Dear Sir,
Presuming that Dr Heika Horstmann really is a “specialist surgeon” (there is no one of that name in the Palma telephone book), one wonders how he would react to someone with no medical knowledge criticising methods of surgical procedure. I may be as well-read on Middle-East matters as he claims to be on matters medical and I find his comments on the Israelis as innacurate and silly as he would most certainly find mine if I were to comment on his profession. To start with, he is clearly unaware that children have often been used and abused in the Middle-East. During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iranians, finding themselves without the technical knowhow to dismantle Saddam's minefields, sacrificed thousands of children, by marching them accross minefields hand in hand singing “Allah Akbah” and thereby clearing the minefields with their little bodies. During Israel's war to clear the PLO out of Lebanon (to the grateful relief of Lebanon's Christian population), Israeli fliers found themselves under fire from anti-aircraft artillery placed on the roofs of schools and hospitals. They also found arsenals of bombs in the basements of thse establishments. In Algeria, Muslim fundamentalists have so far killed more than 100'000 Algerians of which 3'000 or more have been babies under the age of five who have either had their throats cut or were picked up by their ankles and had their heads dashed against a wall.

In the present campaign, apart from the attacks on Isrraeli civilian buses etc., not forgetting the destruction of the lives of twenty young boys and girls queuing outside a disco (the deaths of whom were actually celebrated in Palestine by dancing in the streets.) Israeli soldiers, police and civilians have found themselves being attacked by mortars being fired from school playgrounds and machine gunned from classroom windows. Children as young as seven or eight have been encouraged to stand still whilst Arab gunmen use them as protective cover behind which they can fire their Kalachnikovs.

Further, to compare the Palestine-Israel war with what happened in Sweden is utterly ludricrous. In Sweden a couple of policemen were defending themselvers against anti-capitalist rioters. In Israel, the police are trying to defend the entire civilian population from suicide bombers, machine guns and mortars. As to Dr Horstmann's remarks regarding Africa, about which he clearly knows little more than the average Afrikaans farmer, instead of trying to come up with flippant remarks, he should ask himself how it is that Africa, a continent with vast reserves of gold, diamonds, rubies, uranium, zinc, copper, coal and oil, houses some of the most impoverished natrions in the world, yet in London and New York City, the directors of British American Tobacco, De Beers, Anglo-American Goldfields, Rio Tinto, Shell etc etc earn billions of dollars out of this storehouse of a continent.

Lastly, I am here on holiday. A little less of this anti-Israel rhetoric would improve my stay in Majorca no end. In future, Doctor, please stick to surgery and leave Middle-East affairs and African politics to those who know something about them.

David Lee.

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