DECENT people around the world have been horrified by the events in Israel and Gaza these past few months. Millions of us have marched in protest at both the murder of 1300 innocent Israelis on October 7 and the indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza that has seen 30,000 equally innocent Palestinians killed.

The Israeli government described the massacre on October 7th as their “9/11” and calculates that, comparing the population of Israel to that of the USA, the equivalent number killed in the United States that infamous September day in 2001 would have been 65,000 – ie ten times higher than the actual figure.

READ MORE: Palestinian death toll rises above 30,000, says health ministry

Prime Minister Netanyahu insists Israel “has the right to defend itself” in justifying the indiscriminate bombardment and siege of Gaza. But few would accept that Israel has the right to kill and starve innocent civilians. Wars must be fought between combatants, that is the clear legal/military principle. Yet over the past few weeks Israeli Defence Force missiles have killed 30,000 innocent men, women and children! On their pro rata basis that’s the 9/11 equivalent of 2.2 million American fatalities, as it were.

The sympathy Israel warranted and garnered after October 7 is in danger of being lessened by the slaughter of innocents in Gaza.

Scottish Socialist Party activists have been present on all the protests since October urging an end to the bloodshed. And at our weekly campaign stalls on Princes Street in Edinburgh we have been heartened by the public’s support for an end to the killing. Our petition demands a ceasefire to allow the talks aimed at ending the war and the occupation of the Palestinian territories to begin. We urge everyone to sign.

Colin Fox
National spokesman, Scottish Socialist Party

I HAVE just listened to an item on the Radio 4 6pm news. The newscaster said that starving Palestinians posed a threat to the IDF so they shot them. What kind of threat can starving people pose to the Israeli army? The IDF have already murdered 30,000 civilians. How much longer is the world going to watch this genocide? How much longer is Starmer going to buy votes by ignoring the calls for a ceasefire? We don’t want a pause, we want the murderers in Israel to be prevented from killing another human being.

Watch my lips: “stop the murder”.

Any future hope of security for the inhabitants of Israel has been destroyed by the death squads.

Margaret Forbes

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf holds back tears as he says 'sorry' to people of Gaza

ALYN Smyth’s talent for vacuous waffle has never been in doubt and his latest offering (Scotland must invest in efforts to co-operate globally, Feb 28) does not disappoint. Try this for patronising condescension: “International organisations can be seen as nebulous institutions which don’t seem to have any real day-to-day impact on most people’s lives in Scotland. This, I would argue, is a good thing since it means it is one less thing for people to worry about when they have enough stresses in their daily lives”.

Yes, thank goodness we can do the shopping, cut the grass and put out the washing in peace while those Big Important International Bodies look after us. But let’s not be parochial. For example, the Palestinians must also feel very reassured that such bodies exist. Speaking of which, Alyn doesn’t seem to think that the genocide in Gaza casts any kind of negative light on these powerful and apparently benign institutions. Surely it couldn’t be that these very institutions are controlled by the neo-liberals in the US and the EU where unconditional support for Israel is a given?

READ MORE: Conspiracy theories about the SNP’s Gaza motion must be challenged

Acquaintance with the work of Noam Chomsky and Yanis Varoufakis among others would give Alyn a better insight into the dark world of how international politics really works. Unfortunately Alyn seems more exercised about a delay to your Amazon delivery in the Red Sea caused by those “bad” Houthis. The self-declared aim of their actions is to support the Palestinians ... and they have my full support!

Tom McFadyen

IT was somewhat bemusing to listen to an audience member on the BBC’s Debate Night on Wednesday perversely arguing that Police Scotland should be broken up into regional forces.

The major police failings in the case of Emma Caldwell, who was tragically murdered in 2005, apparently occurred when Strathclyde had its own regional police force. The many significant changes since then, as confirmed by an audience member in the police, would seem to attest that the merging of the regional forces by the Scottish Government has, on the whole, been a success (in spite of more than a decade of austerity harshly impacting all of the UK’s public services, including policing).

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf urged to commit to inquiry into Emma Caldwell case

The fact that host Stephen Jardine failed to mention that Police Scotland was only established in 2013 was regrettably not a surprise, as his focus appeared to be either on interrupting SNP MSP Michelle Thomson or on not allowing her another opportunity to enlighten the audience further.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian