Unfounded allegations were levelled against Ireland Palestine group

IT WAS with indignation and great concern that I read Dr Steven King’s column (Irish Examiner, July 5).

Indignation at Dr King’s baseless accusations against the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (ISPC), which in turn gives reason for great concern over your newspaper’s decision to publish the column.

I am a Jew who was born and raised in Israel and who served in its military forces, just like Corporal Shalit for whose wellbeing we all pray.

It is my convictions as a Jew and as a human being that led me to join the IPSC over a year ago.

Through IPSC activities, I have met Israelis who are constantly active in trying to get the Israeli government to change its policies towards Palestinians in Israel and towards the Palestinian Authority itself.

Most notably, one of the bravest and most outspoken of these people is Dr Pappe of Haifa University whom I met when he attended one of the IPSC’s functions as a guest speaker.

I fail to see how any of this might lead anyone to believe the IPSC harbours any anti-semitic sentiment. Dr King’s unfounded and outrageous allegations against the IPSC are matched only by his patent ignorance regarding the state of Israel and its affairs.

Having spent more than 25 years living there, I cannot imagine what would lead him to make his claim regarding Israel’s “open-mindedness”.

A simple example to contradict this would be Israel’s ‘Law of Return’ which grants automatic citizenship to Jews wishing to settle there, but does not make such allowance for Palestinians (Muslim and Christian) whose families hold keys to homes in that land.

Racism is a dangerous card to play, particularly in relation to anti-semitism in Europe.

Playing this card is tantamount to playing with matches in a highly flammable environment.

Dr King would be wise to consider this before making further accusations.

Jonathan Sugarman


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