most western countries”, hardly surprising given their strategic alliance with Israel.
The Likud Party platform (1999) states that the “Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel”. It further “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river”. The first of these assertions violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the colonial settlement of occupied territory. The second rejects the “two-state solution” to which the “international community” pays lip service.
Admittedly the Hamas charter is an ugly document, but the resistance organisation has stated that it is a dead letter. Not so Likud’s platform, the latest expression of which was last year’s nation state law, which establishes that “national rights in Israel belong only to the Jewish people”, an overt admission that Israel is an apartheid state.
Taken together, these factors suggest that “militant” may be an excessively flattering epithet for Likud. – Yours, etc,