OUR First Minister Humza Yousaf, who should represent all that is Scottish, has said that he is angry at the Home Secretary and the UK Government for condemning the planned march in London on Armistice Day ("Armistice Day pro-Palestinian marches should go ahead - Yousaf", heraldscotland, November 7). He’s not as angry as those of us who are furious that he cannot see how offensive this is to the service personnel and the families of current and previous servicemen and women who fought against, amongst others, the Nazis. They fought so that we have the freedom to march and express our opinions but not to the detriment of others.

Mr Yousaf would like to claim that the march will be about peace. I beg to differ as we saw at Edinburgh Waverley train station where a poppy seller was assaulted and shown such disregard. Would the First Minister claim that shouting “from the river to the sea” is a peaceful chant? It is clearly not.

This march should not be allowed to take place on this particular day. It is sacrosanct and is a day of remembering those who have died. There will be other days when they can march. Since when did the majority who commemorate Armistice Day have to kowtow to the minority who care not what we think?

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Letters: Israel is involved in an ethnic cleansing of Palestine

Israel must negotiate

LAST night’s reports from Gaza that the numbers killed by the Israeli military now exceed 10, 000 are truly shocking ("Israel severs Gaza in two as Palestinian deaths pass 10,000", The Herald, November 7). It is utterly shameful that we have world leaders, including the UK Prime Minister, continuing to give an emboldened Israel support for this slaughter on the grounds that the country is entitled to defend itself.

The Hamas attacks on Israel and the murder and kidnapping of its citizens are rightly condemned. However, the destruction of Gaza and the killing of so many unprotected innocent men, women and children on such a scale can never be justified. The deliberate cutting off by the Israelis of the essentials of life for the Palestinians, now virtually imprisoned in what is a vast internment camp, must surely constitute a war crime. And what does the future hold for them? Benjamin Netanyahu’s most recent pronouncement would suggest that Gaza is to be occupied. Will a vengeful Israel rebuild their shattered homes and restore the broken infrastructure? Or will they become like so many thousands of other Palestinians, prisoners in their own land?

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres was quite right to point to the long history of persecution experienced by the Palestinians. Despite the unanimous approval of the UN to the 1967 Resolution 242 supporting amongst other measures the establishment of a Palestinian state, this has been regularly flouted by Israeli governments, particularly those led by Mr Netanyahu. Under successive Israeli premierships 279 Israeli settlements, housing 229,000 Israeli settlers, have been built across the occupied West Bank, 147 of which are illegal even under Israeli law.

People across the world are rightly horrified at the suffering in Gaza yet here in the UK the thousands of people who have taken to the streets to protest against the collective punishment being inflicted by Israel, are being attacked by the Home Secretary. Suella Braverman has condemned the rallies as “hate marches” ("Explained: The row over pro-Palestinian protests on Armistice Day", heraldscotland, November 6) and linked them to anti-Semitism - a false argument used of course by Mr Netanyahu. It seems that any criticism of Israel can be dismissed in such a fashion.

If Mr Netanyhu had studied even recent history, he would have learned that an insurrection cannot be beaten by military force on its own. Just ask the Americans. While Gaza might be reduced to the largest bomb site in the world, he is deluded in thinking that Hamas can be wiped out under the rubble. Tragically Israel’s aggression will only serve to recruit the next generation of Palestinians who perceive that the only future for them lies in the destruction of the state of Israel. Furthermore, as well as threatening to destabilise the entire Middle East, Mr Netanyahu is making life difficult for the millions of decent Jewish people living peacefully in countries across the world.

Until Israel returns to the pledges of the 1993 and 1995 Oslo Peace Process brokered by President Clinton and accepted by Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Rabin of Israel, then the future looks very bleak indeed. As the UK learned in Kenya, Cyprus and of course Northern Ireland, at some point you have to sit down to negotiate even with those you have demonised as terrorists.

Eric Melvin, Edinburgh.

Border would not be a problem

ALEXANDER McKay in his "analysis" of the SNP’s recently published document on immigration (Letters, November 7), recycles many objections raised in 2014 to an open border between Scotland and England. Having pointed out that “England .. has a serious problem with unofficial and undocumented migrants on their south coast”, he suggests the open border proposed would allow “the vast majority of incomers to the UK [to] get in through Scotland and then walk through the open border to the part of England where most of their wider families are located”.

There are at least two difficulties with this as a serious proposal. As a practical problem, if the journey in a small boat from France to Dover is “hazardous”, how would you describe the journey between Denmark and perhaps North Berwick? "Reckless" might be a possibility, or perhaps "suicidal" would be better?

To argue that the UK’s problem “with unofficial and undocumented migrants on their south coast” is going to be affected by an open border between Scotland and England verges on geographical illiteracy. It also ignores that England already has an open border with Ireland, with few reported problems.

But secondly, it is Mr McKay who points out that many of those risking their lives on the south coast - never mind between Europe and Scotland - are looking to join family members already here. According to UK Border Agency, a new migrant would qualify for entry if their family member here has “an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK” already. However, this is not needed if “they already have a valid family, work or student visa”. Many small boat migrants therefore by Mr McKay’s own admission, already qualify for migration to the UK.

Would it not be better to focus on the glacial UK immigration scheme, to make it quicker and more efficient for those who qualify, rather than on problems which don’t and won’t exist or on fantasy geography?

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.

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• ALEXANDER McKay writes as if an open border within the British Isles is a novel idea. Is he unaware that it exists already? Has he never heard of the Common Travel Area? Since the 1920s the UK Government has had no control over immigration into Ireland. Anyone gaining entry to Ireland can take a ferry or plane or indeed a bus or train into the UK with no visible border. And the Earth goes on turning.

Mary McCabe, Glasgow.

Read more: Does the SNP really think England will stand for its latest nonsense?

Let's take the Belize path

IT has been 42 years since the small Central American nation of Belize gained independence from the UK. For this it had to defy both the UK and the United States.

Key to the gaining of that independence was George Price, who led the People’s United Party. With strong ties to the country's labour unions, the party gained mass support. Predictably, the British attempted to thwart the party’s ascendance - including charging Price with sedition. The attempts to destroy the party backfired spectacularly, as it had repeated election success.

Following years of active international diplomacy, Belize appealed to the United Nations and it became a part of the Non-Aligned Movement. Then in 1981 a UN resolution called for the UK to grant Belize independence, which Westminster finally and reluctantly did.

Its final constitution or rules to govern by, enshrined the freedoms of individuals as a fundamental right, regardless of "race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex". It includes protection from deprivation and poverty and promised to ensure a system that provides education and healthcare to all on the basis of equality.

In 2010, the government introduced an amendment which gave the state majority ownership of all public utilities, including water and the sources of energy.

The total population of Belize is 412,330 whilst Scotland has 5.463 million.

More than 60 former colonies have won their independence from Westminster and the UK, and not one has ever asked to give it up again. Independence is normal.

Tricia Grey, Lochgilphead.