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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (29/09/16)

Your letters, your views...

Four facts on abortion ahead of the assembly

An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD, has announced his Citizens’ Assembly to examine the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution will commence on October 15. At a time when there are many other pressing needs, this deadly moral ulcer of abortion is once again to be opened to the whims and opinions of the crowd. For this reason, and because it is not being made clear at any level, the following are the facts:

1. The deliberate killing of any human being innocent of any crime, from the moment of conception to natural death is the crime of murder. This is irrespective on any civil law making or any decision of the “will of the people”, to the contrary.

2. No 1 applies to the unborn child in the womb, for any reason whatsoever, including any life-limiting or any other defects whatsoever.

3. The holding of a referendum on the deliberate killing of a human being from conception to natural death, innocent of any wrongdoing as is the unborn child, is itself a capital crime on the part of the Government, holding it.

4. Whatever the verdict or verdicts of the Taoiseach’s Citizens’ Assembly, the items Nos 1-3, will stand, now and until the Day of General Judgement, which all of us, An Taoiseach and myself undersigned, will be compelled to attend.

According to Fr Jose Maniyangat who was killed in an accident on the way to say Mass at a mission in north Kerala on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 14, 1985, and whose soul was out of his body for some time during which he was taken to see hell, the first sin he mentions as convicting those dammed, is abortion.

Frank O’Meara

Newline Road
Quin
Co Clare

Societal value of libraries invaluable

When the last government were introducing property tax several ministers, including the Taoiseach, were not properly briefed. When asked what we were getting for our money they mentioned roads, refuse collection, etc. When it was pointed out that we already paid road tax and that refuse collection had been privatised they then said parks, libraries, etc. This is why it grieves me to see libraries being closed and staff being reduced. In my own experience in the Grand Parade and Wilton libraries the staff are ever helpful and provide a personal touch which no automatic system can ever replace.

Furthermore, the libraries are now vital social centres. Their value to the community is inestimable.

Brendan Casserly

Benvoirlich
Bishopstown
Cork

Palestinians must re-evaluate roles

What is occuring now in occupied Palestine — the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, as the region teeters on the brink of a religious war, reiterates the equation of the “dumb” political mind behind the racial and cultural status of Israel’s colonial control. It inhabits a “Rambo” culture, in which it can handily defeat armies and destroy states.

Its army and security services are invincible. The true problem with this culture is that Israel’s entire political system is infected,and Israel’s collective mind believes it is absolutely protected and secure. Out of nowhere an illusion of absolute security is conjured up and security is viewed as absolute. The dilemna with which the Israeli colonial occupation does not wish to grapple is that here we have not a classic military balance between two armies, but a people and the army of occupation. Yet the imbalance of power has not succeeded in defeating the Palestinian will for freedom and independence. Never in history has a people desiring freedom and willing to make the necessary sacrifices been defeated. The Palestinian people are not and will not be an exception to this history.

Palestinian organisations of all stripes must re-evaluate their roles and strategies and focus a national strategy around the rights and resistance of their people in a march to nationhood. Diplomatic relations must be seen to support this base, not be its substitute.

This is the sole possible response to the unlawful occupation, which did not stop for one minute with its killings, detentions, property expropriations, destruction and its refusal to recognise the rights of the Palestinian people.

Daniel Teegan

Union Hall
Co Cork

Action needed on heavy schoolbags

I met my daughter off the school bus on Friday and went to lift her school bag for her as she also had her lunch bag and PE bag to carry. I nearly fell over with the weight of it.

When we got home I weighed it and it was just under 2 stone! It was heavier because it was Friday and she had weekend homework from every teacher/subject but really does no-one think of these 12-year-olds and their developing backs! My daughter is slight but tall. I feel she is doing serious damage to her back carrying this weight around.

Why aren’t physiotherapists speaking out about this? Why aren’t the Health and Safety Authority speaking to schools about this?

We need to do something. Lockers are there but not being used properly. It’s not the student’s fault but each teacher has to remember every other teacher expects them to take a book home too and their hardback copies are unnecessary.

What’s wrong with paperback copies?

Aisling McNiffe

Straffan
Co. Kildare

We should stop pandering to the myth of a Palestinian state

Mr Horgan (September 27) is quite wrong to make the statement ‘Palestinian people have occupied, and owned the vast majority of the lands in what was known as Palestine up until 1948’. The former Ottoman Empire didn’t keep paper records of land the way we did in Europe.

To claim someone who calls themselves Palestinian in 2016 can provide paperwork linking their family to a set piece of land going back centuries, is as dishonest as someone claiming they have paperwork to prove their Gaelic ancestors owned a specific piece of land before the Normans came.

What about the Palestinian expelled in 1948 he asks? Well what about the Jews expelled from all over the Arab world in 1948 too, don’t they have a right of return and a right to compensation for their losses?

Mr Horgan is on very weak ground if he is trying to argue that because the Holocaust took place in Europe, that it couldn’t have happened in the Arab world.

I hesitate to point out that the Holocaust, and worse, is what the Grand Mufti called for and what modern day IS dream of applying. One can only shudder at what they would do if they ever had a Jewish hostage.

Despite the full knowledge of the Holocaust, why did the Arab leadership not have the basic humanity and compassion after 1945 to welcome Jewish people to the Middle East, where there is no dispute about their historical links.

Instead the immediate default response from the Arab community was violence against Jewish communities. Understandably the penny dropped that despite everything, the only way for Jewish people to ever really be safe was with a Jewish state. That’s not rocket science.

I happen to not subscribe to the narrative that all the problems faced by those who now call themselves Palestinians are the fault of Israel. I don’t know if the borders of Israel are where they should be or how to decide if this or that co-ordinate is more correct.

Dr McCarthy (Sept 27) advocates a two-state solution but there is already two states: Israel and Jordan. There is no difference at all between Palestinians and Jordanians so why can’t Jordan be the ‘Palestinian’ state.

The world would be doing the Palestinian people a better service if it put some effort into getting Palestinians born in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria the full citizen rights they are entitled to, even if they don’t aspire to live in those countries forever.

We should stop pandering to the myth of a Palestinian state or that all Palestinians problems are caused by Israel. With or without Israel they would still be living in poverty, they would still be oppressed and their education system would still teach children to hate Jews (some of the material used in Palestinian schools today would be out of place even in 1930s Germany).

The truth that dare not speak its name is that really Gaza and the West Bank should be part of Israel. Failing that the West Bank should become a permanent part of Jordan and Gaza part of Egypt. The Golan Heights should be part of Israel.

Then all the money wasted on propping up the Ruritanian nonsense of the PLO can be directed to helping the Palestinian diaspora in the region and in building the schools and hospitals and factories needed to improve the lives of the local Arab people, especially young people who can so easily be targeted by extremists when they see no other life choices.

I don’t deny the cause of the Palestinian people to live in peace, but I do challenge the time, energy and money wasted over decades pandering to the nonsense of a Palestinian state that will never be viable and will never provide a quality of life to its people.

Another unstable, oppressive and corrupt state in the Middle East, which is what Palestine would be, does not bode well for long term stability.

Desmond FitzGerald

Canary Wharf
London

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