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Wrong to accuse Israeli premier of being a racist

Published 01/03/2016

Eamonn McCann (DebateNI, February 24) writes about Israel's PM Netanyahu's "disgusting racism". What is racist about a Prime Minister wanting to protect his citizens by erecting fences to keep out attacks?

Mr McCann claims Mr Netanyahu said that Israel would erect fences to "keep out the wild beasts".

He then went on to imply that this term was directed at all Palestinians living on the West Bank. It was not.

Thousands of Palestinians enter Israel every day to work, or seek medical help. The term "wild beasts" was directed at those Palestinians who, since September 13, 2015, have murdered 30 Israelis and injured 352.

These casualties were as a direct result of 177 knife attacks, 74 shootings and 38 car-rammings.

Would Mr McCann defend these actions as those of normal people who do not deserve to be referred to as "wild beasts"?

To refer to Mr Netanyahu or Israel as advocating institutional racism against Palestinians is laughable. One in five Israeli citizens is Arab. They enjoy full civil, legal and religious rights.

There are Arab members of parliament. There are Arab Israeli diplomats. Every field or occupation is open to all citizens of Israel - irrespective of religion. Does that sound like a racist ideology in action?

Arab Israelis are no different from their Palestinian brothers. However, Israel does have to protect its citizens (both Jewish and Arab) from indiscriminate, murderous attacks.

ANDREW J SHAW

Belfast

Belfast Telegraph

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