HOW easy would it be to match Graeme Eddie’s attempted refutation of the points I made in my response to his long letter (It is untrue that Israel survives due to US and Western power, The National, August 7) by descending into his “yah boo” point-scoring around puerile and pedantic semantics like “capture” and “annexation”, when we all realise that capture is what you do to implement annexation – ie the illegal occupation of another’s territory; which Israel indisputably did in Sinai during the 1967 war?

In Mr Eddie’s mind Israel can do no wrong. It is a paragon of virtue in the Middle East and it, and its policies, have had a benign impact on the strife within the region for 70 years. Well, good luck with that synopsis.

My formative years were instructed by the work of Leon Uris – Mila 18, Exodus, QB VII etc, which formed a significant part in building my belief in the equality of all, and lead my enquiring mind to probe the history of the time, and question it.

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I have no antipathy to the plight and right of Jews; merely do I question why those with their experience have failed in 70 years, yes 70 long years, to build a bridge with their neighbours – hostility rather than peaceful co-existence; shamefully clearly of no concern to Mr Eddie and his ilk.

Isn’t the truth inescapable? Doesn’t Israel exist purely because it is in the Western powers’ interest that it does so? Haven’t their foreign policies propped the Israeli state up? I am not saying Israel shouldn’t exist; however doesn’t it need to mature in its approach, learn from experience and get its act together, to remove the omnipresent threat to peace and its existence?

Doesn’t it need to work diligently with the Palestinians for a peaceful solution, despite the difficulties, despite the intransigence on both sides and despite its dependence on Western powers’ foreign policy interests?

What perhaps depressed me most about Mr Eddie is his blind acceptance of the status quo in the Middle East, as if nothing should change; Israel 1 – peace 0.

I recall sitting in a hotel lounge at the edge of the Sahara desert on a holiday to Tunisia. On the television were pictures of a cruise missile being filmed passing by high-rise hotel windows on its way to civilian destruction during the Iraq war.

I was horrified at such a blatant abuse of power. Then I looked to some local men huddled in a corner, and the look on their faces said it all. Right there was the recruitment potential for a Daesh then still to be born. And time has shown that it was.

Unlike Mr Eddie, I don’t respect Western powers’ foreign policies in the Middle East. Iraq was a creation of the West; a bastard nation created by a committee. Kurds in the north split between Iraq and Turkey, Sunnis in the middle, and Shias in the South.

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A recipe for disaster and only bonded by the brutal dictatorship of Hussein, with the approval of the Western powers, until he became too much of an embarrassment and something had to be done about him – project failure from the start.

I have no affinity for any religion, for me gods are a man-made creation, but I defend the right of anyone to worship as befits them. And no-one should be discriminated against, for religion or any other specious label attached to them.

But isn’t it time to seriously look at the Middle East and work for a resolution to the strife by respecting the rights of all? I may be wrong, but the State of Israel doesn’t suggest to me that it cares. Nor Mr Eddie.
Jim Taylor