Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY: Reply to Noam Bercovitz and Gil Eyal

Firstly, thank you both for taking the trouble to write. Secondly, I think we can see the pain and the hope of the Israeli nation in these two positions.

First Mr. Bercovitz, who despite my saying that I am not anti-Jewish and that my wife is of Jewish extraction, launches into diatribes, calling me a "Jew-hating gentile", comparing me with "right-wing bigots" and labelling me a "racist". Those who know me on PRAVDA.Ru will be laughing some deep belly-laughs at this, but we will forgive Mr. Bercovitz his ignorance.

Mr. Bercovitz claims that the Palestinians are exasperating because the state of Israel already offered them 97% of the occupied territory and agreed to dismantle 85% of the colonies, and give them even Temple Mount.

Big moves, no doubt. I am not a Palestinian but I can try to compare the situation with, say my village, where my parents' house stands. Someone comes along, forces them out, destroys what they worked hard to have and steals the family lands.

Years later, someone political in a nice suit comes along and claims: well, you can have back 97% of the territory but not the apple grove (where my grandmother is buried) and we will destroy 85% of the constructions we have erected on your land, but 15% will stay, along with the heavily armed (arrogant and belligerent) people living there, on YOUR land. However, we will give you back the chestnut tree, where you kissed your first girlfriend.

Treating me like a donkey, with a carrot dangling in front of my nose, eh? What a blatant insult, what sheer arrogance, what blind insolence and what utter stupidity to even entertain the notion that I would accept such a deal!

Obviously, I would not accept anything less than 100% of my lands, the total dismantling of the constructions (settlements), this not to mention reparations for the years of turmoil caused by the internationally-despised occupations.

Finally, so full of venom is Mr. Bercovitz, that he seizes on my name, not knowing anything about my background, and launches into a violent diatribe against British policies in Palestine.

To be utterly, clinically cruel, and I do apologise for this Mr. Bercovitz, old chap, the name is Irish, actually. Yes, Southern Irish, Cork, to be more precise, you know, where the Republic is situated. Shalom, dearest Noam.

As for Gil Eyal, who claims to be the future first line in Israel, reading from what he says and reading between the lines, I believe him.

He is diplomatic, he thanks us for reading his post, he is humble yet firm in his convictions. He plays the peace card, calling on all in the region to dialogue, whereas Mr. Bercovitz says one thing one minute and the next is firing Uzi machine-gun rounds in a 360 degree circle.

At least Mr. Eyal did not call me a "Jew-hating gentile". One thing though, Mr. Eyal...what's all this about the Jews and Jesus Christ? Christianity also says that killing is out, you know? We also accept the ten commandments, so tell me, if the Jewish authorities at the time were not responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, then who was?

OK, OK, the Romans had the administration of the territory, OK we know the governor had to sign such death decrees. Jesus was not the only one crucified for speaking out against the blatant arrogance and opulence of the High Priests who had their positions by birthright and lived a life of luxury, while the citizens starved.

Jesus was one of the citizens who stood up to this, you have to admit it. The Roman governor signed the death warrant at the behest of the Jewish authorities, Come on! Don't warp history and call me a liar when you know full well what was done!

Anyway, Mr. Eyal, I look forward to seeing you in the front line of your country's policies. I do believe you can make a difference. As for our dearest friend Bercovitz, I cannot forgive him for using the cheapest of shots, calling me a Jew-hating Gentile and, imagining that my name is British, trying for a low blow.

How humiliating for him. Shalom!

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