Ray Fleming's recent coverage of the Israel/Palestine on-going conflict, whilst touching on the background/history of the origins of the dispute, goes nowhere near the real, on-the-ground attitude of the parties involved.
Firstly, to expect them to reach a peace accord between themselves is virtually impossible- only a third party, such as the USA - could make this happen, but not under 8 years of Clinton and Bush do they seem to have the will or interest at present. There is not just animosity between Israelis and Palestinians, but almost raw hatred, bred and instilled from birth over generations on both sides.
Whatever Arafat says, or even tries to do, will be undermined by the extremist groups he cannot or will not control. On the other side, the hawks will always overcome the doves in the Israeli camp whenever violent acts occur; permanent chaos, with only some moments of respite, like boxers between rounds.
Israel, as a nation, is so divided that without the common enemy of the Arab world, which united them, they would be on a self-destruct course long ago.
For fear of sounding cynical, if it was not for the continued strife and unstable situation around Israel, the USA would not be pumping the billions of dollars into its defence and economy.
If the Arabs would only realise this, then by giving the Palestinians financial aid to cultivate and build a strong economy, they would achieve a valued peace, and the Palestinians would be a lot better off.
Even if a peace was called today, i.e. they would have something other than just land.
So, probably the only real solution would be to put in place a United Nations peace keeping force to actually keep separate the two factions, much as has been the case in Cyprus for the last few decades, and the party that opposes such a solution will then deservedly have the accusing finger of guilt pointed at them, as not genuinely looking for a solution.
Ray Fleming is well able to defend himself dialectically but I feel that I must write after reading the letter of David Lee in today's Bulletin. Mr Lee has written a farrago of nonsense, racism and pure invention which he has the audacity to headline FACTS. The mind boggles!! There is not one single point in the letter that has not been twisted or invented by Mr Lee but he has taught us a valuable lesson.
He and others like him, are exactly the people who continue the strife which exists in this unhappy world.
What we are dealing with is not truth but various perceptions of what is truth. I am sure that Mr Lee feels completely righteous in trotting out all his spurious facts.
In just the same way we have the ETA who firmly believe that their country is militarily occupied by Spain or the IRA who believe the same of Northern Ireland.
There never was an Euskadi as a country and Israel is an equally artificial country, which, as Ray points out has NEVER EVER respected any international agreement, commencing with the Balfour declaration. The same blinkered attitude as Mr Lee is used to justify killing in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and many other areas where people talk about facts.
Before he puts me in the category of antisemite, I have visited Israel many times and I would be happier living with Israelis than with Arabs, but he chooses to ignore that to respond to stone throwing with attack helicopters, tanks and rockets is precisely what is inflaming the war. Israelis are in the majority but the deaths are of the order of 80/20 Arab/Israeli. It is understandable the mind set of the Israelis after what happened with Hitler, but they have turned out to be the most fascist state in existence, punishing the transgressor a hundred fold.
If I had been living in a refugee camp for the last 50 years, put there illegally by Israel, then it might not surprise me that I would agree to commit suicide with a bomb taking with me as many oppressors as possible. They shoot children albeit children who throw stones.
We will never change the attitudes demonstrated by Mr Lee and I am sorry that I am so pessimistic but what we are all facing is various perceptions of truth. The truth died long ago.
Crawling could seriously damage your health
Let us sincerely hope that Calvia has the good sense to impose the strictest of regulations on the tour operators who wish to continue with their cheap and tacky pub crawl excursions (your article Saturday, 2 June) for it is not only bringing the levels down to the lowest common denominator for which all the major tour operators are well known. Having sold the holiday at the lowest possible price in the UK, usually with totally fictitious discounts and advertising campaigns that are some cases lavatorial, they then need to up their profit margin by selling as many excursions as possible with no regard whatsoever for anybody or business in the area. It is to be noted that only the so called superpubs are used big, faceless and indifferent service obviously go hand in hand.
However a question must be asked these tour operators are very keen on Health and Safety hotels and apartments are regularly vetted.
Checks on the kitchens, pools, electrical safety the list is in fact extensive in a lot of cases overworked reps some with no or very limited knowledge of the language or of the regulations are pressured into doing these checks often in haste merely to make sure that the big tour operator has something to fall back on should a problem occur.
Health and Safety is a specialised subject, not something to be conducted by unqualified personnel but in typical fashion they look for the cheapest and smallest piece of paper to cover their backsides should a watchdog start barking.
How then does promoting the abuse of alcohol fit in with client care?
Surely if the tour operator openly promotes the abuse of a medically proven harmful substance and should an accident or illness ensue then they are culpable in the same way that they claim that hotels are to blame if clients contract food poisoning or have an accident in the swimming pool or are we to assume that the excursion tickets carry a health warning?
Come to think of it given the concern shown for client wellbeing perhaps their brochures should carry a health warning!