7 JULY 2007, Page 17

Palestine chose war

Sir: Mr. Blunt leaves the Conservative Middle East Council looking like it is chaired by a guy who — like his traitorous namesake — has defected from reality in favour of a pernicious and violent 'revolutionary movement' (Letters, 30 June). That is a very dangerous policy indeed. He decries Melanie Phillips's description of Palestinians as a group 'who have brutalised themselves' and asks her to examine how the tragedy of Gaza and the West Bank have come about and why Palestinians voted for Hamas. Mr. Blunt might do better to think about it afresh himself.

'Moderate' (ha ha) PLO/Fatah/al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade leader, Yasser Arafat, walked away from every deal the Israelis ever offered. Arafat rejected the extraordinary overtures made by Ehud Barak at the Camp David–Taba talks in 2001 in favour of the launch of another intifada against Jewish civilians. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud — not generally considered an ardent Zionist — described Arafat's action as 'a crime against the Palestinians — in fact against the entire region'.

Offered peace for his people, a state for him to run, and virtually everything asked for that could reasonably be given, the Palestinian leader chose war. He died a hero among his people, who rushed to show their own desire for peace and for reconciliation with the reality of a Jewish nation in the Middle East by electing the terrorist group Hamas who have sworn to destroy the state of Israel and drive all Jews from the region.

Corin Vestey London W7