21 November 2013

Realism on Israel

It was refreshing to read Michael Stutchbury's realistic portrayal of Israel as an advanced country dealing with the same issues facing any other Western nation, as well as its own unique security challenges ("Amid turmoil, four reasons why Israelis feel safer", AFR, November 20).

Given the circumstances Israel has faced - a hostile neighbourhood and therefore massive defence spending, an arid environment, massive immigration, and, until recently, poor resources - other countries could learn from its success. The Israeli humanitarian efforts that Stutchbury reported, such as treating victims of Syria's civil war, or establishing a field hospital to treat Philippines typhoon victims, are also unknown to most.

Israel is ready and willing to use its abilities to resolve the challenge with which we are most familiar: the quest for peace with the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, it has always lacked the one crucial element over which it has no control - a partner that will genuinely accept its right to exist in peace.

Perhaps, if these facts were better understood, peace would be more attainable.
Justin Said
Coogee, NSW