Socialist Worker


Issue No. 2331

End of road for two states

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev quivered with rage at the suggestion that the attack on Gaza was cover for an unwillingness to recognise a Palestinian state. William Hague made a similar connection when he warned time was running out for a two state solution.

This is one reason Fatah youth, from to the party of discredited leader Mahmoud Abbas, took to the streets in the West Bank last week.

They know the two state solution can’t work. Israeli settlers have been stealing their land all their lives.

Inspired by the Arab Spring, many Palestinians now demand a one state solution, with democratic rights for all, including Palestinian refugees.

John Rose, east London

Don’t turn Declan into a stereotype

I am writing to correct Mr Ruairi O’Neill (Letters, 17 November). He states that “on 1 November the crisis in Ireland and Europe took on a clear face and a tragic story for me. Declan Gilmartin, 22, from Leitrum hanged himself in north London”.

The fact is Declan Gilmartin died on 2 November and Leitrim is the correct spelling of this county in Ireland.

Mr O’Neill is correct when he says “Like many young people from Ireland, economic conditions drove him to seek work abroad. He moved out of necessity rather than choice.”

However, the process did not make Declan “alienated and lonely”. He had family and friends in London before he arrived and he made numerous friends during his three years in Cricklewood.

He was a well respected and a well known young man in a very close knit Irish community. Declan played football for the GAA Garryowen football club.

The outstanding reception the Gilmartin family received from the Irish community reflects that this young man was by no means alienated and lonely. Over a hundred people gathered in St Agnes church in Cricklewood on Friday 9 November to offer their condolences and pay their respects to the family. Many of these people followed Declan to Ireland to bring him to his final resting place and attend his removal and funeral.

On the other hand, Mr O’Neill is correct when he describes how “Ireland is losing a generation. Some 182,900 15 to 29 year olds have left since the crisis began. Many then face real social problems without the support networks they grew up with.”

This is non-applicable to Declan Gilmartin, there is a Leitrim association in London. In Ireland, the GAA is the heart of every community and this is truly the case with the Garryowen football club.

London has numerous support networks for Irish emigrants, after all, the truth of the matter is, London is and traditionally always has been a very popular destination for Irish emigrants in this economic crisis and previous economic crises throughout Irish history.

Mr O’Neill emphasises that “Capitalism seeks to alienate and divide us, and we strive to offer a socialist alternative. But the only option Declan felt he had was to take his own life”.

Declan Gilmartin’s death was suicide by misadventure; it was not pre-planned or pre-meditated. This shows little respect for the Gilmartin family and his many friends, no consideration was given. Mr O’Neill makes an uneducated hypothesis and uses the tragic death of a young man as a case study which does not support the main theme of his letter.

I know the facts and I am educated to talk about this issue because I am Declan Gilmartin’s sister and our family have much appreciated respect and gratitude for the Irish support networks in London.

It is obvious Mr O’Neill did no previous research before writing. The grammar used was notorious. One can only wonder what University this so called writer Mr O’Neill attended.

Educate yourself before writing. In the words of Saint Augustine of Hippo: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

Karen Gilmartin, County Leitrim, Ireland

Pointless elections

Many voters had a problem with the recent police commissioner elections. If this was about democracy, why not also have commissioner elections for banking, the legal system, NHS, BBC, big business and so on?

The truth is these elections exploited public anxieties about crime and created the illusion that crime could be regulated via the ballot box. Yet the level of crime is inextricably linked to the government’s central economic and social policies.

Nick Vinehill, Snettisham, Norfolk

Poland’s would be Breivik

A 45-year old lecturer from Krakow collected four tonnes of explosives for a planned terrorist attack on Poland’s parliament and government offices.

The Anders Breivik copyist also recruited a few people before he got arrested. The extreme right winger said he was motivated by “nationalism, xenophobia and antisemitism”.

Maciej Bancarzewski, Stevenage

Problems with Russian left

The article Putin’s War on the new left (Socialist Worker, 17 November) doesn’t mention that some of the protesters facing charges are hardline “national democrats”—the Russian equivalent of the BNP.

The Left Front itself is Stalinist and has repeatedly blocked with nationalist groups. The May 6 committee, to give credit where it’s due, also provides assistance to anarchist prisoners in the case.

Leon Ramone, St Petersburg, Russia

Change Irish abortion law

The death of Savita Halappanavar is entirely unacceptable in a civilised society. If she was going to die, why did the authorities deny the abortion? If I was in Ireland I would have protested and I would crack the silly idiots’ heads.

Molina Jayaratna on Facebook

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Article information

Tue 27 Nov 2012, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2331
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