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Byron Shire
December 4, 2023

Extremely simplistic account of Israel and Palastinian talks

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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.

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  1. I’m hoping the echo team will take our concerns for what is happening in Palestine seriously, enough to continue to publish our letters.
    Gareth smith and my self are close to eighty years of age, do you think we are playing some sort of game? to win an argument?
    It is so important that the public get a chance to hear the truth, from those who deeply care for the Palestinian people and who have had firsthand experience of seeing the military occupation. I was there in 2016, and witnessed for myself.
    For those in our community who have a political conscience, and can be persuaded by main stream media and their friends.
    I have read all the arguments! But the main point is, and this is a fact, that the Israelis long term plan is for Israel to return to its Old Testament biblical boundaries. So what is that saying? And it’s obvious.!! No plan for peace or two state solution, but to keep occupying Palestinian ancestral land, and building settlements
    Gareth smith, and subhi Awwad who is of Palestine origin are genuinely caring brave and courageous men with high integrity that I’m proud to call my friends
    Leonie de Dreux-crawford

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Yes Leonie, Gareth Smith deserves an award for his committment and persistence, to inform Australians’ of this travesty of justice.
    If anyone cares to inform themselves on this issue, read : The Balfour Declaration:
    The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    By Jonathan Schneer
    which won a 2010 National Jewish Book Award.
    “There will be no peace without justice.”


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