We shouldn’t take a free press for granted

August 9th, 2020 8:00 PM

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SIR – Bob Storey takes issue with my call for The Southern Star to continue permitting a healthy debate in its letters pages. Mr Storey supports a call from the anti-Israel activist Ronit Lentin for a ban on letters from a Maerton Davison.

As we live in a free society with a free press, this of course is their right. However, it is easy to take such freedoms for granted.

Sadly in the entire Middle East there is only one country where there is freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of worship. That is Israel, a country whose land area is actually 2,520 km less than Munster’s. Crammed into that tiny space are 9 million people, of whom 74% are Jews and 21% Arab Muslims and Christians.

Over the last fifty years tiny Israel has been condemned in motions passed by the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council more times than the rest of the world combined. Think of that! Israel has been condemned more times than egregious human rights offenders like China, North Korea, Syria and Iran, combined.

This injustice needs to be properly exposed and openly debated. That is why The Southern Star and the rest of the press are so important.

Finally, Mr Storey points out in his letter that unlike Israel, Munster has a great rugby team despite having a quarter of its population. This is true. However, it seems to have escaped his notice that rugby is not played in the Middle East.  In any case Israel’s desert-type soil would have defeated the likes of Munster’s great prop Peter Clohessy. How could even the legendary ‘Moss’ Keane have scrummaged there?

Karl Martin,

Bayside, Dublin 13.

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