x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Israel's brutality should be widely condemned

Turkey's decision to sever ties with Israel over the assault on the Mavi Marmara was correct and other nations should follow suit, readers argue. Other letter topics: condemnation of a Palestinian protest; paintball insensitivity; and supporting English football.

SOFIA, BULGARIA - SEPTEMBER 02: Wayne Rooney of England misses a late chance for his hat-trick during the UEFA EURO 2012 group G qualifying match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium on September 2, 2011 in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 123405317.jpg
SOFIA, BULGARIA - SEPTEMBER 02: Wayne Rooney of England misses a late chance for his hat-trick during the UEFA EURO 2012 group G qualifying match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium on September 2, 2011 in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 123405317.jpg

The United Nations has now reported that the killings by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara flotilla sailing to Gaza were excessive, abusive and brutal (Turkey to expel envoy as Israel fails to apologise for flotilla raid, September 3). Israel now cannot claim its actions were in self-defence.

The Turkish government has cut ties with Israel as a result. Others should follow suit, such as the European Union. Where there is no justice and where morality is replaced by abuse and brutality, democracy is dead and society is corrupted.

It is a tragedy of the 21st century that a state born out of compassion of the UN after the Second World War should embrace brutality as a means to a political end and, in the process, lose its compassion, humanity and respect for life and law.

Colin Dale, London

The UN report just published declares Israel's killing of nine people on board the flotilla carrying supplies to Gaza to have been unnecessary and abusive.

It was also unlawful in that the killings were not in self-defence but were an act of extreme brutality by heavily armed troops.

My question is: who will be held responsible and when?

Name withheld by request

Palestinians could use better press

 

Would any member of the Palestinian diaspora mind articulating the point of disrupting the performance of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Thursday night's BBC Proms in London? ('Free Palestine' protest disrupts Israel Philharmonic concert in London, September 3). What purpose is served by such an act of cultural nihilism?

Palestinians need to rethink their tactics before generating such negative press.

John Deykin, Dubai

Paintball centre lacks sensitivity

I write regarding your news story, Shoot-out in the streets of London - in Sharjah (September 3). Did you even consider the reaction if that shooting centre had been in Europe, and the event company had chosen the inner city of Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

Do you remember the outcry in 2009, when developers created a video game that showed Dubai and its skyline as a broken and broke desert city?

Now, consider the timing of this Sharjah game centre.

Don't you think such a set-up is inappropriate coming so soon after this summer's London riots, or the recent mass killing in Norway?

Torsten Kleine Buening, Dubai

Cheer Anna, but time to move on

In India we have this tendency to idolise people and put them on a pedestal (Indians cheers as activist ends fast that pressured politicians, August 29).

Animals, birds, stones, trees, woods - almost anything - is valued. But when people demonstrate nearly any degree of rational thought we are ready to fall at their feet.

The Jan Lokpal movement is just the latest example. It started with a cause against corruption and has morphed into an "I am Anna" movement. He has inspired a nation.

But now Anna Hazare has returned to his village Ralegan. No family, no possessions, just confidence. He has done what he set out to do.

The euphoria surrounding his mission is over. It is time for each of us to go home, look in the mirror and do our own bit to solve these problems.

We are Indians, but we are not all Anna.

Sandhya Prakash, Dubai

 

English football needs support

Yet again we hear from the sour grape that is Andy Cole (A national disservice to England players, September 2).

Why does this newspaper continue to have Cole write such negative pieces?

Currently England is a respectable fourth in the Fifa world rankings, above such footballing powerhouses as Brazil, Italy and Argentina.

Thanks for your support Andy (or lack of), but I'd rather give a bit of positive encouragement to the team and try and install a bit of belief.

Neil Roberts, Abu Dhabi

Brains not clothes set students apart

 

In your story UK schools banning 'distracting' skirts (August 24), a student claims that women's freedoms "have been snatched away because we have been forced into wearing school trousers".

I find this amusing. It's time that pupils look less at appearance and more at intellect when comparing how they stack up against others.

Name withheld by request