Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY: Reply to Noam Bercovitz

Dear Noam Bercovitz, I am not in fact surprised that someone in Israel would eventually stand up and refute my recent articles concerning the bloodthirsty arrogance which has characterised this Israeli regime and its leader and has earned it international condemnation, even from former supporters. The fact is, that you do not like to accept that this time, your regime has gone far too far in its repressive acts of murder. I should like to answer your letter point by point and then to answer it with a few home truths, which you will doubtless also contest. Regarding the dousing of themselves with petrol, this story was printed in the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias on Friday, quoting eye-witnesses. That you have not read this in any western newspaper does not surprise me. If the news is based on rumour, which turns out to be untrue, then I offer you an immediate retraction and apology, as is the norm in such cases. That Apache helicopters were hovering over the West bank and firing indiscriminately, there is no doubt. This news was reported on BBC World, for your information. It was backed up by a personal contact of mine who lives in the region. Blatant words┘yes, a powerful attack against the policy of your regime using two well-collocated adjectives. I can think of more, actually. Again, the use of “radical” when referring to Hammas is not exactly a war crime is it? I mean, is it worse than shooting a 56-year-old woman in the face as she leaves hospital for treatment? To refer to the arrogance of the Israeli nation is not anti-Semitism or racism at all. It is a comment which explains perhaps why your country is being attacked in the world media precisely for the arrogance I mention. And I reiterate what I said. The policy adopted by the State of Israel is totally unacceptable in the view of the outside world. Regarding the article in which Rehoboam is mentioned, it is a brief synopsis of the complex history of the Israeli nation, don’t go nit-picking with theological or historical finer points, please. Noam, if you will allow you to use your first name, you seem to get the impression that just because I criticise the policy of your government, I am against Israel. This is not the case. My wife is of Syrian Jewish extraction, for your information and I have the greatest respect for the integrity of Israel as a nation and indeed try to read parts of the Old Testament, the New testament and the Qu'ran as part of my religious reading on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. What is manifestly evident is that you cannot bear the notion of criticism. In your backs-to-the wall approach to life (understandably, when people are blowing themselves up in your cafes and pizza bars) you blindly refuse to see the writing on the wall. Either history forced the Jewish nation into an ultra-defensive stance or this stance has made the Jewish nation unpopular throughout its history, one or the other. What is clear is that you omit to mention the Israeli practise of shooting stone-throwing boys in the eye, other incidents reported in all press circles of civilians being killed (the hospital woman was indeed a blatant case), others of young boys being targeted. You forget to mention the wanton destruction of personal property by Israeli armoured vehicles, the total disregard for civilian rights and the ransacking of homes by Israeli Armed Forces. These are the reasons for my attacks. If the British army had behaved in Northern Ireland as you are behaving in Palestine, all merry hell would have broken loose. Nobody here is condoning terrorism but you must admit that Israel consistently uses a sledge-hammer to crack open a quail's egg. The fact is, and you cannot deny it, your Prime Minister was involved in mass murders in 1982, directly or indirectly and the courts are the ones to judge his innocence or guilt (although I doubt whether he will ever be hauled up before a court of law). The fact is that the State of Israel stole lands from the Palestinians. The fact is that the State of Israel can refuse to disobey UN Resolutions. The fact is that the State of Israel has built colonies on these lands taken from the Palestinians. The fact is, Noam, that all these policies reported here, not invented and not figments of fantasy, are the only and direct reason why most of the civilised world has turned its back on you. Hitler managed to make you the victims and to gain a place in all of our hearts. The blind arrogance shown by the state of Israel in its brief history has turned any element of sympathy into a festering wound, which only people like your good self, Noam, can heal. Abide by the Resolutions, dismantle the colonies, stop shooting children and women and lo and behold, abracadabra you might find that people start smiling at you again. To brand anyone who attacks you as anti-Semitic is to play the holocaust card yet again and we don’t go for that any more, however injusticed your people were during the Fascist regime of Hitler. Best wishes and Shalom! Timothy

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