PLEASE allow me to respond to the letter on the Palestine-Israel conflict by Jim Taylor (Corbyn should make his views on Israel clear, August 4), and the inaccuracies therein.

On the inaccuracies, he talks of how Israel “annexed vast areas including Sinai” in 1967, and he refers to “annexation” of the West Bank.

This is incorrect. At no time has either Sinai or the West Bank been annexed by Israel.

READ MORE: Letters Extra: Corbyn should make his views on Israel clear

Sinai was captured and occupied in the course of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War but from 1979 it was returned to Egypt in stages, as a result of a peace treaty.

Capturing and occupying is not quite the same thing as annexing.

In the West Bank, Israel occupies and administers the territory alongside the Palestine Authority (refer to the Oslo Accords perhaps).

As far as formal annexation of the West Bank is concerned, perhaps

Taylor is thinking about the actions of Jordan in 1950.

Indeed, Jordan did not renounce its claim to the West Bank until 1988.

Israel however has annexed East Jerusalem (in 1980), just as Jordan did in 1948, thus unifying the city again for the first time since that year.

Taylor goes on to tell us about the “herding of Palestinians into Gaza” and the “outrageous blockade” of that entity. Far from herding Arabs into Gaza, Israel captured the territory and its population from Egypt which had occupied it between 1948 and 1967, but let’s not allow facts to get in the way of a good story!

As far as “blockade” is concerned… doesn’t Egypt share a border with Gaza? The answer is yes, but it is mostly closed.

On the Israeli “blockade”, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published daily delivery statements on shipments in and out of Gaza… so, not exactly a rigid blockade.

Meanwhile, Hamas has squandered international funds meant to aid Gazans, and has provided them with no infrastructure and no increased quality of life.

All of the above leads us to the particular slant in Taylor’s letter. Firstly, he tells us that Israel has had 70 years to sort out the plight of Palestinians.

Hardly that, because between 1948 and 1967 Gaza and the West Bank were either annexed or occupied by Jordan and Egypt.

Next, he attributes to Israel the terrorism and conflicts that have emanated from Iran, Iraq and Syria. What a burden for a small state to bear… not a hint of blame lies on the hubris of corrupt leaderships in these states across seven decades… the regime of the Shah, the Islamic Republic, the Iraqi kings, Saddam Hussain, and the Al-Assad dynasty in Syria… All blameless, yet all in their times had contributed to attempts to snuff out Israel, in the air and on the battlefield.

But hey, yes, scapegoat Israel instead.

The letter then asks that Israel seek accommodation with its neighbours, and to live in peace, and yet fails to nod towards the peace treaties that Israel has made with Egypt and Jordan, and the offers made to Palestine thrown back in its face.

READ MORE: There is now no denying the apartheid state that is Israel

He places inverted commas around the word “enemies”, suggesting that Israel doesn’t have these at all. Has he read the constitutions and agendas of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah?

Apparently, the Palestinian leaderships (two remember, in Ramallah and in Gaza) have no role, no responsibility, no obligation. It is Israel’s fault alone that there is no peace.

Israel, he writes, survives by dint of Western and US power.

On the contrary, I would suggest that Israel survives in spite of decades of aggressive opposition from the Arab and Islamic world.
Graeme D Eddie
East Lothian