Gareth Smith, Byron Bay
Dany Wakil’s pro-Israel account of the Camp David Peace Talks (Letters, March 25) which accuses Arafat of walking away from the deal, without a counter offer, is extremely simplistic. Charles Smith’s Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents, offers a counter, sober, academic account.
Mr Wakil accuses the Palestinians of teaching violence and cites the terrorist killing of 35 Israeli bus passengers. However, Netanyahu and his wife, recently paid homage at the elaborately ornate Baruch Goldstein shrine. He killed 29 and injured 150 worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque, Hebron.
When Palestinians protested, 21 were gunned down by the Israeli occupation forces, and the heart of Hebron, Shuhada Street, was closed down to all but Jews. To this day it remains closed, and its shop and home doors are welded shut. Netanyahu told the illegal settlers at the shrine that his political party, Likud, is the party of Baruch Goldstein!
However, this genocidal attitude is not confined to Netanyahu and Likud. Take for example the mass rally in Tel Aviv (April, 2016) where thousands of Israelis bestowed hero status on Israeli soldier Elor Azaria who had murdered an injured Palestinian. Jewish reporter, Dan Cohen, tweeted ‘Crowd chants “Elor the hero” and “death to Arabs”. This seems more like a celebration of murder than anything’. Finally, The Times of Israel published an op-ed article by Yonathon Gordon, which could be read as advocating genocide, which was quickly taken down.
Israel’s 70 year occupation of Palestine is characterised by murder and mayhem, by the destruction of schools, homes, orchards and olive groves, by administrative detention and military courts for kids, by Palestinian vehicle registration plates, check points, total surveillance and roads for Jews only.