x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Two readers differ on base of Middle East conflict

The news article Israeli tactics are 'uniting' Palestinians reported that an academic analyst at the University of Haifa believes that right-wing Israeli policies will unite Palestinians of divergent interests.

The news article Israeli tactics are 'uniting' Palestinians (November 10) reported that an academic analyst at the University of Haifa believes that right-wing Israeli policies will unite Palestinians of divergent interests. Divide and conquer is an old tactic that Israel knows only too well.

The greatest opportunity for peace in the past was lost in 2006 when Hamas was legitimately and democratically elected to form a government in an election that all international monitoring agencies declared and certified to be free and fair.

What was the reaction of Israel and the West? Instead of welcoming a new democratically elected entity in the Middle East equation, all financial aid was cut off. This was a deliberate plan with the intention to cause a split between Fatah and Hamas and it worked.

With Hamas denied the chance to form a responsible, democratically elected government at the ballot box, what alternative was left?

Ray Joseph Cormier, Dubai


In the article Israel-Syria talks 'were a phone call away' (November 13) the Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed the invasion of Gaza for scuttling a joint statement on negotiations by Turkey, Israel and Syria. Mr Davutoglu is shedding crocodile tears. Instead of passing the buck, offer an opening. Stretch out a hand. So far, Turkey has done everything to ruin the relationship with Israel, including cancelling their hosting of a Nato exercise due to Israeli participation.

John Brown, Abu Dhabi


A great moment for Myanmar

The news article Aung San Su Kyi calls for unity (November 14) was very interesting to read. It was a great moment for the people of Myanmar to receive their democratic leader after seven years of house arrest.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner's release may change Myanmar's politics and the people's lifestyle. The British prime minister David Cameron gave tribute to this 65-year-old leader, mentioning that her release should have happened long before.

K Ragavan, India


The meaning of the pilgrimage

With reference to the photo essay Mecca as it appeared 125 years ago (November 13), the Haj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is not just a journey, it's an experience of a lifetime. The Haj is the name of the collective worship that also involves collective living. The pleasures and the pains are part of the journey.

The Muslim pilgrim sets out on a journey which ultimately leads to the plains of Arafat outside Mecca. But this strenuous journey commences much earlier. It is in fact the culmination of a spiritual journey which starts at the beginning of the life of every Muslim.

The Haj lasts for five days, but its planning takes the whole year.The Haj is the fifth and last pillar of Islam. It implies therefore that we have understood and implemented the other four pillars in our everyday lives.

Samaoen Osman, South Africa


Tuk-tuks raise noise pollution

The article Egyptian gem or urban blight? (November 14) reported that it has been four years since the three-wheeled tuk-tuks became common on the streets of Cairo. As if Cairo was not noisy and polluted enough. These tuk-tuks are going to make the roads even more messy and will considerably increase air and noise pollution. This is the case in every city where the tuk-tuk is popular.

Hamid R, Abu Dhabi


A simple case of protectionism

In reference to the news article New visa regulations worry for Canadians (November 10), I am a Canadian citizen, living and working in the UAE. I will be directly affected by this change. The reason is the Canadian government didn't respect the UAE government and the UAE ambassador. They played games with them in bad faith.

So these are the consequences. Ordinary folks suffer. It's a mess.

Canada won't let the UAE's carriers fly to its country more often because it knows they offer a massively better service to customers than their own Air Canada, and so the domestic airline would suffer as a consequence. Air Canada can't survive in a free market. It's protectionism, plain and simple.

Ally A, Abu Dhabi


Make Lulu island a car-free park

I refer to Red tape delays Reem Island home deliveries (November 4). It's time to rationalise the planned developments in Abu Dhabi. Lulu island would be a good place to start. Make it a car-free beach and dune park for the people of Abu Dhabi. Otherwise we will end up with lots of pockets of development with wasteland in between.

Ford Desmoineaux, Abu Dhabi