Dear Sir,
I seem to find myself in the very unusual position of agreeing with MOST of what Mr Lee says in his latest letter, (MDB 30/7).
History shows that more people have been killed in the name of God, any god, than for any other reason. Hard line Islamists, like all extreme hardliners from whatever hue of the political spectrum, are fanatical zealots who are blind to others’ points of view.
 However, this shouldn’t be confused with the present war in Palestine. Hamas certainly are an Islamist party, are as Islamic Jihad, and they are carrying the fight to Israel, but they are not the only ones fighting the Israeli oppression.
The struggle of the Palestinian people crosses all civil, political and religious divides. It is a fight for survival. Why should we be surprised at the Palestinian response?
They have a choice of either a slow death under a crippling Israeli siege or they can resist. As a people they have been treated as sub humans, stripped of their rights and dignity, their blood spilled cheaply, blockaded in glorified open prisons and slowly starved and brutalized into submission.
Of course they will flock to whoever shows the will to resist, in this case Hamas, their lives in ruins, their hopes destroyed but their spirit unbroken.
By brutalizing this generation of Palestinians Israel is sowing the seeds of future hatred and future conflicts. Might is not always right and in this case, it is obscene.
To continue the analogy of Mr M Read (MDB 29/7) about provoking the toughest kid in the classroom to a punch up and expecting to win, well maybe if that kid is a bully and a thief then maybe he should be taken on anyway. When you have nothing left to lose the choices are easy.
Steve Humphries


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