LETTER: Humiliation and victimisation of Palestinians

on July 22nd, 1946, a large bomb exploded in the basement of the King David Hotel, Jerusalem.

It consisted of 770lbs of high explosive packed into six milk churns. It caused the collapse of the western half of the south wing of the hotel.

The British administrative HQ for Palestine were housed directly above the explosion. There were 91 people killed, from high ranking Government officials to office staff and messenger boys.

The attack was carried out by the right wing Zionist terrorist group known as Irgun, whose leader was Menachem Begin, later to become Israel’s sixth Prime Minister.

At the time the attack was roundly condemned. MI5 called it an act of gross terrorism. Field Marshal Montgomery had British servicemen instructed they were facing a cruel, fanatical and cunning enemy. There was a ban on fraternisation with the Jews and an embargo on Jewish establishments. Prime Minister Clement Attlee and opposition leader Winston Churchill both condemned the bombing.

I spent some time working in Israel in 1973-4 and travelled extensively around the country. I got to talk to Palestinians and witness first-hand acts of humiliation and victimisation carried out by the Israelis forces upon these people.

Israel has systematically for over half a century killed Palestinians and stolen their lands. The West turns a blind eye to all of this and even supports and encourages such evil acts.

To read some of the backwoods, anti-Palestinian, thinly-disguised racist rants on these pages makes my blood boil.

Have these people who wrap themselves in the flag so readily forgotten their own countrymen murdered by the Zionists during the British mandate period?

The best that can be said is that there are good and bad on all sides. We need to work towards a greater peace and understanding by diplomatic initiatives. If this involves twinning with Beit Leed then it should be done, whatever financial cost is involved, and it should be done with no further debate.

CHRIS JOHNSON

Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Green Party