Dear Sir,

IT seems that Ray Fleming has not lost his lop-sided prejudices when it comes to Israel. His second leader in the MDB (June 30th) proves that he will go to any lengths, distort truth and eliminate facts in order to denigrate that tiny country - the only democracy in the Middle East. His leader is a farago of misinformation.

Firstly, the UN is not an unprejudiced organisation. The last time I checked, its general Assembly had condemned Israel over 150 times but had not seen fit to criticise any Muslim state more than six times. Arafat's ethnic cleansing of the Christian Lebanese population during which his Black September organisation killed over 120'000 Christians was neither condemned or even criticised by the General Assembly. Neither were the hi-jacked jet passenger airliners nor the disgraceful attack on the Acchille Lauro (masterminded by the very same Abu Abbas with whom the West insist Israel now negotiate).

As to the Red Cross's independent, experienced and balanced' judgement: this rigidly Catholic organisation is set up all over the Middle East - except Israel. Further, this is the same Red Cross who visited Buchenwald Concentration Camp in 1941 and stated that its inmates were being treated fairly and humanely! They somehow overlooked the fact that the Camp Kommandant was giving his four Doberman's a Jewish inmate each day to tear to pieces and eat! As to Gaza itself: Gaza can be reached either via Israel or Egypt. Fleming is very quick to loudly condemn Israel's embargos on Hamas but silent about Egypt doing the same thing. Israel and Egypt are both being very selective in what they allow into Gaza because they are both opposed to helping a gangster state, who has publicly declared that it will never recognise the Jewish state and is committed to Israel's destruction.

As to the degradation of Gaza: when Israel withdrew from Gaza as a friendly gesture towards the Arab people, it left it with an orderly economy. Within three weeks of its vacation, the entire country had been vandalised. Its state-of-the-art greenhouses had been smashed to smithereens and their contents stolen. Indeed, everything removable was stolen and sold on the black markets of Egypt and other Arab states.

The terrible damage cause by 'operation cast lead' was directly as a result of Hamas indiscriminately firing 6'900 rockets into Israeli towns and villages. Even this year, after the Israeli military operation, instead of trying to rebuild Gaza, the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt have been used to smuggle drugs as well as explosives. Over 95 rockets have been fired into Israel over the past three months alone. Hamas is not only guilty of rocketing Israel: it has murdered in the most bestial fashion over 350 members of the PLO (140 were taken on to the roof of the tallest building in Gaza, blindfolded and thrown down into the square below whilst the civilians watched and cheered).

Israel is here to stay Mr Fleming. Until such time as Israel's neighbours recognise this fact and start acting in a civilised manner towards their Jewish neighbour there will be no peace.

Sincerely, David Lee