7ead76f94d868210VgnVCM100000e56411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q3Reflections on the current state of play with Israel6ead76f94d868210VgnVCM100000e56411ac____Reflections on the current state of play with IsraelIn reference to Sultan Al Qassemi's article <i>Ties with Israel are the Gulf states' worst-kept secret</i> (July 26), it is true that we as Gulf states have had, in some cases formal and others informal, ties with Israel but I fail to see what we gain by formally accepting Israel as a sovereign state.<p>In reference to Sultan Al Qassemi's article <i>Ties with Israel are the Gulf states' worst-kept secret</i> (July 26), it is true that we as Gulf states have had, in some cases formal and others informal, ties with Israel but I fail to see what we gain by formally accepting Israel as a sovereign state. Israel has shot down every peace offer since the 1980s irrespective of which party had been in power. They sweet-talk us about how they too want peace and then go and do everything that contradicts that goal. Then, to top it off, they market a fallacy that they offered all that is possible to reach a final solution and then fail to mention that they had sabotaged it at every level.</p>
<p>They groaned, so to speak, when Yasser Arafat "failed" to close the deal in 2000 with the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, under Bill Clinton's supervision but failed to mention that the solution included no right of return or compensation for the Palestinians, that the Palestinians had no rights over water, that Israel controlled their air, land and sea passages and that Palestine would have been an autonomous state in nothing but name.</p>
<p>They have shown us their cards quite clearly. If they want to play nicely, then we'll play. If not, what is the loss to us by not accepting them? If you believe that recognition of Israel by the Arab states, Gulf or otherwise, will change the lives of the Palestinians for the better, we have the period of 1991 till 2000 to look back at and judge. In that same period the number of settlements grew exponentially as did the number of Palestinian houses razed.
<b>Mishal Kanoo,</b> Oman</p>
<p>It looks like the US president Barack Obama has figured out that one of the main obstacles to Middle East peace are the illegal Jewish settlements. It is important to note that these illegal settlements are exclusively Jewish and are connected by roads that are also exclusive. The non-Jewish Palestinian populace is corralled in Israeli-designed walled reservations. The aim is to make the lives of these non-Jews so insufferable as to drive them off their lands and bring in Jewish Israelis. Now if you build an apartheid society, not too many would argue it's not wrong, but the Israeli model is funded by things like tax free Israel Bonds and other financial instruments with origins mostly in the US.
Furthermore, Israel receives over $10 million a day in US dollars that we know of. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the cost of Israel to the American taxpayer has been over $1.6 trillion since 1973.
<b>Bruce Bentley,</b> US</p>
<p>Mitya Underwood's article <i>Surge in numbers at trauma centre</i> (July 24) described a policy change at Dubai Hospital which mandates charging Dh200 for treatments that had previously been free.</p>
<p>The changes introduced at Dubai Hospital demonstrate two things. First, weak management. There has been no consultation between hospitals. It is unbelievable that one hospital can effectively shut its doors unilaterally, thereby transferring over 100 patients a day to its sister hospital without any consultation or attention to resources.
Secondly, no one cares about the poor - but that's nothing new, and it's not just Dubai. There are thousands of workers in Dubai with no access to any form of health care except the Rashid Hospital Trauma Centre.
<b>D Derder,</b> Dubai</p>
<p>This refers to the report <i>Pay up or go to jail, banks tell debtors</i> (July 26). It seems strange that banks are losing their professional approach which should be the priority in any kind of business.
The banks can always use a formal way of approaching customers in default, but customers seem to be very annoyed by the way bank employees have talked to them. On the whole, the debt recovery process has not been handled in a decent manner. I fear this will affect the reputation of banks and customer confidence will be lost.
<b>Ramachandran Nair,</b> Oman</p>
<p>In reference to <i>Banks criticised for getting tough</i> (July 25), I used to work with a hotel and I missed my monthly bank payment of Dh435 as I was away on vacation. I came back straight into a training course with my payment overdue by three days.
During the training, the hotel operator called me on the hotel emergency line saying there's something personal and urgent I needed to attend to. All I could think of was something bad had happened to my family.</p>
<p>What happened was the bank collection agent, after failing to reach me on my mobile or desk phone, called the hotel operator.
I called the agent back and asked to talk to his supervisor and all I got was the agent telling me: "You're a defaulter, you're a defaulter, you're a defaulter. My supervisor will not waste time talking to people like you." Now in which part of the world does any professional behave in this way and why do I have to be loyal to any company that treats its clients in such a manner?</p>
<p><b>Halla Krawi,</b> Dubai</p>
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