Hot Topic: Palestinian Conflict

These are a set of letters that have been published in The Mercury in Tasmania in response to the opinion piece by Greg Barns Israeli-style apartheid and oppression must be challenged

Israeli-style apartheid

THANK you Greg Barns for your excellent Talking Point article (Mercury, April 16) on Israeli-style apartheid. There is no balance to speak of with the David and Goliath relationship between the occupier, Israel, and the occupied, the Palestinians. Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has been conspicuously mute on the recent Israeli massacre of unarmed Palestinians, who were demonstrating for the right of return to their homes after their expulsion by Israelis in 1948.

There is an urgency to address this injustice with a United Nations report, forecasting that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020 due to water unfit for drinking and the decade-long Israeli blockade crippling their economy and infrastructure.

Jo Errey , South Hobart


REGARDING your columnist Greg Barns, to write a long article over two pages in which almost every line contains a falsehood is incredible. Let me start with just the first one: Barns states that the recent demonstrations at the no-mans land at the border of Gaza and Israel is about the “expropriation of their lands by Israel”. False. Israel returned all the occupied land of Gaza decades ago. To not mention anywhere in his article the name Hamas nor the disgraceful goings on next door in Syria is another mistake. According to the United Nations, almost half a million Syrians have been killed over the past seven years, hundreds in the past weeks. Less than 100,000 Palestinians and other Arabs have been killed by Israel since its inception 70 years ago (check it out, I did) despite numerous wars.

Only today, did Israel uncover and destroy another Hamas tunnel inside Israel passing under the very space where the “peaceful” Palestinians were demonstrating. Much of Australia’s foreign aid to Palestinians is siphoned off to pay the families of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails (unlike all its neighbours Israel does not have the death penalty). This “pay to slay” money should be stopped and we should move our embassy to Israel’s obvious capital, Jerusalem.

Greg Barns used the word “craven” to describe supporters of Israel. He should take a good look at himself.

R. Rose , Dynnyrne


UNLIKE reader Jan Smith (Letters, April 17), I agree with Greg Barns that Israel-style apartheid and oppression should be condemned by fair-minded Australians. There is no doubt that killing of Palestinian protesters is just the latest injustice from Israel. No doubt the powerful Israel lobby will label its supporters anti-Semitics. Brutal treatment of Palestinians gives oxygen to young Muslims in the world to join radical elements like ISIS. Resolving the Palestine-Israel issue will go long way to bring peace in the world.

Ike Naqvi , Tinderbox