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One-sided condemnation of Israel is wrong

• During the recent hostilities between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, it seemed that all hell had broken loose in the Holy Land, the home of three of the world's great religions, each one of which promotes peace.

Yet it seems that the most vocal opponents of war only blame Israel for the current situation. Some of them even question Israel's right to exist. They say the land was stolen from the Palestinians, that an illegal country was set up and that the whole thing is a Zionist conspiracy.

First off, it is an inescapable fact that most countries in the world were stolen to some degree from previous inhabitants.

In America, the natives lost out. 'Russia', the geographical entity, is in reality a plethora of peoples and lands conquered by the invading Russians.

Many countries in Africa and Asia are a hodge-podge of tribes and peoples dominated by one group.

But whether you think that it was stolen at some point in history or not, the people who got the land settled down and raised families there. It has become as much their home as anyone's.

The bottom line of this is that if you really are going to return a landmass to its original inhabitants, then that would involve goose-stepping into people's homes and forcing them – men and women and children – out.

I am not denying that placing Israel in the Middle East has caused problems. Nor am I denying that Palestinians have a right to live in their Holy Land (Islam has a strong connection to the area too).

But it is wrong to behave as though Israel is an intrinsically evil entity. Remember, the Jews have a hard and persecution-ridden history. Then again, so have the Palestinians.

In time, maybe, they could come to bond over their similarities and accept each other, even grudgingly, in the region.

Colin Smith
Clara, Co Offaly

Irish Independent