The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

Last week’s front page ( JC, Au­gust 19) re­ports re­marks by Alan Dun­can, Min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment. He makes very spe­cific crit­i­cisms, for ex­am­ple that “the wall hasn’t just gone along the lines of the proper Is­raeli bound­ary but has taken open land which ac­tu­ally be­longs to Pales­tine, so it’s not a se­cu­rity wall, it’s try­ing to an­nex land that doesn’t be­long to Israel”.

He also said: “Is­raeli set­tlers can build what they want and then im­me­di­ately get in­fras­truc­ture that takes wa­ter de­lib­er­ately away from Palestinians.

“The Is­raelis can build and this is not their coun­try but the Palestinians, whose coun­try this is, can­not build.” These are highly spe­cific state­ments.

The front page item also re­ports the re­sponse of An­drew Bal­combe of the Bri­tish Israel Group, who said: “It is ap­palling that a Min­is­ter of the Bri­tish Gov­ern­ment is the speaker on a one-sided video that is in­ac­cu­rate and in­flam­ma­tory”.

It is a pity that Mr Bal­combe’s crit­i­cism did not spec­ify any facts that would re­fute what the min­is­ter had spelled out. Aren’t there any? Stan­ley Wa­linets, Mick­le­ton, Barnard Cas­tle, Co Durham

Alan Dun­can, Min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment, and the Gov­ern­ment ap­pear very selective in their views of “land grabs”. I am not suf­fi­ciently au-fait with the le­gal po­si­tion of the Is­raeli se­cu­rity wall to take a po­si­tion, one way or the other. I note, how­ever, that it has pre­vented many deaths over the past few years.

Per­haps the min­is­ter, in the mean­time, could give us his opinion about a much more se­ri­ous “land grab” which oc­curred in 1974 when Turkey in­vaded the Repub­lic of Cyprus and seized some 30 per cent of the is­land, dis­placed its Greek in­hab­i­tants, re­placed them with Ana­to­lian farm­ers and their fam­i­lies and told the Greeks that the land would never be re­turned to them

As Bri­tain was one of the guar­an­tors of Cyprus’s in­de­pen­dence, it re­mains in­ex­pli­ca­ble that HM gov­ern­ment should be en­cour­ag­ing Turkey’s as­pi­ra­tion to join the EU, while that state con­tin­ues in its il­le­gal “land grab” and 37 year oc­cu­pa­tion of Cypriot ter­ri­tory. JD Nor­man Hill­court Av­enue, Lon­don N12

You ex­press great con­cern about the state­ments made re­cently by the Min­is­ter for De­vel­op­ment Alan Dun­can re­gard­ing Israel de­lib­er­ately tak­ing wa­ter from the Palestinians.

He is not ac­tu­ally in­cor­rect. Ac­cord­ing to Friends of the Earth Mid­dle East Israel di­rec­tor Gi­don Bromberg, the shar­ing of wa­ter in the West Bank is very un­fair with 80 per cent go­ing to the Jews and 20 per cent to the Palestinians

As to the River Jor­dan, that wa­ter is shared be­tween Israel, Jor­dan and Syria with none go­ing to the Palestinians. This does in­deed seem to be a se­ri­ously un­fair sit­u­a­tion. June Ja­cobs juneruth@tis­cali.co.uk

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