x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Will the peace be lasting?

Readers wonder how long the truce between Israel and Hamas will last, and at what cost. Other topics: bad drivers, lessons in English, and challenges for India and China.

A boy in the rubble of Gaza's Palestine Sports Stadium. Readers wonder if the truce will last. Mahmud Hams / AFP
A boy in the rubble of Gaza's Palestine Sports Stadium. Readers wonder if the truce will last. Mahmud Hams / AFP

I have some questions regarding Hamas and Israel agree to truce in Gaza battle (November 22).

Does this ceasefire give permission to Israel to continue with its illegitimate blockade of 1.7 million Gazans that has deliberately kept the entire population of Gaza on subsistence food rations for six years while all Israeli families have three meals a day?

And does it allow Israel's 500,000 illegal settlers to stay on their stolen land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem while ignoring the judgment of the International Court of Justice?

If so, why?

Douglas Reed, UK

A ceasefire has been announced, but the misery will go on for so many people.

Will there ever be a lasting peace?

Charles Bryant, Abu Dhabi


The United Nations should not have just given away the land from the British and French mandated territories to create Israel in the first place.

No other country would have allowed it, so why should the Palestinians put up with it?

B Pearson, Dubai

English skills take time to develop

It's unreasonable to expect that all students will be able to achieve the English levels needed for university (All students must learn English, November 21).

If growing the country is a priority, then why don't the universities employ Arabic-speaking professors? Surely suitably qualified people are available somewhere in the world.

A generation of unqualified and therefore unemployable citizens is being created, because of a curriculum written by and for native English speakers.

Many of the English teachers do not have language-teacher training, let alone training to teach English as a second language, which is a specialised skill.

How on Earth can the students be expected to do well when the curriculum does not leave time for them to simply learn English as a foreign language?

It's like being told to build a house without being taught how to use the tools and how to lay bricks.

B Gillum, Abu Dhabi

Bad drivers must face suspension

I am writing in reference to Fined now? Pay later in Abu Dhabi (November 18).

If fines and penalties remain low, then some drivers will continue to jeopardise others' lives.

Fines must be increased; there should be no amnesties, discounts or instalment payments; and licences must be revoked.

People who have had their licences revoked should be required to take a road-safety course, at their own expense, in order to get them back.

A repeat offence should automatically result in a one-year suspension.

I also think that light flashing should be banned.

It's an annoying, distracting and dangerous habit by certain types of drivers who flash their lights and expect people to get out of their way.

This is usually accompanied by extremely dangerous tailgating, which occurs when the driver in front has no way to yield and cannot speed up without exceeding the limit.

I see this type of behaviour almost daily and it must stop.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Hollywood should broaden horizons

I was interested to read Affleck's Argo 'stays true to the facts' (November 22), and I look forward to seeing this movie.

However, I can't help but note that Hollywood seems to only be interested in telling stories about the Middle East when they centre on American characters.

It would be great if we could interest the big US studios in funding and distributing films that tell positive stories about the people of this region starring local actors.

Peter Busch, Dubai

Challenges ahead for India and China

Giant ambitions set a collision course for China and India (November 20) includes some serious observations on relations between the two Asian giants.

First of all, the liberalised economic policies of India have encouraged China to influence India's extensive retail sector.

The immediate effect has been an influx of substandard Chinese products to India.

Neither India nor China can maintain the same level of confidence, particularly when it comes to matters concerning sovereignty and internal security.

While China pumps billions of dollars into improving its infrastructure and defence capabilities, India has a limit on its spending and allocates very little towards improving basic facilities.

For India, the focus should be more on developing the nation's rural areas, and more funds should be allocated to improving living standards.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman