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We need better knowledge of Middle East issues

RONNIE Crawford says those who fly Israeli flags should be "ashamed of themselves" (Writeback, July 23). That is hardly because Ronnie believes people should not take sides. Ronnie himself often endorses Palestinian colours, websites and Facebook pages.

I should remind Ronnie that Hamas forms part of the Palestinian government. So if he has a problem with the flag of the democratic state of Israel, why does he think Palestinian colours are compatible with the rule of law? Hamas fires thousands of missiles into Israeli towns and cities.

Ronnie acknowledges Hamas uses civilian buildings as weapons dumps and launching pads to strike at Israel.

He then asks why Israel has attacked these buildings when British forces did not attack sites storing terrorist weaponry in Northern Ireland.

Unlike Ronnie, I'm no military strategist. But in 2005 Israel withdrew completely from Gaza. Unfortunately, Hamas seized control and deliberately chose to have their HQ in the basement of the main hospital and to use mosques and UN schools as arsenals and launching sites.

Since 2005 Israel ceased to have security forces on the ground able to police the situation. Ronnie's comparison with Northern Ireland serves only to confuse and mislead. Perhaps a truer comparison would be if Donegal had been in terrorist hands since 2005 and 12,000 missiles and rockets were raining down into Northern Ireland towns and cities, with civilians having 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter – which is the current situation in Israel. Then what?

Instead of flag-flying, people in Northern Ireland should work towards a deeper understanding and promoting a lasting peace for all in that troubled region.




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