Emails & Letters
The View of Palestine
Former head of the United Nations Kofi Annan travels to Damascus to speak to President Bashar Assad, spearheading an international attempt to bring the regime’s brutality against Syrian dissidents to an end.
US President Barack Obama holds talks in Washington with British Prime Minister David Cameron about the logistics of a withdrawal from Iran.
The issue of Afghanistan, never far from the world’s political agenda, is under the spotlight once again as the world mourns the slaughter of 16 innocent Afghan villagers by a deranged American serviceman who ran amok in the night. So much tragedy. So much high-level diplomacy. So much global concern. And so much action to at least try to right the wrongs.
But that it as it should be; in our 21st century global village it is entirely right that we should do all we can to solve problems that arise with, and between, our neighbours, and bring to bear all our best resources to help solve them. However, it cannot have escaped the notice of even the most disinterested observer of international affairs that while all this shuttle diplomacy is being undertaken by the great and the good, the world’s longest-running conflict, and perhaps its most tragic, has entered another phase. I refer, of course, to the latest escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
While money and vast resources are poured into solving the problems and conflicts in other areas of the world, it appears that with regard to the Palestinian question, the bulk of any expenditure directed towards them is spent on studying their considerable problems.
We now know just about all we will ever need to know about the devastating effects of living under occupation with the everpresent threat of imminent death. And, while it is important that we can empathise with that situation at some level, it is of little use to the people living the horror 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Surely the answer, in part, is to stop examining the plight of the Palestinians under the microscope and to begin taking serious and determined steps to redress the balance of a continuing situation that shames us all. It would be a start and, after more than 60 years, a long overdue one.
F. McKenzie Brighton, England
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4 The Middle East April 2012