by Ambassador Zvi Gabay
Media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict was not only out of proportion but in most cases distorted and one-sided, the Israeli Ambassador, Zvi Gabay, claimed recently when he addressed a symposium at Dublin City University.
It was difficult to comprehend that some 5.9 million souls, including 4.7 million Jews, inhabiting half of one percent of the Arab land mass 'could continue to attract newsworthiness as Israel does.' The primary objective of Israel - announced in that country’s 1948 declaration of independence - 'was to provide a home for every Jew who needs a haven. However, one should recognise that not all of the 2.6 million who found a home in Israel are fully absorbed, this is a major challenge for us,' Mr Gabay added.
The founding fathers of Israel did not envisage occupying foreign lands or ruling over other people. 'However, occupation and ruling became an unavoidable necessity,' he stressed. The peace negotiations with the Palestinians had their 'highs and lows.' It was, he added, a very difficult and protracted process, 'but all sides involved have too much to lose not to pursue it.'
Israel and Ireland were two small nations with much in common. 'Our modern nations were born in war and are striving for the goal of peace. Some of our great leaders came from Ireland, notably, former Chief Rabbi, the late Yitzhak Herzog and his son, the late Chaim Herzog who became Israel's sixth president,' he said in his address to the "Israel at 50 symposium", organised to discuss ways to celebrate that nation's birthday.
From : The Dublin Examiner