YP Letters: Lessons from past to help end injustice

Victims of the Syria chemical weapons attack. but will American airstrikes lead to a lasting peace?
Victims of the Syria chemical weapons attack. but will American airstrikes lead to a lasting peace?
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From:Sue Cooke, Windmill Rise, York.

SIXTY nine years ago on April 9, 1948, disaster struck a small village near Jerusalem. At 4.30am during the hours of darkness, 107 Zionist militiamen entered the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. As the villagers, taken by surprise, tried to defend their village the attackers slaughtered 170 children, women and men. A further 80 people from Deir Yassin were taken prisoner, paraded through Jerusalem then murdered.

The people of Deir Yassin lived in peace with their Jewish neighbours across the valley in Grivat Shaul, they supported each other to give warnings of attacks. I heard from a colleague, Mazin Qumsiyeh, in Bethlehem. At the time, in 1948, Mazin’s mother was training to be a teacher in Jerusalem. Her best friend was Hayah Balbisi, who that fateful April returned to her home in Deir Yassin to be with her family. Hayah was 16 years old when she was killed by Zionist militiamen. To this day Mazin’s mother, now 84, remembers the tragedy which took her friend’s life.

The slaughter and destruction at Deir Yassin marked the beginning of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from the land of their birth, which continues today with the illegal military occupation of Palestine, and the 10 year blockade of Gaza, brutally enforced by the Israeli government.

It is important to remember that the ongoing suffering in Palestine and Israel are the continuation of something our Government set in train a hundred years ago this year, with the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It is time our Government apologised and helped correct the historical injustices we are responsible for.

As we grieve for the children killed in Syria, and children killed in Yemen with British weapons of destruction supplied to Saudi Arabia, I continue to be hopeful that readers will find out more about the reasons behind these linked tragedies, and write to their Members of Parliament.

For or against fracking?

From: Elizabeth Barclay, Green Party Candidate (Ripon North), Ure Bank Top, Ripon.

ELECTION leaflets are dropping through our letter boxes; politicians of various parties and none are vying for our votes.

The main question I ask the candidates is when will they listen and actually act democratically, encouraging the North Yorkshire County Council Minerals and Waste Planning Committee to voice the overwhelming public objection to controversial issues like ‘fracking’. Is it imperative that the councillors use the Law and vote against any further applications seriously affecting the environment and our county’s health in general?

Over 90 per cent of those who responded to the anti-fracking demonstrations and petitions were against the application by Third Energy to ‘frack’ at Kirby Misperton, and yet the application was approved.

Considering that tourism is one of our main North Yorkshire’s industries, fracking will decimate this industry and also compromise farming; this being a rural county.

There is documented evidence that the Bowland shale bed is part of our local geology in areas of the local county divisions of Ripon, Harrogate and Boroughbridge. To return councillors to the County Council who are in favour of fracking would be opening the doors to turning beautiful North Yorkshire into a gas field!

This is one very important question to ask candidates: are they for or against fracking?

Sanity needed for Ministry

From: Paul Emsley, Hellifield.

ON the subject of crime and punishment, why does it require a case review by the Supreme Court of this country, with all the associated costs for judges and lawyers and their bureaucratic ‘fluff’, when the whole of the country knows that anybody who beats somebody with a cricket bat and administers the ingestion of a corrosive liquid, should be in prison? What don’t judges understand about the crime of grievous bodily harm?

Nobody who grievously injures somebody, whether using a vehicle, a blunt instrument, or a chemical, should remain free in our society if convicted. If the sentencing rules of this country need changing/clarification, then get on with it; but don’t allow the perpetrators of such crimes to remain on our streets.

There can be no mitigating circumstances for such acts – particularly for playing cricket; driving a vehicle; nor, continuing in employment. We all know a decent magistrate or justice of the peace could have made this decision without all the ‘fluff’ of the Supreme Court. Any chance of Liz Truss bringing an element of sanity to the Ministry?

A wage that is fit for all ages

From: Coun Tim Mickelburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

I AGREE with Labour’s plans to increase the minimum wage to £10. Indeed I’d go further and ensure it applied to everyone regardless of how old they are.

Exploring the Rugby Stand

From: Andrew Burnhill, Bridle Stile, Halifax.

THE amusing article by Chris Waters (The Yorkshire Post, April 8) about the old Rugby Stand at Headingley reminded me of one of our regular visits.

A group of us used to sit in the stand on the Friday of Test Match week. One year David Attenborough, looking splendid in his Panama hat and linen jacket, wandered up and down the rows several times, ticket in hand, trying to find his seat.

A wag in our group shouted “Well Mr Attenborough you can find your way up the Orinoco but you can’t find your bloody seat at Headingley”. He did laugh with us.