A reader comments on Israeli incursions onto Palestinian land

Readers respond with letters about the Pakistani-Indian cricket match, the direction for UAE telecoms and the novel Moby Dick

Amid the uprisings across the Arab world, the world seems to have forgotten the Palestinians and Israel's siege of 1.5 million Gazans.

Lawless settlers with their creeping annexation of the West Bank are even pressuring America, the world's only superpower, to yield to their illegal and unrealistic demands.

The expansionist dreams of the Jewish settlers and the right-wing leaders of Israel are taking our region gradually but definitely to the abyss.

The settlers are hindering any chance for a settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by creating facts on the ground with their seizure of Palestinian land. How long will the international community keep tolerating these unlawful activities?

The West should end its double-standards and double-talk and deal with Israel like any country in the world that violates international law.

Economic sanctions, which the western world happily applied against Iraq and Iran, should apply against Israel.

The Goldstone report, which condemned Israel for its war crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza during its Cast Lead operation against the Gaza Strip, drew great attention in the Arab world, yet the West failed again to pay any substantial attention to the report's findings. Are Israel and Israeli leaders above the law?

Israeli leaders refuse to discuss the right of return of Palestinian refugees during any negotiations with the Palestinians. Settling the refugees problem is essential for the resolution of the conflict, and is also consistent with the UN resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 calling for the "unconditional return of the refugees to their homes".

Salameh F Abdul-Hadi, Jordan

Cricket match to boost peace

Rajendra K Aneja's letter to the editor An insensitive invitation (March 27) deplored the invitation by the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to the Pakistani president and prime minister to watch the India-Pakistan World Cup cricket match in Mohali.

There is condemnation of the September 26, 2008, attacks on Mumbai by everyone, including Pakistan. But you can't blame all the Pakistani people and their leaders for those attacks. Leaders are trying to explain the situation to the people that a few groups on both sides want war and bloodshed but we, the people, all have to stand up against them.

The two sides will have to cooperate to tackle these terrorist groups based in India and Pakistan. As The National reported on the influence of cricket in the subcontinent (Sides score well in 'cricket diplomacy', March 29) , hopefully this semi-final match will bring a great boost in peace in the region. I do hope that Mr Aneja and everyone else will enjoy the game for this match will be a cracker whatever the cost.

I hope people will forget all the bitterness and anger and hope for a peaceful future between the nations.

Amir Shah, Abu Dhabi

New directions for Gulf telecoms

The Middle East faces a big conundrum: while growth potential is huge, technological progress has been minimal except for status-oriented gadgets like the iPhone in the GCC.

A New York Times columnist wondered in February how the Egypt/Tunisia uprising could be hyped as internet-based as only 0.027 per cent of Egyptians have access to Twitter, for example.

The telecoms company du's intention of doubling its digital media budget should be welcome as it competes with Etisalat, the other half of the telecoms duopoly. With the UAE's mobile saturation, Etisalat seems to be focusing on acquisitions while du announces forays into new services locally.

As a telecom veteran, I would suggest the Gulf telecoms look more into new services in new markets such as mobile payments and mobile virtual network operators in Asia and Africa, since the GCC market except Saudi Arabia is just too small to build new multi-billion valuations.

Of course building an internal technology base is always a challenge but that is where the growth multiples are, especially in a volatile environment where licencing alone does not cut it.

Athar Mian, Abu Dhabi

'Moby Dick' is a work of genius

In the article 10 overrated literary classics (March 12) Rick Arthur called Herman Melville's Moby Dick "the most boring book in literature". Moby Dick is a work of genius because of its exquisitely crafted metaphors and prose, not because it's a ripping sea-yarn. Think of it as a 700-page poem. For the patient reader, who's willing to read it slowly (and pause to think about what Herman Melville is actually writing about), it's top-10 material, although very little actually happens.

Thus, movies based on it are really, really bad.

Lisa Haney, Abu Dhabi