In response to John Mason MSP – why Israel’s illegal occupation cannot be compared to Berwick

The following letter is to the editor of ‘Third Way’ in response to a letter by John Mason MSP in the October 2011 edition.

Dear Sir,

I believe John Mason MSP attempted to calm the Israel/Palestine debate when writing into ‘Third way’ on the subject. Sadly all he managed was to show a worrying degree of ignorance, flippancy and illogic.

Giving an example of how both Scotland and England have been ‘anti-Jewish and anti-Israel’ Mr Mason stated, “For example the phrase ‘Israel’s illegal occupation ofPalestine’ was trotted out”. Firstly I would like Mr Mason to explain how that is an example of Scotland and England being consistently ‘anti-Jewish or anti-Israel’. Secondly, I would like Mr Mason to outline what objection he has with this as a phrase at all.

The Israeli illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories is inhuman and is the cause of extreme suffering. Attempts to claim otherwise have no legal validity, are morally bankrupt and politically dangerous. Having an MSP suggest that to consider the occupation illegal is anti-Jewish is illogical, unhelpful and ultimately dangerous.

Finally, Mr Mason puts a final nail in his respectability coffin by comparing this ‘border dispute’ to that of Berwick, suggesting it could be argued that Berwick should be returned to Scotland. This is an embarrassing trivialisation of the problem. 80% of the good residents of Berwick do not live on less than $2 a day because of English blockades. The good people of Berwick do not suffer water shortages because England taps their reservoirs. The good people of Berwick and not separated from their families, friends, employment and medical care because the English have set up military check points and built (illegal) security walls. The good people of Berwick do not send rounds of rockets indiscriminately into English towns in retaliation.

At the very least, I hope that Mr Mason will write to apologise for his comments which I do believe were meant as a call for moderation.

In anticipation,  

Steve Hynd

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Filed under Human rights, Politics, Religion, Social comment, War

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