The Israeli Ambassador Ze'Ev Boker says ( Irish Times 18th August) that " Israel still hopes ...for a final agreement, based on bilateral negotiations resulting in two states for two peoples, the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people."
That is indeed great - but I ask Ambassador Boker if he seriously believes that such negotiations will have any chance of success, or even starting, where his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that he too is in favour of a two state solution, but "only where the Palestinian State has no control over its borders, no military, air space or foreign relations, and where no Palestinian is allowed to return to the property he once owned, which is now in Israeli territory."
Repression of a peoples breeds extremism, as is evident over a hundred times in the history of our world, and very evident in our own history here in Ireland, and whilst the Hamas rockets coming out of Gaza have resulted in the killing of many innocent Israeli citizens, the resultant military reactions of the Israeli Defence Forces have killed some ten times those numbers of innocent Palestinian citizens.
Is there no one in the Israeli Government Ambassador Boker who listens to the plea of the great Jewish violinist, Maestro Yehudi Menuhin who, when receiving the Wolf Prize some years ago, addressed the Knesset saying: "The wasteful governing by fear by this Government, by its contempt for the basic needs of life, the steady asphyxiation of a dependent people, should be the very last means to be adopted by those who know only too well, the awful significance, the unforgivable suffering of such an existence. It is unworthy of my great people, the Jews, who have striven to abide by a code of moral rectitude for some 5,000 years" ?
Professor Emeritus John Kelly
University College Dublin
Chairman, the Friends of Bethlehem University in Ireland