One could agree with the sentiments of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he says that an air, sea and naval blockade is necessary to “…prevent militants groups from getting weapons… whose only goal (is) to hit civilians and kill as many… women, children, old people…Under international law and under common sense and common decency, (there is a need to) interdict this weaponry and to inspect the ships that might be transporting them.”
Likewise Netanyahu could be correct in his analysis that allowing an aggressive Middle East state to obtain nuclear weapons “…threatens …world peace in a way that very few events could possibly threaten it. (This) nuclear challenge represents a ‘hinge of history’ and ‘Western civilization’ will have failed if (a Middle East state) is allowed to develop nuclear weapons…”
So it is time for the United Nations, supported by the Big Four Powers, to confiscate Israel’s nuclear arsenal and put in place a cordon to finally end the flow of 90 billons of dollars in US military and financial aid that has gone into the country since 1976 which has provided the IDF with the F16s, Apache helicopters and Sparrow/Sidewinder missiles necessary to kill thousands of civilians in its neighbouring states and facilitate the colonial occupation and settlement by racist fundamentalist settlers of Arab lands. Cromwell would gladly approve of a policy that has overtones of “To Hell or To Connacht”. Today the 1.5million civilians in the densely populated over-sized concentration camp known as Gaza can look out from bombed-out tenement buildings across the security walls onto the fertile fields and clean tidy settlements of what was, until only a few decades ago, their family lands.
Netanyahu talks of the ‘Jewish State’. But even in biblical times, the ‘Holy Land’ was never a land of Jews alone who were in fact only one of many indigenous peoples which included Canaanites, Amorites, Philistines and Samaritans. Jerusalem itself was a Jebusite city until conquered by a Jewish army under King David.
The Jewish people in Europe were almost wiped out 70 years ago by a regime that wanted to remove them from lands in Eastern Europe that it laid claim too based on racist myths. The Jews were forced from their homes, that were then given to German colonists (as with many other indigenous peoples in Eastern Europe), and herded into concentration camps where movement of food and other supplies was tightly controlled. Any individual resistance to this blockade led to a brutal armed response onto the entire population.
Ironic then that we see today’s descendants of that Holocaust behave like Nazis of old. They arbitrarily dictate what goes into Gaza and what doesn’t. Allowing canned meat but not canned fruit; allowing mineral water but not fruit juices. Banning computers, school books and cement is reminiscent of Hitler’s ideology of denying education and other basic human rights to ‘inferior’ races.
Europe should follow the example of the activists of the ‘Rachel Corrie’ ship (named after a female American peace activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer when she acted as a human shield protecting a Palestinian home from demolition) to ensure that history does not repeat itself. We owe it to the memories of the victims of the attempted genocides of the Jews, Armenian Christians, Kurds and Muslim Bosnians in the Europe-Middle Eastern region during modern times.
Entitled 'Off the Beaten Path' it will commence at 11am sharp on Sunday June 20th from the Centra Foodstore on Bóthar na Choiste, Headford Road.
The event will be a 4 hour leisurely cycle stroll through some of the most interesting historical scenic landscapes on the east side of the city. It will I hope be a journey of discovery for many of its participants.We will ignore the hustle and bustle of housing estates, shopping centres and highways.Instead we will travel along secondary roads to enjoy the sights and sounds of an increasingly threatened but none-the-less vibrant countryside dominated by small farms and natural features such as lakes and bogs.Commencing on Bóthar na Choiste (Irish = Coach Road), I will bring participants through townlands whose ancient names reflect the respect that Irish people once had for Nature -Ballinfoile (Town of the ridge), Ballindooley (Town of the black lake), Killoughter (High Wood), Menlo (Small Lake), Coolough (Hollow at the base of the cliff)...
We will journey over hills, along botharins, past abandoned farm buildings, ruined castles, karst outcrops, bogs, lakes, dykes, turloughs and meadows.
We will stop off in Menlo to enjoy a picnic along the banks of the River Corrib.
To liven the journey up, I will recount tales of headless horsemen, ancient battles, haunted ruins, tragic drownings, lost gardens and of the great forests and the once proud wolves that once roamed the area.
Though I have ongoing battles with City Hall over a myriad of community and environmental issues, nevertheless I can only heap praise on the city officials who contributed to the success of this event, particularly Cathy Joyce.
So I hope that Galwegians will take to their bicycles on Sun June 20th and enjoy the remaining vestiges of our once glorious natural environment, with its rich native flora and fauna