Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

We can't stand by and do nothing about Gaza

MARTIN D Stern (Write Back, August 22) claims there is anti-Semitism in this country and he is correct; there is also racism, homophobia, misogyny and anti-Muslim feeling. Anywhere we've two groups with competing interests and different outlooks, the tension can lead to antagonism.

We in Northern Ireland endured years of violence because unionists and nationalists used violence instead of negotiation to resolve our differences. And we are grateful to the world's leaders for supporting us after the 29 murders of the Omagh bomb and helping us not to respond with violence, but to continue on the path to peace.

Today, another small country – smaller than our Causeway Coast area, but with a population similar to here – suffers much worse violence than we did, with the equivalent of an Omagh atrocity happening every day. We remember with horror when three children were murdered in Northern Ireland, but in the past six weeks 469 children have been killed in Gaza. What should we do?

Martin D Stern's letter ends by quoting the words of Pastor Niemoller from 1946, but what would Pastor Niemoller say in 2014? Would he deal with the past, or would he address the wrongs of today's world?

Might he say: "First they came for the socialists, and I did nothing, then they came for the Jews, and I did nothing; today they come for the children of Gaza and still we do nothing?"

AJC

Belfast

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