RIGHT OF REPLY

Gaza – former ambassador left out key information from his article critical of Israel

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 3 May 2018

Taking issue with an opinion piece by Alon Liel, a former ambassador of Israel to South Africa, current ambassador Lior Keinan reponds.

I was surprised to read Mr Alon Liel’s article, “Israel: to be ashamed or not to be ashamed”. Liel’s articles normally keep to a professional tone, but this article seems lacking. A few key pieces of information were left out of the article – I wonder if purposely or is it just, for lack of a better term, sloppy?

First, the “full disclosure” is anything but. The article mentioned that Liel has filled the roles of director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and for Ambassador of Israel to South Africa. That only covers past positions, without mention of his present job.

In my mind, it is critical for your readers to know the full picture and actually receive full disclosure. Liel is currently a board member of a few extreme left organisations that receive foreign donations and among other things – criticise Israel. In other words, this article was not written by a retired diplomat, but as someone who criticises Israel as part of his daily job. Relevant or not – you decide.

But full disclosure should be just that, and Liel evaded doing so for his reasons. Unlike Liel, I will fully disclose my current position, so the reader can understand why I’ve answered as such.

Another word missing from Liel’s article is “border”. The writer forgot, somehow, to mention that the injured in Gaza were trying to forcefully cross a recognised international border with Israel. Why did they want to enter Israeli neighborhoods wielding weapons? Well, it would be hard to understand from Liel’s article, because he also forgot the words “terror attacks”.

Those terror attacks are carried out by Hamas. Ah, yes – Hamas, the same internationally recognised terror organisation that shot thousands of rockets at Israel, and uses all the cement in Gaza, not to build schools for citizens, but to dig tens of tunnels into Israeli territory. The same organisation that uses Gaza residents, reporters, and the disabled, as human shields. The same organisation that even the Palestinian authority can’t reach agreements with. You won’t be surprised at this point that the word “Hamas” was also missing from the article.

Liel has left out so many important elements in one article. Sloppy or purposely? You can decide. DM

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