LETTER : Lebanon: `pusillanimous' reaction of politicians

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Sir: Naomi Katz (Letters, 17 April) asks whether the British Government would stand idly by if "the IRA was bombing buses and throwing Katyusha rockets into your backyard".

I don't believe that even the most rabid Tory backwoodsman has advocated that the British government should shell large areas of West Belfast or launch air strikes on Dublin to fight the IRA.

For Ms Katz to attempt to justify the shelling of civilians by claiming that Hizbollah is "linked in purpose" with the suicide bombers of Hamas, is further to confuse the issue. The conditions for the rocket attacks have grown directly out of the Israeli occupation by proxy of southern Lebanon. Equally, the conditions for Hizbollah to develop as a military power have been created by Israel's decision to treat Lebanon as merely another arena for its conflict with the Palestinians, and its refusal to respect the rights of the Lebanese people.

Mike Shallcross

London SE22