Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Letters: Israelis blind to the logical way of moving on

There can be no justification for the mayhem and merciless assault on innocent life in Gaza. The charge of anti-Semitism is disingenuously used to silence all critics.

Many Jews seek to dissociate themselves from what is happening in their name – they, too, are opposed to the current drift of Zionism, particularly the settlement expansion on the West Bank and the continued medieval-type siege of Gaza. The branding of the justified assertion of our basic rights as "terrorism" has been the psychological weapon of choice by states that have a lot to hide.

This tactic was used by Margaret Thatcher in her dismissal, as "terrorists", of Nelson Mandela and his fellow opponents of apartheid.

In Northern Ireland, one of the greatest political misjudgments was the refusal to address the glaring injustice raised by the civil rights movement.

The Israelis have persistently failed to acknowledge the depth of injustice felt by the people of Gaza. There has been similar blindness to the inevitable consequences of the inequitable distribution of power between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Iraq.

The drift to the Right in Israeli politics has closed the door to genuine rational debate. The unshakeable belief that God decreed that a wandering semi-nomadic people would inherit a land of their own is a myth of origin that sits uneasily with reasoned discussion.

The overwhelming international support for a two-state settlement seems to be the only constructive way forward.

PHILIP O'NEILL

Oxford

UK must never waver over the Middle East

The United States and Britain should both be congratulated for standing up against the newly emerging bully of the Middle East, calling itself the Islamic State.

The atrocities and the genocidal agenda of this terrorist group are not only an attack on the magnanimous principles of Islam; they are an attack on all our brothers.

The first ever 'Islamic state', the Umayyad state (661-775), and the Abbasid state (750-1258), were equally well-known for providing conditions in which Jewish and Christian communities flourished in peace and security.

Given its historical ties to the region, we should stand firmly behind a United Kingdom which serves as a beacon in its decisive moral orientation – delivering the message that we will never waver in asserting the equal rights of Christian, Jewish and Muslim children to a better future.

DR LU'AYY MINWER, AL RIMAWI

By email

RSPCA too quick to batter owner of tropical fish

Grace Dent is too eager to support the RSPCA's bully-boy tactics (DebateNI, August 14), if the experience of a tyre-fitter I used to know is anything to go by.

He had two tanks of tropical fish in his office. One had a single, large fish. After a complaint the RSPCA told him the lone fish, who ate the others, needed company, and to paint the sides of the other tank so the fish weren't intimidated by customers.

"Go to the shop down the road," he said. "They dip their fish in batter, fry and eat them." He was told it wasn't a laughing matter.

NIGEL SCOTT

By email

Never too late to change your will

Mary Kenny gave me a good laugh recently (Life, August 12), when a chest infection made her think it was time to run down to her solicitor to change her will, seeing it as "call-up time from God".

The best will I ever heard of was: "Being of sound mind, I spent all my money while living."

That shook them.

KATHLEEN CORRIGAN

By email

Quick DeLorean reunion needed

I WAS delighted to read (News, August 14) of the DeLorean reunion. However, as a former director, I was shocked to read we were to launch a new DeLorean sports car by May. Last time, we did it in 28 months. Now you've given us just nine. I'm seeking volunteers.

BARRIE WILLS

By email

Galloway can thank the DUP

Unfortunately, the DUP has fallen into the age-old trap of bad publicity often being good for business.

The controversial and outspoken George Galloway's appearance at the Ulster Hall would have drifted under the radar had the DUP not called for him to be banned. (I, for one, was unaware he was appearing.)

Now, however, what can be guaranteed is a sell-out crowd and Galloway laughing all the way to the bank.

CONSERVATIVE

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

Charity thanks for collections

ACTION MS: South Belfast (during July) £1,823.51.

I MARTIN

CHILDREN'S MAGIC WAND TRUST: Ballycastle (June 6) £126.58; Ballymoney (June 5) £208.91; Magherafelt (June 14) £307.14; Holywood (June 14) £209.33; Limavady (June 27) £311.49; Bangor/Holywood (June 28) £561.33; Ballycastle (July 5) £173.15; Warrenpoint/Kilkeel/Rostrevor (July 5) £518.72; Strabane (July 11) £201.11; Limavady (July 11) £264.39.

J NIXON

COMMUNITY RESCUE SERVICE (CRS): Belfast (May 17) £95.88.

AL JELLIE

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