WHAT with the catastrophe in Palestine nearing critical point in a tense Middle East, national security is globally at centre stage. Donald Trump is threatening weak defence budgets, and the apocalyptic Jens Stoltenberg is concerned the security umbrellas of Nato and the EU might entangle.

Fine time, then, for Alyn Smith to reiterate his zeal to get independent Scotland into Nato – which he did last Wednesday, presenting an urgent, well-informed and persuasive case which, however, was too narrow in my view and that of two other readers. Harry Sillitto and Gregor McIntosh (Website comments, Feb 15) reminded Alyn of Nato’s “foreign adventures” and “imperialist wars”.

READ MORE: SNP walk out of House of Commons over Gaza ceasefire motion chaos

Alyn had maintained the imperative throughout his piece: “Europeans must work together if we are ... to defend our shared values.” But why force a newborn into a straitjacket? And some readers will wonder what Alyn means by shared values, seeing daily on TV Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians, its destruction of public facilities, schools and universities and its attacks on hospitals and refugee camps – and all the while hearing and scarcely able to believe cries of complicity against the US and UK in actually voting down a ceasefire and continuing to provide Israel’s weaponry.

Yet there’s another elephant in the Nato room around which Alyn must tiptoe. It is the matter of Europe’s mightiest nuclear arsenal just outside Glasgow and our Central Belt, its trigger ready but far away.

READ MORE: AS IT HAPPENED: Chaos as Speaker changes rules for SNP's Gaza ceasefire debate

“We remain committed ... to becoming a member of Nato,” he concludes (on the nation’s behalf, I take it) but what we Scots are more keenly committed to is ridding this land of ours – its ethos inspired long since by the enlightened feeling of our national poet for the common brotherhood of all humanity – of that hellish monstrosity blithely imposed on us.

We will surely sign the treaty for the outlawing of nuclear weapons as so many other nations have done, and let us resolve that in no circumstances will we allow a situation to arise in which the freedom and independence of this, our brotherly land of Robert Burns becomes contingent upon predetermined understandings, and specifically among these our complicity in the mass slaughter of humanity.

John Melrose

IN Saturday’s paper the attitude of both the UK government and main opposition party towards the situation in Gaza came under question. Both Owen Jones and Roz Foyer raised questions and highlighted the difference between UK parties and those in the Commonwealth and other countries around the world calling for a ceasefire.

READ MORE: Labour 'threatened Lindsay Hoyle's job' before Gaza motion rule change

To me this raises the question of how many of those in positions of influence in the UK are guided by personal considerations. By that I mean that they or their families benefit from US-funded “scholarships”, “trusts” or sinecures with so-called charities based in the USA.

An answer to that would no doubt illuminate situations and political stances, from wars in Iraq to the current one concerning Gaza.

Maybe it’s cynicism in old age, but I think the electorate would find the answers very illuminating in an election year.

Drew Reid

YOUR correspondents and David Pratt have no understanding of Netanyahu’s relationship with and service to the Israeli people as Israel’s longest-serving PM. Anyone in his position makes many enemies, and Israel has a predominant left-wing press unlike here. A current joke going around has it that if Netanyahu was seen walking on the Sea of Galilee, the reporting would be that this was proof that he could not swim.

Bill MacDonald