I MUST comment after listening to the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, saying that an immediate ceasefire in Gaza would give Hamas an advantageous position. What a narrow, one-sided statement!

Surely the biggest beneficiaries will be the two million-plus Palestinians who are incarcerated/isolated and terrorised in this open prison called Gaza and are being bombed daily by the so called Israeli Defence Force.

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Blinken’s body language and grim persona at his hastily arranged meetings consistently exposes what an utter failure he has been in diplomacy terms. Most leaders in the Middle East, Egypt and Turkey have seen through his weak political overtures and his ludicrously biased position in condemning Gaza to the brutal actions of a vengeful, ultra-right-wing Netanyahu-led coalition government with an agreed extreme strategy against Palestinians that had already run riot in Gaza (and the West Bank) long before the terrible Oct 7 Hamas attacks on southern Israel.

The American refusal to endorse the recent approved UN resolution for a ceasefire just confirms this complicit, extreme US agenda in what I’d describe as the “ticking clock” strategy deployed by President Biden and the US government. What is this strategy? The clock will be ticking down until the Israeli government/IDF assault on Gaza finally hits what the US government finally regards as an unacceptable level of carnage and demands an immediate halt – a ceasefire!

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Lets say for argument’s sake there is an eventual death toll of 14,000 Palestinians – men, women and children all needlessly slaughtered with no long-term peace initiative attached to it whatsoever! That will constitute a revenge ratio of 10 dead Palestinians to one dead Israeli! Finally signed and sealed by a US government that has used this strategy before and I’m sure they will deploy it again while millions of people worldwide have seen through this immoral and unimpressive political stance. These people will continue to protest and rightly so!

May I add one thing that most correspondents and other National writers have never really mentioned, which is that sense of powerlessness in conflicts that have arisen in politically unstable regions like Israel and the occupied territories where it is clear in this country there is a disconnect between the pro-Israel stance of the sitting Tory government and the populace in general, resulting in the huge demonstrations that have taken place throughout the country. And yet it is very probable all these protestations will be ignored as usual. Hence the utter sense of powerlessness and a lack of true justice against perpetrators who should be chased down for war crimes/crimes against humanity and prosecuted by the likes of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. We owe it to the many victims of these despicable crimes! Tony Blair, President Bush and the bogus Iraq war anyone? Deja vu!

Bernie Japs

WHAT can I write to contribute to what others have with regard to the crimes taking place in Gaza and the total horror of it all? Scene that I watch nightly on Al Jazeera and Channel 4.

Personally, I feel a great helplessness as to what I can do, other than make a donation to the Gaza Relief Fund, which I made through my Muslim woman friend who sells me my National each day. It is very difficult to identify any particular horror out of many that are happening, but there is one that I cannot remove from my thoughts which appals me. It is that children are writing their names on their hands or arms so that they may be identified if killed. Children understanding that at any hour or on any day their innocent lives can be ended by bullet, shell or bomb is beyond horrific.

Bobby Brennan