Letter: I'm not a gullible peace-maker, I was proud to take part in a pro-Palestinian rally in Belfast - and would do so again on Remembrance Day

A letter from Arnold Carton:
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Like your columnist Ruth Dudley Edwards (If we care about the future of the West, we must stand with Israel, November 7), I want to see the people of Israel living in peace and, like her, I was in the middle of a pro-Palestinian rally last Saturday, but my experience was much more positive that Ruth’s.

I was taking part in the Belfast “End the Slaughter” rally because I object to the cruelty and the self-defeating stupidity of Benjamin Netanyahu's strategy of destroying the Palestinians. Unlike Ruth, I saw evidence of anger against Israeli actions, but absolutely no hatred towards Jewish people and I was proud to have taken part in this march.

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Ruth dismisses people like me as self-styled gullible peace-makers calling for a ceasefire but we are not the ones who are being gullible. With her experience of NI, Ruth knows that we did not adopt Israel’s strategy, we did not carpet bomb west Belfast where people elected a pro-IRA Sinn Fein MP at a time when the IRA was murdering the unionist community. Instead, we chose to talk to our enemies.

Ruth should know that Netanyahu’s strategy of carpet-bombing Gaza did not work in 2012 or 2014 and will not make Israel safe now. As someone who wears a poppy in acknowledgement of the sacrifices during WW1&2, I have no hesitation in saying that if there were another “Stop the Slaughter” march in Belfast on this Saturday, I could think of no more appropriate way of spending Remembrance Day than in marching for peace.

Arnold Carton, Belfast, BT6