Gareth Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre
We are urged by R Goodchild to consider the ‘true’ meanings of apartheid and genocide (July 25). Jewish Voice for Peace Deputy Director Rabbi Alissa Wise states, ‘Today we put to bed once and for all the illusion that Israel is a democracy. The Nation-State bill that Israel passed today cements Israel as an apartheid state – from the West Bank to Gaza to Jerusalem to Haifa. Palestinians, no matter where they live, are controlled by an Israeli government and military that rob them of basic rights and freedoms.’
Professor Francis Boyle states ‘The Palestinians have been the victims of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Over the past six-and-one-half decades, the Israeli government and its predecessors in law – the Zionist agencies, forces, and terrorist gangs – have ruthlessly implemented a systematic and comprehensive military, political, religious, economic, and cultural campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical, racial, and different religious group (Jews versus Muslims and Christians) constituting the Palestinian people.’
It is to The Echo’s great credit that it, probably uniquely in Australia, continues to publish letters critical of Israel. No doubt it has received many complaints from Israel apologists but, unlike media reported in John Lyons’ Balcony Over Jerusalem, it has not capitulated to pressure and turned a blind eye to Israel’s atrocities.