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Betty Purcell (Irish Examiner, November 2) makes some grossly inaccurate accusations against Israel and calls for a boycott against the Jewish State.
She says that “every man, woman and child in the West Bank is under the control of the Israeli army and government.” In fact, of the three parts of the West Bank, only Area C is under full Israeli control and only a few per cent of Palestinians live there; the overwhelming majority of Palestinians live in Area B where the Palestinian Authority rules but Israel has security oversight and Area A which is entirely under Palestinian control. She claims that settlements of Israeli Jews in the West Bank “are growing apace”. There have been no new settlements since 1998, the only construction that sometimes happens is within already existing communities, and the number of housing units being built within settlements under the Netanyahu administration is only about a third of what it was 15 years ago. Further, Ms Purcell states that the separation wall, when it is completed, will gobble up 47% of Palestinian territory. This is a lie; the wall is expected to take up about nine per cent of the territory. Ms Purcell does not explain why it was built in the first place: to keep potential terrorists out of Israel.
Lastly, Ms Purcell repeats the old canard that Jews are stealing the water of the West Bank. In fact, since the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990’s Israel has far exceeded its pledge to increase water resources to the Palestinian Authority; currently, the availability of fresh water to West Bank Arabs is more than two-thirds per capita to that of Jews living there and the gap is narrowing.
Moreover, the Palestinian Authority has not helped itself by doing nothing to repair water infrastructure under its own control or to recycle water for irrigation, despite international funding. Indeed, the Palestinian Authority is notorious even amongst its own people for corruption and pilfering the $30 billion in international aid it has received since 1995, thereby joining a long list of kleptocratic Arab regimes in the region.
Lastly, nowhere in her letter does Ms Purcell mention anything about the demonisation of Israel and Jewish people which is rife in the Palestinian press, educational system and politics. In particular, over the last month, on social media and in mosques, extremists have been encouraging the stabbing and mutilation of innocent Jewish men, women and children.
She calls for a boycott of the only civilised democracy, however imperfect, in the region at a time when the Middle East is being torn apart by genocidal Muslim Arab barbarity.
Dr Derek O’Flynn
Embassy of Israel
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