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West could do more for peace in Middle East

I HAVE read with great interest the recent comments in Write Back regarding the ongoing struggle for independence waged by Hamas against Israel.

Israel has a population of 7.5m, of which 5.5m are Jews and the remainder mostly Arabs. Israel is only 260 miles long and 60 miles wide at the widest point.

It is surrounded by the following Arab/Muslim states, most of them totalitarian in nature: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Iran and Iraq are close by.

Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Israeli citizens live with the daily threat of suicide bombers and a potential aerial attack is only ever minutes away.

Israel has often been accused by her neighbours of being expansionist and aggressive, but it is the Arab nations who have most of the land and all of the oil and they could do so much more to facilitate a lasting peace.

Arab countries, in general, do not have a good human rights record and the GDP per citizen is much higher in Israel than in most Arab nations.

Israel must be one the most fought-over strips of land in the world and this ongoing struggle could yet have potentially disastrous implications for the region.

We in the West must do much more than offer mere rhetoric to help all of the people in the region to reach an accommodation based on tolerance and understanding before it is too late and we wake up to yet another Holocaust.

IAN JOHNSTON

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

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