Letters: Since when has military targeting of terrorist attackers been 'genocide'?
Well, since when has targeting a few hundred Islamist militants, guilty of rocketing Israeli towns and villages, been considered "slaughter" or "genocide"? Since when has "terrorist" been a reasonable description of a military response that ensures every effort is made to minimise civilian casualties? And since when has being "proportionate" been considered a good way to eliminate an enemy notorious for targeting innocent civilians on your side (while cynically using ordinary Palestinians as human shields/sacrifices on its own) and who, by the way, refuses even to recognise the Jewish homeland's right to exist?
Hamas cannot be reasoned with – they must be crushed.
As it was the Balfour Declaration in 1917 which has prompted the present plight of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, isn't it now time for Scotland to atone for this act of British Imperialism of a fellow countryman by solving the problem at a stroke?
The Palestinians clearly need a homeland of their own – and what better place than to invite them to the Highlands of Scotland, where they could repopulate the glens ravaged by the clearances.
Our many Muslim Scots would be able to help their brothers feel welcome and the skills and talents they bring would do much to benefit Scots of all faiths (and none).
JOHN EOIN DOUGLAS
All the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Gaza mini-war is simply futile. This is but a minor illustration of the insatiable human propensity for violence and cruelty.
The Old Testament relates how, when only two people had been born, one of them found reason to murder the other. Subsequent chapters teem with tales of savagery and slaughter. There's also extreme ethnic cleansing, with Israel's first king – Saul – ordered to wipe out the Amalekites utterly.
Future mass bloodshed came in the form of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, Indian caste wars, the casual cruelty of Romans and Nazis, followed by the offhand extinction wrought by such as Pol Pot. Hutus and Tutsis are but one example of the curse of African malevolence. Blind hatred and evil are peculiarly human characteristics.
Confusing intelligence with wisdom, humans consider themselves superior beings, but in reality we are the true primitives of the animal world. "Wild" animals kill principally for food, whereas the mass of human killing is based on hatred and intolerance.
When this depravity encompasses suicide bombings, humanity can surely sink no lower.
Tranent, East Lothian
The Israelis hoped that by taking the sort of line adopted by the United States against its indigenous peoples they could crush the Palestinians spirit and force them meekly to accept their dispossession, even if it took a century or two. This immoral strategy looks certain to fail.
Now the Israelis face a great unknown – a new American president who does not fit the pattern of the past and they are panicking. Once we thought of Israel as an admirable country but that support is ebbing away. It has squandered too many opportunities to make a just settlement from a position of strength. The world will not continue to tolerate this suppurating wound, spreading the poisons of terrorism, intolerance and racism.
The meagre 500 or so (BBC figures) diehard demonstrators who turned out on a perfect marching day, ostensibly in support of the on-going terror attacks on Israel, in contrast with the thousands who voice concern on poverty and nuclear proliferation, should be a wake-up call to our Scottish parliamentarians that Scotland is fed up with Islamist terror and the ragbag political opportunists who give it succour.
Is this not the sort of situation for which a commissioner for the Middle East was appointed? Should he not be flying in at once to put a stop to all this senseless killing? Or has he retired? I do recollect that he once intended to visit Gaza but his visit was cancelled at the last moment because there was a sort of a security warning – in the event, nothing untoward happened.
But he has never been back. What is he doing for the substantial financial inducement provided? Are we getting our money's worth? More importantly, are the Jews and Palestinians?
J R HALL
Alexander McKay (Letters, 3 January), appears to be a supporter of the Anglo-American approach in the Middle East of unconditional moral support for Zionist policy. Criticism of this he describes as coming from the "liberal-left axis", whatever that is. Presumably, it covers anybody who objects on humanitarian grounds to the invasion of Iraq or to the creation of a sectarian Jewish state in Palestine, supported by the unlimited supply of weapons of war to the Israelis.
The difficulty here is that from a Zionist perspective, Palestine has evidently been magically recreated as the divinely allocated Promised Land of Moses, whose inhabitants, being Gentiles and unaware of the existence of Jehovah, had no rights to own or occupy the land on which they had lived for generations.
This religious delusion appears to be at the root of the hellish disaster in the Middle East since the end of the Second World War.
(DR) DAVID PURVES
Amazingly, Londoners were quiet when Jews were being attacked by rockets from Gaza. Only when Israel decides to defend itself do Londoners choose to denounce the violence. It is as if the world denounced Britain for trying to attack the V-1 and V-2 launch sites during the Second World War. Do Londoners believe the Jews are the only people who do not have the right to defend themselves? If so, doesn't that say something about the prejudices of the people demonstrating against Israel?
Los Angeles, California, USA
While you report on the day of protest against Israel (3 January), I wonder why there is not similar condemnation and protests about the terrible massacre, torture and mutilation taking place in the Congo. More than 400 innocent people have been brutally murdered, yet hardly a peep from the international community, UN or EU.
Where are the protests and street demonstrations from Annie Lennox, Bianca Jagger, George Galloway, Ken Livingstone and many of the Scottish MPs and MEPs?
Maybe the clue lies in your story when you say the protests we are witnessing are against the Jewish state of Israel. It's hard not to question the motivation for the anti-Israel protests when the hideous behaviour and denial of human rights in so many countries goes without a peep of protest.