Learning lessons from situation in Palestine

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 March, 1994, 12:00am

MRS Anne Godfrey is quite right to correct me on the point that the Israeli Government is democratically elected (South China Morning Post, February 24).

I should have applied the word dictatorship to some of the other countries which enjoy Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and are not accused of abuse of human rights. The main thrust of my argument was that the Israeli Government, while in many ways behaving like a democratic government, has denied democratic rights to the Arabs. They have allowed the military to kill and maim, break the limbs of stone-throwing children, and demolish the homes and deport Arab dissidents simply seeking human rights.

I should add that I do not favour terrorism whether practised by Jews or Arabs, Irish or British. It has become fashionable in the world for countries to claim themselves to be democratic, hold elections (sometimes by fraud, corruption or force) and thereby ingratiate themselves with the US Government, in some cases to obtain American aid.

Others are too proud to accept this grovelling attitude, for example, Singapore when it first became independent. I admire the stand taken by Anne Godfrey as well as those Israelis who have lost their freedom or risked their lives to try to make peace between Jew and Arab. Nothing pleases me more than the effort now being made, and it is regrettable that there are extremists on both sides who prefer war to peace.

The present situation in Palestine is a clear indication that confrontation never solves anything - a lesson that the Hong Kong Government seems unwilling to learn: confrontation with China can only make the future worse though it may serve the ambitions of some people.

ELSIE TU Kowloon