Michael Portillo argues in favor of dialoguing with Hamas ("To spread democracy you have to let bad guys win", Feb. 5) and notes that "terrorist organisations do sometimes metamorphose into law-abiding political parties". To justify this, he recalls Menachem Begin, an Israeli prime minister and Nobel peace prize winner, and the Irgun attack on British forces in Jerusalem ’s King David hotel.
The Irgun's tactics while Begin was commander never included non-recognition of Britain's right to exist nor did it engage in a campaign directed solely at civilians. It was not based a a perverse religious fundamentalism. When attacking targets that could have posed a danger for non-combatants, warnings were always distributed. Mr. Portillo's comparsion is poorly drawn.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Big Boob of the Sunday London Times
Here's another letter of mine to that great esteemed journal:-