Aftermath of Gaza offensive

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Madam, – I never cease to be amazed at how extreme are the views of so-called supporters of the Palestinian cause compared with those of the Palestinians themselves. Senator Ivana Bacik (February 5th) calls for a general boycott of Israeli goods, while the Palestinian delegate general to the UK, Prof Manuel Hassassian, at a recent meeting (Watford, January 29th) said publicly that he did not advocate a boycott of Israeli products, but only those emanating from the Territories.

I also note that Ms Bacik calls for “pressure to be put upon Israel to seek a peaceful solution through negotiations”, while not mentioning the other partner, Hamas, whose charter specifically states that “initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas]”. – Yours, etc,

ALLAN SOLOMON,

Watford,

Hertfordshire,

England.

Madam, – The fact that Israelis have a right to defend themselves has been loudly proclaimed and no one disagrees wiith the proposition. Have Palestinians also the right to defend themselves? The answer is obvious, but the matter has long been ignored by the outside world and continues to be ignored.

For years the Palestinians have been subjected to murderous attacks and random killings by Israelis – the latest that of a resident of the West Bank sleeping in his bed. They have done their best to resist, but without adequate armaments they are unable to defend themselves effectively. For that they would need armaments to match Israeli armaments – anti-aircraft defences, warplanes, tanks, heavy artillery, naval vessels, etc .

Naturally, the Israelis work hard to prevent such armaments reaching them. But why is there no attempt by other powers to circumvent this, and to see that an end is brought to this imbalance resulting in the slaughter at will of a virtually defenceless people? – Yours, etc,

Dr DESMOND FENNELL,

Maynooth,

Co Kildare.

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