Following my article in the Canberra Times this week outlining the harsh realities in the West Bank and Gaza, this letter is published in the paper today:
Antony Loewenstein (”Drop rose-coloured views to lift Gaza peace hopes”, September 9, p11) claims that Hamas is boycotted because Israel and the West refuse to accept its election.
This is simply untrue.
Hamas is boycotted because it refuses to agree to the three simple demands from the US, UN, Russia and the EU that it renounce violence, recognise Israel’s right to exist and accept existing agreements.
Gaza is partially blockaded not because the wrong party was elected, but because of the terrorism it has carried out since its election.
Loewenstein claims that Hamas is willing to negotiate, but if that was true, it would accept the three preconditions.
If Israel’s attack on Hamas ”emboldened” it, as Loewenstein claims, why is it that only now have the rockets and other attacks practically stopped?
Loewenstein’s allegations about Israel’s general nature are similarly flawed.
All of Israel’s Arab citizens have absolutely equal rights, while West Bank and Gaza Palestinians are restrained only to the extent required by the security problems they have caused.