Letters to the Canary: Israel/Palestine dominates people’s thoughts this week

Letters to the Canary
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The Canary is excited to share the latest edition of our letters page. This is where we publish people’s responses to the news and politics, or anything else they want to get off their chest. We’ve now opened the letters page up so anyone can submit a contribution. As always, if you’d like to subscribe to the Canary – starting from just £1 a month – to support truly radical and independent media, then you can do that here:

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This week’s letters

This week we have people’s thoughts on the situation in Israel, Gaza, and the Occupied Territories. 

Israel-Palestine has dominated this week’s letters

Dear Canary,

I am so happy with the articles you have produced about Palestine. They are so correct, full of details, and show now that we have a reason and a right to force Keir Starmer out of the leadership. What I didn’t know about the legal proceedings or threat of, that this organisation intends to take against the complicit British leaders to Israeli genocides in Palestine, was that during PMQs, I noticed that Starmer became cagey when he asked for a ceasefire and for the recognition of the state of Palestine. Now I understand he already had received this email threatening him and Emily Thornberry of legal proceedings – and they’re both barristers!

I am very grateful for your articles. You have to be some of the best journalists in this country.

Annie, via email

Read on...

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I just want to put the leaders of both sides into a locked room and tell them they stay there till they have sorted out this horrible mess. No food, just strong coffee.

This is a horrible mess and just shows what happens when extremism and religion get mixed up. I don’t personally have an answer for a permanent settlement, but for God’s sake, stop this madness right now and accept horrible things have been done on both sides. It’s the ordinary people who suffer because of the stupidity of the few.

Christina Hawton, via email

Has it not occurred to anyone that the massive forces being deployed against a poor country with no army, no air force, and no navy is a big show with one undeclared objective – to keep Netanyahu in power when he was responsible for a catastrophic collapse in Israel’s security. Creating a wartime coalition is almost guaranteed to avoid a fatal no confidence action against the country’s prime minister.

Patrick Newman, via email

Canary team,

I just wanted to say keep up the good work that you do, no other news gatherer gives an unbiased view of Tory Propaganda and you are a welcome addition to the news outlets.

In regard to Israel’s war crimes and Hamas’s acts of terrorism, one is just as bad as the other. Innocent lives are being lost daily and it is time to end the occupation of Palestine and the ethnic cleansing and apartheid carried out by Israel. Further violence will not resolve anything and both sides have to agree to a ceasefire for it to hold for peace talks to begin.

I would like to see Israel charged with war crimes, but this won’t happen since the entire Western world is too frightened to be accused of antisemitism. The Israeli state doesn’t even have the backing of every Jewish person, so criticising their war crimes should not be considered as antisemitism. I feel, as do a lot of others, that wars are the last resort of the desperate to maintain power and control. Only a ceasefire and negotiations can resolve this conflict which has been building for over 50 years and shows no sign of stopping.

Dave Barclay, via email

Settler Colonialism caused this wound as it has down the ages. The wars against the Indigenous Americans in the 17th century were no less ferocious in their savagery. No different in the fallacious justification used by the White settlers who were the racist invaders of their day. They justified their actions with the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”. Sanctioned by the church, this stated that it was the manifest destiny of the invaders to take the land off the ‘Godless savages’.

Nothing has changed. Just the location, religion and the ethnicity.

Alan Marsden, via email

It takes two to tango, especially in conflicts. But much of the media coverage of the appalling recent events in Gaza and Israel frames the story as if it began on Saturday 7 October 2023 so that Israelis are the only victims and Hamas, frequently undifferentiated from Palestinians, is the only perpetrator. To emphasize that this is the case some articles decry the notion of talking about context and at least one article I read decries so called ‘victim-blaming’ by which the author, referring only to Saturday’s events, means blaming Israel.

So, by contrast, here is some context.

Since 2000, before the present conflict, there were approximately 8,166 conflict-related deaths, of which 7,065 (87%), were Palestinian and 1,101 (13%), Israeli. Put another way, for every 15 people killed in conflicts before Saturday 13 October, 13 were Palestinian and two were Israeli.

So who are the victims? Clearly many Israeli folk were victims of completely unacceptably brutal Hamas murders. But right now numbers of Palestinians in or leaving Gaza are also victims of completely unacceptable brutal Israeli bombing and shelling.

And what about Israeli behaviour towards Palestinians since at least 1967? According to Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory, Israel’s 55 year occupation is apartheid. Please take the trouble to read his report.

And it’s apartheid which has included arbitrary and extra-judicial killings, torture, the denial of fundamental rights, an abysmal rate of child deaths, collective punishment, an abusive military court system, periods of intensive Israeli military violence in Gaza, and home demolitions [2].

There are years and years of victims on both sides but far more of them are Palestinians. Victims with feelings like mine and like yours. Yet in recent media reporting of the conflict we’ve heard next to nothing about them.

David Murray, via email

If this was easy, it might have been solved by now? Discuss.


I think it is important to examine this. Political narrative comes from government, and often it is dispersed through the ‘media’. The narrative on this subject is very clear. ‘There is one position, and it is this’ – accepted by the Establishment.


Both ‘parties’ are authoritarian, as regards for instance LGBTQ+ so there is a commonality in their approach.

The words for Israel that have been used are ‘apartheid’, and ‘fascism’. It has been stated as a form of apartheid rather than an exact copy of, for example, South Africa. The charge of fascism is more difficult, but the words of someone inside Israel are instructive – from December last year:

“Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Friday warned that Israel was heading toward becoming a fascist theocracy, as the incoming government moves to put extremists in charge of key education programs and neuter the Supreme Court”.

Much of this is not discussed, as pointed out in ‘Narrative’. In fact none of it.


It has been said that Israel has cut off water and electricity to Gaza. What is not said, and has been told to many, by various Jews & Palestinians, is they have already been doing this for years. Again, it’s the narrative, and many things point back here, and prevent a balanced discussion.


To discuss you have to be able to raise issues. And Israel has been going around the world waving a piece of paper called the IHRA. Effectively, although not the initial purpose, this is being used as a quasi-legal document, that now equates criticism of Israel as antisemitic, by default.


I think we have to separate the issue of Hamas from that of Palestinians, even though many of them may believe they are representing their interests. Let’s face it, no one else appears to be. Apart from various publications that are not bound by the ‘narrative’.

Hypocrisy and double standards:

It is clear that the usual International blind eye is turned to ‘certain issues’ that are ‘inconvenient to address’ for the ‘international rules-based order’. We should also, by default, condemn any rise in antisemitism, and especially by the right, as they seek to capitalise on a bad situation.

Anonymous, via email

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