Israel’s security precautions
Sir, – After reading Mike Murphy’s opinion piece, one would wonder if Mr Murphy had actually travelled to Israel or if he had simply read a guide to the worst slurs against the State of Israel and decided to regurgitate them for the purposes of this article (“Degradation of Palestinians shocking to witness”, Opinion & Analysis, September 23rd).
In a piece littered with mistruths, one of the most heinous has to be his claim that Israel wants the Palestinian people to disappear. Apart from the fact that a fifth of Israel’s own citizens are Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, Israel has repeatedly called for a two-state solution where Israel will stand side by side with a democratic Palestinian state. Since the beginning of peace talks in 1993, we have made repeated and courageous offers of full statehood to the Palestinians, only to be rebuffed. The late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin paid the ultimate price for his courage in pursuing peace with the Palestinians.
Unfortunately, the current Palestinian leadership seems to lack the courage to recognise Israel’s right to exist and move forward in direct negotiations to bring about a Palestinian state. Instead they pursue their quest for statehood in the international arena, seeking symbolic recognition, which does nothing to achieve the objectives of two states for two peoples.
Numerous false allegations about how Israel treats the Palestinians are littered throughout Mr Murphy’s article. I would suggest that if Mr Murphy has an issue with the conditions of the roads around Bethlehem, he take it up with the Palestinian Authority who are responsible for the governance of that area.
Vehicles emanating from the Palestinian territories do have a different colour number plate to Israeli vehicles, in the same way as vehicles from Northern Ireland differ from vehicles from the Republic of Ireland. I can confirm that if you wish to build an extension to your home, you need a permit, in the same way as you require planning permission in Ireland.
Things that are considered usual in any countries are repeatedly exploited in a quest to demonise Israel. Mr Murphy repeatedly notes with stern disapproval the security measures that are necessary in Judea and Samaria. He seems to be oblivious to the realities of Islamic extremism and terrorism which Israelis experience every day. In fact, not once in his opinion piece does Mr Murphy even mention Islamic extremism or the threat of terrorism. He omits to mention that Hamas is still officially in a state of war with Israel and that Palestinian clerics, media and education system incite hatred against Jews. Palestinians that murder Israelis are considered martyrs and lionised in Palestinian society.
No state or people on earth would tolerate living under these conditions without necessary security precautions which save lives on a daily basis.
As a sad reminder of the need for security measures, on Tuesday of this week another three Israelis were murdered by a terrorist near Jerusalem. The terrorist was a Palestinian employee, who gunned down the three Israelis as he reported for work.
This terrorist exploited the goodwill of a community, who had given him employment and welcomed him into their homes, to commit murder. The sad reality is that the Palestinian leadership will not condemn such an attack but will instead give a monthly salary as a reward to the terrorist’s family.
I wonder would Mr Murphy find the opportunity to condemn such an attack or would he simply declare it as an “act of resistance”?
I would invite Mr Murphy to visit Israel again and meet with Israelis who have suffered at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. He could meet the communities that have been terrorised by Hamas rockets raining down from Gaza and the families that have been torn apart by suicide bomb attacks by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem and elsewhere.
This may give him a perspective as to how the Palestinian “resistance”, which he so admires, destroys the lives of Israelis. – Yours, etc,
Ambassador of Israel,
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.