Israel remains a beacon of hope in Middle East
COLIN Smith's astute analysis of how any attempt to install and sustain democratic regimes in the Middle East has either never occurred or been strangled at birth by "Inter-tribal and (or) sectarian violence" should act as a reality check for "liberal and conservative" thinkers (Write Back, August 3).
There is, of course, one exception to his argument; since its inception in 1948, Israel has been a resolutely democratic state electing governments representing both the Left and Right ideological perspective.
Moreover, it is the only state in the Middle East where gay, lesbian and transgender people are guaranteed equal rights, a position that is joyfully celebrated in one of the world's largest Pride parades.
Mr Smith cites Nick Cohen to emphasise that this inclusivity would, indeed could, never happen in any country controlled by fundamentalist Islamic groups, which would, as he rightly points out, lead to laws which were "designed to oppress women and other groups".
Thankfully, Israel stands as a beacon of hope for women and minority rights. Long may this continue to be the case.
DR KEVIN McCARTHY