Michael Shaik (VIC) responds to letter criticising his article “Obama concession spells end for peace” The Australian 25Sep09 September 26, 2009

The Australian: “Obama concession spells end for peace” by Michael Shaik, 25 September 2009

Jamie Hyams made a number of factual errors in attacking my commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian New York summit.

Hyams claims that “Last year, the then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert offered a state in land amounting to 100 per cent of the West Bank and Gaza, but was refused point blank.”  According to the Israeli media, the Palestinians took the offer seriously and were preparing a response when it overtaken by the invasion of Gaza and Olmert’s departure from office.

Hyams also claims that “Under natural growth, the settlements take up no more land”.  According to the Israeli NGO Settlement Watch, the seizure of Palestinian land for settlement expansion is continuing and 18 new settlement neighbourhoods and 60 outposts are currently under construction.

Finally, Hyams claims that Israel should be under no obligation freeze settlement construction until there is an end to “virulent anti-Israel incitement” among the Palestinians.  Does he really expect that, while they are being violently dispossessed of their lands and homes under a brutal occupation, the Palestinians should cease even to complain about their hardships?

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