I enjoy your paper, but I feel compelled, as someone who supports any democracy in conflict with totalitarians, to reply to the anti-Israel propaganda in your interview of Palestinian Jaber Wishah ("Testimony from the front lines", 14 Oct). I suggest your journalist develops some scepticism of the claims of his interviewees.
Your article said Wishah was in the PFLP. Shouldn't you have then mentioned the PFLP's barbaric attacks on civilians, such as Flight 330, or the Lod massacre? A sceptical journalist would have asked Wishah about the morality of these attacks.
Wishah said: "One day Israelis will .. recognise [Palestinians'] right to govern themselves and set up their own country". Your article did not mention that in 2005 Israel gave the Palestinians a chance to do that. Israel withdrew from Gaza, and ethnically cleansed 9,000 Jews who lived there (many were born there). Did the Palestinians then set up a peaceful democracy with free speech and freedom of religion? If they had, Israel would have backed it to the hilt.
Sadly they did not. They set up an Islamic fundamentalist dictatorship under Hamas rule, like the Taliban's Afghanistan. Opponents of Hamas are shot. There will never be another election. All demos are banned. Remaining Christians are persecuted. Hamas attacks and loots Christian churches and schools. The Hamas force for the "Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" arrests women for "immodest" dress, or meeting men who are not relations. The Palestinians in Gaza also did not stop but rather escalated the war against Israel. Rocket attacks on Israel rose 10-fold after Israel left.
Contrary to Wishah's claim, most Israelis would love for the Palestinians to set up a parliamentary democracy with human rights, but there is no sign that this ever will or could happen. Israel let the Palestinians set up a state in Gaza, and it turned into a Taliban tyranny. The PA has also had years to demonstrate that Palestinian rule in the West Bank is that of a corrupt dictatorship. All this context was missing from your one-sided article.
You displayed a photo of "militant leader Samir Kantar" without telling us anything about him. Samir Kuntar (usually thus spelt) took a 4 year old Jewish child in 1979, killed her father in front of her, and then smashed her head on a rock with his rifle butt until she was dead. Don't you think this is information your readers should know if you are going to print a picture of this monster? Google a moving article by her mother: "The World Should Know What He Did to My Family". You showed a photo of Jaber Wishah smiling, standing beside Samir Kuntar in 2008. A sceptical journalist would have asked Wishah to explain. This photo is certainly enough for me to discount everything Wishah says.
I wish journalists were sceptical about everyone - instead of being sceptical about the claims of Fianna Fail Ministers, and credulous about the claims of romantic non-Western revolutionaries.
Islamic oppression of Christians in Gaza after Israel left.
Search for more.
In contrast, in Israel there is freedom of religion for everyone.
A Palestinian state already exists, and it is a tyranny.
There was one huge unasked question in your interview with Dr. Paola Rivetti ("Palestine, Israel and the UCC conference", 8 Feb 2017).
Dr. Rivetti lists all the difficulties Palestinians endure because of Israeli checkpoints. But at no point in the article does anyone ask why these Israeli checkpoints exist. Does Israel just like wasting its soldiers' time for no reason?
The answer, of course, not mentioned in the article, is Palestinian terrorism. This is the reason why these checkpoints exist. Since the current wave of Palestinian terror began in Sept 2015, there have been (up to Jan 2017) 47 people killed and 659 people injured, in 169 stabbing attacks, 133 shootings, 55 vehicular attacks and one bus bombing. Just one day after your article, on 9 Feb, a Palestinian carried out a shooting attack on random Israelis at a shopping market in Petah Tikva. And of course there were decades of brutal Palestinian terrorism before 2015.
I am old enough to recall Irish republicans complaining about British Army checkpoints in the North. Britain said the checkpoints only existed because of terrorism. This turned out to be true. When the terrorism ended, the checkpoints vanished. Young people today probably do not even remember them.
If Dr. Rivetti does not want Palestinians to be forced to wait at Israeli checkpoints, she should call for them to do the only thing that will ever get rid of those checkpoints - stop terror attacks against Israelis. The violent Palestinian "struggle" has brought the Palestinians nothing but misery and poverty for decades. Any true friend of the Palestinians would tell them to stop it and try another path.
Stage 1: No checkpoints.
Stage 2: Palestinian terrorism.
Stage 3: Checkpoints.
Stage 4: Palestinians complain about checkpoints. No plans to stop terrorism.