Nov 29, 2005 2:06 pm


They are the editor of the Dubliner and the former Irish minister of agriculture, Justin Keating. The two agree that Israel has no right to exist. Keating even disputes past Jewish connections to the land of Israel. All I can add is that the Irish were smart to take away both his seat in the Dael and in the European Parliament.

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Salomon Benzimra - 12/3/2005

Mr. Keating wishes he were wrong in his deligitimization of Israel. He must not worry: he is dead wrong.

Mr. Keating’s rationale would be more credible had he applied the same criteria in questioning the existence of other nations and states. He says: “The Jews of the Old Testament [did not] come from what is now Israel”. Neither do the present Irish people come from what is now Ireland, lest we ignore the Norsemen, the Normans, the Angles the Scots and many others. And why stop at Ireland? Why not extending Keating’s rationale to the Americas and the whole Arab world?

The “historically brief period [of Jewish presence in the Land of Israel]” which Mr. Keating alludes to actually lasted a thousand years. During that period, way before Roman times, the Jews established a monarchy governed by laws and courts of justice. Needless to remind Mr. Keating of the state of European peoples in those days.

Mr. Keating refutes the validity of the Balfour Declaration, even though the spirit and the letter of the declaration were legally enshrined by the League of Nations which recognized "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." (my emphasis) If, as Mr. Keating disingenuously claims, Britain had no right to do so, one may wonder if Britain had the right to create Transjordan and Iraq. The whole Middle-East, in its present political form, was created by Britain and France in the early 1920s. But Mr. Keating does not seem to object to these newly created Arab states.

Mr. Keating should know that the partition proposed in UN Resolution 181 of November 1947 was accepted by the Jewish Agency and rejected by all the Arab and Muslim countries. In Part I, Section A-3 of that Resolution, an independent Jewish State is called for prior to October 1948. The establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948 is then in full accordance with that Resolution.

Finally, as to “the bogus broadcasts purporting to come from Palestinian leaders, advising flight” (my emphasis), may I remind Mr. Keating of the plethora of accounts by reporters of Time, the Economist, the New York Times and many others describing the major effect these calls for withdrawal had on the Arab population. I will only mention a statement written in 1976 by Mahmud Abbas, the present leader of the Palestinian Authority: “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.”

Mr. Keating’s article is nothing more than an ill-informed biased accusation of Israel. He may have been thoroughly indoctrinated by the rampant Arab propaganda or he may, indeed, deeply believe these falsehoods. Whatever the case, it does not stand scrutiny.