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ISRAEL IS NOT ALONE IN ITS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

LETTERS

It was perhaps to be expected that architects would become involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict (AJ 09.02.06).

There is, however, a very important issue that you failed to address.

This is that Israel is just one of the countries in the region that has practised serious human-rights violations.

It would take a long time to summarise human rights violations in states throughout the Middle East. For instance, throughout the 1980s and '90s the Turkish army waged a huge campaign against the Kurds. It would be a ludicrous exaggeration to say this attracts one percent of the attention given to the Palestinians, but human-rights violations against the Kurds continue to this day.

Furthermore, there is Iran. When the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in 1979 he established a regime with an appalling human-rights record. It is estimated that in 1988 alone the regime murdered 30,000 political prisoners.

The current state of the Israel/Palestine conflict is still very much the legacy of the events of 1948 and 1967. Since then there have been considerable human-rights violations committed by Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.

Criticising Israel's human rights record is legitimate and right. I can't help feeling, however, that singling out Israel for criticism while ignoring the human-rights situation in the rest of the Middle East involves a certain amount of hypocrisy.

Kieran Gallagher, by email

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