On April 4, 2023, The Guardian (Charlottetown) and Saltwire published and widely syndicated a letter to the editor from CJPME, rebutting a letter which had attempted to defend Israel’s far-right Finance Minister, Betzalel Smotrich, after his inflammatory comments about ‘erasing’ the Palestinian town of Huwara. The letter reads:
A recent letter by Robert Walker criticizes another writer for misrepresenting the context around Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich’s comments calling for a town in the occupied West Bank to be “wiped out.”
Walker's letter repeats the error he complains about, that of “missing some information.” Only in this case, most of the information is missing.
In acting as Smotrich’s apologist after his genocidal remarks, Walker accepts Smotrich’s pathetic excuse that it was somehow an emotional “slip of the tongue.”
When Smotrich made this comment, he was responding to a question about why he had liked a tweet from an Israeli deputy mayor calling for Huwara to be “erased.” As such, this was his second public engagement with the idea, making it hard to believe that this was part of an emotional flare-up.
Furthermore, Smotrich even complained that the media was trying to create a “distorted interpretation” of his words rather than owning up to them.
To underscore the superficial core of his apology, just weeks later Smotrich would take the stage in Paris and say, “There is no such thing as the Palestinian people.” The destruction of a Palestinian village was scarcely extreme for Smotrich. He would prefer to erase the idea that Palestinians exist at all. I'm not sure why Robert Walker feels compelled to defend the indefensible.