Saturday 3 December 2016

Eyeless in Gaza, but an Eagle Eye in Skibbereen

Published 20/07/2014 | 02:30

Illustration: Jim Cogan
Illustration: Jim Cogan

Field's coffee shop in Skibbereen functions like the crossroads of former days. People freely accost me to argue about anything from Gaza, to ambushes of the War of Independence, to the recent Cabinet reshuffle. But Rachel Field did not abuse her position by challenging my pro-Israeli views in her family's coffee shop.

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She got me at my gate in Baltimore instead. And her well-researched indictment of Israel's retaliations, pointed up by the presence of her two handsome kids, had me hard-pressed for an adequate answer. Because there is no arguing about the disproportionate deaths of Palestinian children.

But I doubt people would switch sympathies if Hamas rockets kill a larger number of Israeli children - as will eventually happen when Iran supplies more sophisticated missiles. That's because ideological convictions, including my own, are almost impossible to alter. Thirty years of polemics about the pros and cons of the Provisional IRA's campaign taught me that.

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