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Palestinians treated me far better as a woman than Israel ever did

When Desmond Fitzgerald (Letters, November 2) refers to “people like Zoe Lawlor”, who could he mean? Women, feminists, people interested in social justice, advocates for equality regardless of ethnicity?

Fitzgerald uses the phrase “we already know” repeatedly to express his opinions, not facts. He states there is not one area of Palestinian society that gives hope, this is not only untrue but must be based on zero contact with Palestinians .

I have met and work in solidarity with many strong Palestinian women. They too are leaders in the resistance to Israeli apartheid. Palestinian women are fully aware of their rights and equality, they don’t need to be lectured to by men in the “West”. When they are forced to give birth at checkpoints or any of the myriad punishments meted out to the occupied, the women of Palestine are fully cognisant of being oppressed - by Israel.

By the way, I don’t have control of my own body as a woman living in Ireland.

In contrast to how I was treated by Palestinians, my encounters with the Israeli state and its forces were overwhelmingly negative and include being attacked and kidnapped in international waters while sailing to Gaza, robbed and repeatedly strip searched, imprisoned for a week, shot at with steel-coated rubber bullets and tear gas . . . now tell me which society “shines a hopeful light for the future”?

Zoe Lawlor

Coordinator Gaza Action

Ireland

South Circular Road

Limerick

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