The following letter appears in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:
Progress towards peace in the Middle East must, if it is to have any chance of lasting, be based upon truth not propaganda. The state of Israel was created by the forcible confiscation of lands previously owned by others. That is simple historical truth, despite the attempts by Zionists to paint Palestine in the same way that British settlers painted Australia, as a land without people. This was supported at the time by the bulk of European nations. They did so out of appropriate pangs of guilt about their failure to act when Hitler decided to wipe out the Jewish people of Europe. They thus decided to give Arab lands to the Jewish people.
The struggle in Palestine now is therefore about a people who have suffered a half-century campaign of massacre and dispossession from their ancestral lands, who are fighting to regain some semblance of rights and some minor restitution of land (less than 20 per cent of what was taken from them to create the state of Israel) from an occupying people who had themselves been subjected to genocide and dispossession by another nation half a world away.
Looking on from outside, the vast bulk of the world has been as horrified by this campaign of terror and dispossession against an entire people as they belatedly were about the Nazi campaigns against the Jews themselves. That is evidenced by the litany of more than 100 UN resolutions condemning the actions of Israel against the Palestinian people.
Independent human rights groups from around the world have pointed out the daily indignities and atrocities committed by Israeli troops on Palestinians, many of which have been occurring for decades, and have pointed to the massive difference in scale between the civilian casualties suffered by the Palestinian people and the Israelis.
Since the beginning of the intifada the number of Palestinian children casualties has exceeded the number of Israeli children casualties by between five and seven to one.
Until the disgrace of this daily subjugation of an entire people is brought to an end, no amount of equivocation and hair-splitting by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (Letters, July 12) can hide the fact that an ongoing crime against humanity is being carried out as we all sit back and watch.
Les MacDonald Balmain
Israel, meanwhile, continues its dream of perpetual war.