Injustices suffered by Palestinians are overlooked - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Roy Morris, Tetney Road, Sheffield.

I was greatly saddened by Bill Carmichael’s one-sided article on the Israel-Hamas war (The YP, December 1). The Israeli government’s stated aim to defeat militarily and erase Hamas from the Middle East is nonsense, an unachievable target.

It is unachievable for two reasons: 1. In the process of ‘eliminating’ Hamas, the Israeli army is inflicting so much misery on the people of Gaza that for every one Hamas militant killed, ten more will appear in future years to take up the struggle.

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Look at Lebanon: in 2006, in a similar scenario, the Israeli armed forces killed over a thousand and flattened large areas of Lebanon to ‘eliminate’ the armed insurgents of Hezbollah. Far from being eliminated, 17 years later in 2023, Hezbollah is reckoned to be one of the most powerful armed insurgency forces in the world. Violence only creates martyrs and more supporters and perpetuates the hatred and the conflict.

People take part in a Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration. PIC: Jane Barlow/PA WirePeople take part in a Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration. PIC: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
People take part in a Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstration. PIC: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

2. Even though the October 7 Hamas attack was an act of unspeakable barbarism and inhumanity, it comes out of an enduring Palestinian sense of injustice: in 1948, as the state of Israel was emerging, between 15-20,000 Palestinians were killed and over 700,000 were terrorised into leaving their homes by the Zionist armed forces who founded Israel. The Zionists’ orders under the “Plan Dalet” were: “…destroy villages (by setting fire to them, by blowing them up, and by planting mines in their debris) …. In case of resistance, the armed forces must be wiped out and the population expelled outside the borders of the state.”

Ever since 1948, the Israeli state has continued to expel Palestinians from their land – and not just from Gaza. Palestinians in the West Bank and within Israel also suffer. And if they resist, their homes are destroyed, they are imprisoned, frequently without trial, beaten and sometimes killed.

As long as these injustices remain, there will continue to be resentment among Palestinians in and out of Israel. Israel won’t ‘disappear’ this resentment by brute force, revenge and punishment of innocent civilians. Only compromise, empathy and negotiation will achieve that.

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There are many Jewish people in Israel, in Britain, in the US, all over the world who understand this and support the rights of Palestinians and participate in the marches for peace and justice that Bill vilifies. But sadly, Hamas’ actions on October 7 and Israel’s ongoing response risk delaying the chances of a negotiated solution by many years.

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