Stewart Mills (NSW) responds to Vic Alhadeff’s “First step is accepting Israel’s right to exist” SMH 15Mar10 March 15, 2010

The Sydney Morning Herald  -  “First step is accepting Israel’s right to exist” by Vic Alhadeff, 15 March 2010

Vic Alhadeff has got it partly right to point the finger at Palestinian leadership as an element of the problem but limiting it to one side is misleading, biased and dangerous (Alhadeff, “First step is accepting Israel’s right to exist”, 15/3/10).  Sure, it is true that Hamas does little to ease Israel’s justified security concerns.  Rockets fired on Sderot are a war crime as the United Nations Goldstone reports states.  But what Mr Alhadeff glaringly fails to mention is that Palestinian leadership under Fatah, rightly so, for 22 years, has publicly acknowledged Israel’s right to exist. Despite this Israel has continued to expand and occupy Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank against repeated criticism by the United States and the UN General Assembly; settlements have trebled since the Oslo Peace Accords; Israel has continued to use excessive and disproportionate armed force against Palestinians for decades for example with the killing of 1400 people only a year ago including by the use of white phosphorus and flachettes as documented in the Goldstone report; and Israel (in collusion with Egypt) continues to perpetuate the humanitarian disaster of 1.5 million people in Gaza by prohibiting exports – and outlawing the importation of essential food and building products such as cement.  As a leading voice within the Jewish community Mr Alhadeff needs to ensure the mistakes of both the state of Israel and Palestinian leadership are acknowledged.  For without such a balanced perspective the collective hope for a secure and viable state for Palestinians and for Israelis will continue to remain a distant dream.

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