Readers' Letters: UK should be brokering peace between Israel and Palestine

Regarding the terrible conflict in and around Israel and the huge and terrible loss of life, we are starting to hear familiar noises from the West in support of Israel on the one hand and from Middle East neighbours and friends of Palestine on the other.

Will this not inevitably lead to an escalation of war in Middle East and beyond?

Yes, the Hamas incursions and killings must be condemned, but they did not happen out of the blue. To ignore at this stage the suppression and illegal behaviour towards Palestinians over the last 100 years is indeed ignorant.

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The only voice of reason so far has come from Antonio Gutierrez of the UN who deplores the Hamas killings but provides a context for the conflict and appeals to the Israeli government to follow international rules of war which seek to protect civilians as much as possible.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly's approach to this week's tragic events in Israel and Palestine is wrong, says reader (Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)Foreign Secretary James Cleverly's approach to this week's tragic events in Israel and Palestine is wrong, says reader (Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly's approach to this week's tragic events in Israel and Palestine is wrong, says reader (Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images)

It is easy for the macho James Cleverly to support without reservation his stated “good friend” Netanyahu, but he and other leaders should use their friendship in ways which will lead to more positive outcomes for both sides in this conflict. A true friend should support, but also challenge and reason with their friend and not support retaliatory actions which will lead to even more innocent lives lost.

To the informed observer, Western leaders have taken their eyes off the ball, and have failed to use their power and influence collectively to ensure that a helpful two-state solution is reached which is acceptable to all.

And now, sadly, we can only lament the loss of Israeli lives through Hamas actions and watch in horror as innocent Palestinians who are trapped in the confines of an overcrowded Gaza and cannot escape, await their fate. Unconditionally supported by the UK and other western governments, the future is bleak for all and voices of reason need to be heard above angry rhetoric.

Andrew Turnbull, Perth

Rich opportunity

Scotland is rich. Scotland can perfectly well afford to go independent. These are the words of the Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, from his book, Follow the Money. Johnson is well respected by governments, the go-to financial guru for the BBC, and a regular columnist for the Times. His credentials are impeccable, and he seems trustworthy, a rare quality in today’s world of lies and half-truths.So I believe him when he states that Scotland has the resources to become a rich nation in its own right. I believe him when he refers to the Scottish desire for an equal society, unfettered by schooling, income or parentage being different from aspirations south of the Border. I believe him most of all when the latest September stats in terms of private sector economy put Scotland at number 2 out of the 12 nations and regions of the UK. That was his precise point. Economically, Scotland is always in the top third, of course it can afford to be independent.

Frances Scott, Edinburgh

Normal argument

Douglas Cowe (Letters, 10 October) is obviously unaware that based on GDP per capita, Scotland is roughly the 25th richest nation on the planet and above the EU average.

Given that as much oil and gas has been extracted from Scotland’s territorial waters as in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, the question is why, under Westminster control of our economy, is our GDP, as part of the UK, much less than independent Norway, Denmark, Finland or Ireland? Cyprus, Malta and Singapore were all told that they couldn’t possibly survive without London's subsidies yet none have asked to return to their colonial status.

All the above countries have different economic models and political outlooks but as Scotland has a highly educated population, a sound financial sector and a very democratic parliament there is no logical reason why we couldn't prosper as a normal self-governing country.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh

Lost sheep

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There seems to be a lot of excited politicians around just now about the local election result at Rutherglen and Hamilton West. Having knowledge of this particular constituency I can tell you the result was no surprise. I’m of an age that can remember this area was always a Labour voting area and that only changed when Scottish Labour lost its way, and the voters of this constituency, rather than give their vote to Scottish Liberals or Conservatives, opted to vote SNP. This is probably the same in a lot of other Scottish constituencies.

Anybody who would like to dispute this need look no futher than the 2014 referendum result where SNP voters must have voted to remain in UK, hence the result. The SNP are on the decline not just because of their failure to make Scotland a better place to live and their own internal troubles, it’s because Scottish Labour seem to be getting their act together and saying the right things voters want to hear – whether they deliver them or not is for another day. So come the next general election I fully expect Scottish Labour to regain most of their lost sheep

J Moore, Glasgow

Fund the force