Israel, business and human rights


Sir, – In his article “Israel seeks to become the Promised Land for foreign investors” (Business, January 10th), Mark Paul extols the virtues of Israeli military inventions as a source of technical innovation.

He also states that service in the Israeli army is a positive thing, teaching young people teamwork and discipline.

He ignores the many UN and Human Rights Watch reports on the human rights violations by this army, its treatment of child prisoners, backing of settlers who attack Palestinian farmers, and its demolitions of Palestinian houses, most recently the residential buildings of Wadi al Hummus in East Jerusalem.

Israel is being investigated for war crimes in Gaza by the International Criminal Court, while the UN Permanent Observer for Palestine, Michael Lynk, has said the Israeli state is becoming one of apartheid for Palestinians.

Is this the kind of “teamwork” and “discipline” that The Irish Times supports?

Israeli NGOs, such as B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, are outraged by the activities of the Israeli army against the civilian Palestinian population.

As he listened happily to the military colonel who now heads Israel’s foreign investment body, admiring the Tel Aviv beachfront hotel chosen by his hosts, the Europe Israel Press Association, did he for one moment consider the Palestinians who may never travel to that beach, including the many children living in the West Bank?

The Israeli military may indeed be “one of those institutions that binds this complex society together”, but surely it is not an institution that would be praised by many in Ireland, who know the true effects of the occupation, and the breaches of the Geneva Convention by Israel on a daily basis. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.