The Israeli-Palestinian conflict ripples wide The letter by Gareth Smith (‘Israel condemned’, March 24) is an outrage. Making spurious allegations about the IsraeliPalestinian conflict is mischievous. But making comparisons with Nazi practices is obscene. How unfortunate that he allows vitriol to get in the way of reasoned debate.
Chief Executive Officer NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Last week’s letter likening Israel to a Nazi state is a typical example of a hidden agenda disguised by a facile concern for the very real plight of the Palestinians. Israel however, is a reasonable, free and democratic country – for all its faults. It survives in a sea of hostile fascist or despotic Moslem states. It has a quandary in dealing with its Palestinian citizens
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glowing walls of water. A large shadow passed overhead and I looked up to see two v-formations of about 100 black cormorants winging south towards the Cape. I stood in the shallows and a tern plunged near my feet, soaring away with silver flashing in its beak. Up and down the beach peo-
■ To Klaus Schwarz and George Franco (Letters, March 31) I suggest you stop attacking the messenger and start examining the facts. If you are going
to decry the Hamas ‘rocketeering’ you should at least look at the causes, ie I propose you explore the history of the trouble between the Jewish people and the Palestinians. Then ask yourselves what is the cause of ‘terrorism’? It is essential to the solution of any problem, particularly one as serious as the loss of thousands of lives, that the causes be understood. Back in 1948 the Zionists in Israel began removing the Palestinian people from their land – land that some of them had owned for several generations. Killings, and forced removals from their lands (to be replaced by Jewish settlers) has continued ever since. Forced into what are virtually ghettos they suffer from lack of adequate health care, employment opportunities and equality of education. For many a life of poverty, for others the only option an escape into refugee camps in other
countries. Some fought back, and Jews were killed. The Jewish retaliation – bombs – killing thousands of men, women, children, even babies. After three weeks of Israel’s recent war on Gaza 1,500 Palestinians were dead – over 400 were children. Thirteen Israelis died. I do not have the statistics on the number of wounded, homes or lives destroyed. Like Gareth Smith, I am not an antiSemite, but I am appalled at this barbarity and the total lack of humanity displayed. Klaus and George, there are a growing number of Jews around the world who are also appalled by this horror. The only chance for a real solution to this problem is to talk with the ‘enemy’. For peace and security there must be justice for all.
ple walked, swam, chatted or played with their dogs. After an hour of this, I returned along the bush track through the dune care plantings. A family of firetail finches worked the pandanus and coastal heath. Above, honeyeaters and a dozen other species sang me back to the road. Along the streets, the kids were catching school buses
and people were driving off to work. If this is a version of paradise, it’s also our heritage, and we have a duty to protect this environment and this community for the next generation that comes along. You don’t have to pay $200 for a ticket to this show. It doesn’t keep the neighbourhood awake all night, it doesn’t choke the roads with
traffic, it doesn’t smash beer bottles on the path. And it enriches us all, visitors and locals alike; not just a few greedy rock concert promoters, developers or the couldn’t-give-a-damn holidaylet crowd who place a quick buck ahead of the soul of their community.
much as Britain has a quandary in dealing with terrorism in Northern Ireland or Europe generally with the increasing threat of Moslem extremism. Yet who flings insults comparing Britain or Europe with the Nazi holocaust perpetrators? Nor do I read such a slur even being directed towards the many really criminal regimes that abuse human rights. Smith also ‘economises with the truth’ in neglecting to mention that Palestinian homes are not demolished at random but in a largely ineffective attempt to act as a warning. It is the homes of families of terrorists that are destroyed. Dan Russell
condemn my criticisms of Israeli government actions against Palestinians and vilify my attempts to publicise current atrocities. Fundamentalists of all persuasions, whether Nazis, Taliban, Exclusive Brethren or Zionists, share a closedmindedness to facts that do not accord with their cherished beliefs. This is why George Franco refers to my factual information as ‘poisonous messages’, why Klaus Schwarz extrapolates (wrongly) from my letter that I ‘vilify Israel, Israelis and Jews’, suggesting I should use my dictionary for definitions of ‘anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier’. As a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, a supporter of Israel’s wonderful Shministim (Israeli defence force teenage Fleur Ellis refuseniks) and a correspondOcean Shores ent with Tikkun’s Rabbi Lerner, I find these gratuitous insults ■ Messrs Schwarz and Franco offensive to the large body of
Shut down the net
The Echo's recent concern over the attempts by communications minister The Hon Stephen Conroy to control the internet is sadly misplaced. As I said to my dear lady wife as she served up the evening meal the other night, what the children of today need is less information, Russell Eldridge not more. When life ran at a North Ocean Shores more leisurely pace, we trusted
Jewish opinion critical of the Israeli government. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb (firstname.lastname@example.org) states: ‘As long as legitimate criticism of Israel is blocked by accusations of anti-Semitism, it is the responsibility of Jews committed to universal justice to speak up. The struggle for restorative justice for the Palestinian people is what is needed for both peoples. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis can know security and peace without it.’ I call upon Messrs Schwarz and Franco to heed Rabbi Gottlieb’s call to join ‘a large number of people of faith and conscience (who) will raise our voices demanding an end to the use of US money to destroy Palestinian homes, build illegal settlements and rain phosphorus on the heads of Gazan men, women and children.’ Gareth Smith
Byron Bay governments to keep us up to date by the medium of radio, not freelance busybodies on the ethers. It did us no harm. Shut down the infernal device. Henry Root
Ocean Shores ■ Letters received from Nino MacDonald, Harry Boyd, Alex C Krahe, Janine Sheather, Jim Nutter.
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Open 7 days Monday to Friday 10am-5pm Sat & Sun until 2.30pm 2/7-17 Brigantine St (next to Santos), A & I Estate, Byron Bay Phone Ben or Klaudia 0423 159 198 14 April 7, 2009 The Byron Shire Echo
Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.