A talking point opinion piece by retired financial adviser and blogger Malcolm Eves headlined "No resolution to Middle East situation" has resulted in much feedback on the subject. Here is a selection of the letters received:

Israel's right to defend its democracy

The Talking Point by Malcolm Eves on Thursday was flawed with inaccuracies.

Israel is not a rogue state but a true democracy.

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She is not responsible for the "merciless slaughter" of Palestinians - Palestinian leaders who incite their people against Israel are.

In defending herself, if innocent civilians are deliberately put in the way of the firing line by irresponsible Palestinian leaders (Hamas in Gaza), then the shame is on Palestinian leaders, not Israel.

Israel has the right to defend herself as any responsible government in the free world would do for its citizens.

The only impossibility for negotiations in the "two-state solution" is if the Palestinians leaders continue to do what they have done for years - refuse to come to the negotiating table and meet Israel halfway.

As for "stolen Palestinian land": The current land of Israel is only 23 per cent of the Palestine promised the Jewish people in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and then sanctioned by the international community in 1922.

The other 77 per cent was given for a Palestinian state in 1921 (the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan). As a member of the NZ Government told me in 2015, "the Palestinians already have their state - the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan".

Anyway, the West Bank is all historically the land of the Jews.

As for "Greater Israel" - there is no such plan before the Israeli Government.

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Israel would be quite happy to trade parts of the West Bank for peace, but understandably never Jerusalem. Even with the West Bank, Israel is only one-tenth the size of New Zealand.

Let's be fair to Israel.

Pastor Nigel Woodley
Flaxmere Christian Fellowship

Chosen people

I am writing in protest about the appalling opinion piece by Malcolm Eves entitled "God's chosen people".

He trots out anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as truth, avoiding mentioning the millennia of history demonstrating Israeli presence in and ownership of the land.

Nor the ongoing terrorist attacks Israel endures nearly daily.

Nor Israel's honest attempts to negotiate a peaceful settlement with its enemies.

One commentator has said: "The abuse of the concept of the 'chosen people' refers specifically to Jews and is commonly employed by anti-Semites to falsely assert that Jews claim to be superior to non-Jews not only in a theological sense but also in a racial one."
The idea that Jews have any sense of entitlement is just not true.

We have had many Israeli visitors visit us in our home over the years.

Not one has ever demonstrated any sense of superiority over Gentiles at them being - a view we hold - God's chosen people.

A number have said that if being God's chosen has brought them two millennia of persecution they have faced throughout the world since being evicted from the land by the Romans between 70 and 130AD, then they would prefer not to be so.

Most don't even accept what God's Word says about them.

I hope this disgraceful anti-Semitic article has been disowned by your newspaper. (Abridged.)

Kevin & Karin McKenna
Palmerston North

Conspiracy theories

Malcolm Eves' opinion piece "No resolution to Middle East situation" of January 5 is an appalling display of anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories must be condemned, as well as your newspaper for publishing this anti-Israel propaganda.

Writers are entitled to legitimately criticise Israel in the media, but spreading these well-known, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and lies crosses the line between free speech and hate speech.

Michael Charles
Cape Town, South Africa

Journalism's new low

Your journalism has sunk to an appalling low with the article by Malcolm Eves.

His education in history shows that he wasn't paying attention or doesn't have the mental capacity to understand simple facts.

To even suggest that Israel will dominate millions of Arabs from Egypt to Iraq is ludicrous.
I think you might need new editors and your country's vote in the UN was inexcusable.

Don't you realise that Muslims with the greatest personal freedoms are Israeli citizens and they make up 20 per cent of Israel's population?

Elias Goldstein
Florida, USA

Ignorance shows

I'm sure Malcolm has never been to Israel.

I'm sure he's never been to Germany either, visiting the Auschwitz camps. He has no idea what Jews have been through but he continues to perpetuate a bad world feeling, with no merit.

Picking on an already disadvantaged people. Why not worry and write about poverty in your country, or volunteerism?

Doing good, Malcolm?

Your true spirit shows today.

You are no worse than being out on the playground.

And please do not visit the US. You are not welcome here. (Abridged.)

Dana Marni
Miami, Florida, USA

Accusations

It appears that Malcolm Eves is accusing Israel (or is it neocon Zionist Jews?) of trying to destroy and then rule over the entire Middle East.

In the past, Jews and/or Zionists were accused of trying to rule (if they didn't already control it) the entire world.

I can't decide if Eves has taken the paranoia down a notch or if this is just a failure of imagination on Eves' part.

Is this really what passes for reasoned debate in your paper?

Harry Onickel
Ferndale, Michigan, USA