Jerusalem Post writer says Eilat terror 'justified'

A longtime columnist for the Jerusalem Post has been sacked after he wrote that Palestinian terror was justified and that "the blood of Israeli victims" was ultimately on Israel's hands.

Larry Derfner made the comments on his personal blog and on Facebook in light of the triple terror attack on southern Israel last week, which left eight people dead.

He said: "Whoever the Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile the ideology was, they were justified to attack,"

The American-born writer, who moved to Israel in 1985, said he thought Palestinians had "the right to use terrorism against us" although he added that he would not wish them to.

"What's needed very badly, however, is for Israelis to realise that the occupation is hurting the Palestinians terribly, that it's driving them to try to kill us, that we are compelling them to engage in terrorism.

"It's up to us to stop provoking our own people's murder by ending the occupation."

Mr Derfner has now apologised and expressed regret, writing in a new post that he "didn't mean to say anything 'good' about Palestinian terror against Israelis" and had thought that was clear in the original piece, of which those comments were only one aspect.

But after hundreds of readers complained and cancelled subscriptions, the Jerusalem Post said he could no longer remain employed by them.

He revealed the news on the blog and criticised the newspaper for failing to give him the opportunity to correct the distortion of his words.

"By skewing my words so badly [the Post portrays] a writer announcing that he wants Israelis to get killed, instead of one who's trying to stop that from happening."

Last updated: 4:53pm, September 6 2011