By Letter to the Editor on November 20, 2018.
Re: Owen Holmes letter, “Israel needs to make peace with Palestinian people” (Nov. 17 Herald)
Israel desperately wants peace and has made three sweeping generous peace offers since 2000 that were ceremoniously rejected by the Palestinians without even a counteroffer. Israel has called for direct face-to-face negotiations, but the Palestinian leadership refuses to negotiate peace, incites terrorists and protracts the conflict.
Israel has put in place many confidence-building measures and has even controversially freed thousands of convicted Palestinians terrorists to promote peace, an oxymoron if there ever was one. Faced with unrelenting Palestinian rocket fire, shooting rampages, and knife attacks that have murdered over 1,500 Israelis in the past decade and maimed tens of thousands, often in suicide bombings, Israel has steadfastly supported the two states for two peoples concept.
And yet Israel, the paragon of peace and the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, is labelled a “terrorist state” by Owen Holmes. Shame on you.
Importantly, comparing the situation in the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto crossed the line from fair opinion to hateful discourse. This comparison not only unfairly maligned the state of Israel, it also exploited the Holocaust through contemptible comparisons between the Nazis and the Jewish state. Holmes quotes University of Lethbridge professor Paul Viminitz who appallingly linked the situation in the Gaza Strip to the suffering that Jews endured in the concentration camps during the Holocaust and in their terrible experiences in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The reason the Warsaw Ghetto analogy was used is to trump up a libellous claim that Jews, who were once the victims of the Nazis during the Holocaust, are now the victimizers carrying out the genocide of Palestinians. It should be noted that comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy and actions to that of the Nazis fits the European Union’s, Ottawa Protocol’s, and U.S. State Department’s working definition of antisemitism.
Executive Director, HonestReporting Canada
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