After having read Steve Humphries's response to my letter, I found myself wondering: why did he bother to write it?
It was just the same old litany of lies and distortions that anti-Semites and anti-Israelis have been trundling out for years.
My letter related strictly to Israel's rights under international law, as well as the vagueness of the so-called Arab Palestinian' case. I was scrupulous in keeping to the legal aspects only. As to Steve Humphries' letter: I presume he has never visited the Jewish state. One of my grandson's closest buddies at his school in Tel Aviv is an Arab-Israeli boy. Arab Israelis are granted the exact same rights under Israeli law as are Jewish Israelis.
Sorry to disappoint you Steve. Next time you write in a letter, check your facts, and drop your prejudices.
Are these islands absolutely determined to kill their tourist industry?
After decimating the big yacht charter industry with taxes and new laws, they have turned their attention to the thousands of small craft that have, over the years, brought hundreds of millions worth of business to Majorca, Ibiza and Minorca. Small yachts and motor boats, whose owners and crew spend good money on food supplies, restaurants and marine services have for decades dropped their anchors in harbours and bays, free of charge, making the islands one of the most popular cruising areas in the world. But greed is now changing all that.
A friend of mine who brought his 40 foot boat to Majorca last year was staggered, last week, to be charged 40 euros to go on a buoy outside one of our small ports. Another yacht slightly bigger, was charged nearly sixty to hang on a buoy in Andraitx. The problem is that these buoys take up traditional safe anchoring areas, so options for those trying to avoid, or be prepared for, less than perfect weather become fewer and fewer as more and more buoys are laid in bays or ports. For a 51 foot boat to go to the idyllic anchorage of Espalmador off Ibiza is now nearly 60 a night. That is more than the cost of a good bed and breakfast! In one east coast port they are charging a 32 footer nearly 30 euros, and that is for mooring well outside the harbour walls in areas that until a few years ago were open to any yacht to anchor free. When buoys were first introduced prices were moderate. This year they are extortionate. Palma was and is still the sailing capital of the Med, but that will change very rapidly if authorities fail to understand that many people with families use their boats to make foreign holidays affordable. Price them out of the market, with wildly expensive marina charges and by making traditional anchoring areas inaccessible to those who cannot pay hundreds of euros for what used to be a free' use of the seas, and Majorca and the other islands will lose yet another source of good, fair business, in exchange for short lived piracy'.