SURELY yesterday (May 14) must count amongst the darkest and stupidest days in the presidency of Donald Trump.

It is for good reason that successive presidents have demurred from the difficult decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

With the three major religions in this troubled region claiming that Jerusalem is individually sacred to them it is little wonder that many intelligent and circumspect individuals have treated such a decision with great care.

In addition to any aggravation caused by the decision we have the triumphalism of the Israeli leaders and the hand-picked American speakers. at least one of whom quoted that President Trump was “on the side of God”.

Following that we have more than 50 fatalities and more than 2,000 injured in the entirely predictable Palestinian demonstrations (“Worst violence in years as Israeli troops shoot 52 Palestinians dead”, The Herald, May 15).

I suspect that those who elected President Trump care little if anything about foreign affairs but the rest of us need to very wary of a man whose decisions seemingly often lack insight and little apparent concern for the consequences.

W MacIntyre,

32 Dunlin, East Kilbride.

AS predicted by most students of the politics of the Middle East, the opening of the US embassy in East Jerusalem which is traditionally acknowledged as the Palestinian historic capital, witnessed violence and carnage on a colossal and wholly unacceptable scale, compelling the Palestinian health minister to take to Twitter to urgently request blood donors for hospitals in Gaza.

Since March 30 and the beginning of Palestinian protests to mark the “great march of return”, 104 Palestinians have lost their lives and 10,500 have been injured, approximately one-fifth of whom were under 18 years of age. The Israeli Government has taken this opportunity, as it did during Palestinian protests in Gaza in 2014, to indiscriminately test new weapons on Palestinian protesters such as deadly high velocity bullets and tear gas drones.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Government is impervious to international protocol or opinion and has now been emboldened further and rendered virtually fireproof following President Trump’s latest unequivocal endorsement. Mr Netanyahu claims that the Israeli military is acting only in self-defence against Hamas whereas the reality reveals the killing of children as young as 10 and arbitrary tear gas attacks on journalists. Not one Israeli soldier has been reported injured or dead. Yet the Israeli Government still masquerades as the only real democracy in the Middle East and the international community does little but pay lip service to highlighting or trying to avert the continuing tragedy of the Palestinian people.

Violations of human rights, the military occupation of Gaza, unlawful killings and imprisonment, restriction of movement, the demolition of homes and and construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land are all part of an institutionalised framework that perpetuates the status of Palestinians as second class citizens who live under the heel of the state of Israel.

Seventy years after its birth, Israel continues to exist as a racist state whose oppression of the Palestinian people remains the principal impediment to peace, justice and reconciliation.

Owen Kelly,

8 Dunvegan Drive, Stirling.

YOUR reports and pictures on the violence along the Gaza border were depressing and disturbing. Alas, for many Palestinians the events occasioned much more then gloom and anxiety; they led to death for many and injury for thousands.

President Trump was surely advised beforehand about how provocative the step of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could prove to be. He obviously chose to ignore it. He was not alone in being provocative. President Netanyahu referred to the relocation of the embassy to an undivided Jerusalem, thus pouring even more cold water on the Palestinian aspiration to have east Jerusalem as a future capital.

Is this problematic, complex and dangerous situation to remain for ever insoluble through the wit of man?

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road, Lenzie.

WE in Britain surrounded by the sea in Shakespeare’s immortal words “in the office of a wall, or as a moat defensive to a house” tend to be relaxed about our security. Not so the Israelis who face opponents – Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran among others – intent on their annihilation.

These were not demonstrations, nor even riots, but organised, incited and financially sponsored attempts to break in to Israel. Had they succeeded in breaching the border, Israel would have faced the immediate slaughter of civilians by suicide bombers and terrorists.

The attitude of Hamas to human life is precisely the same as that of the IS sponsors of last weekend’s family suicide bombings in Indonesia, because both stem from the same Salafist ideological roots.

The Palestinians and their supporters, including Jeremy Corbyn and his associates, disingenuously demand “a right of return” knowing full well that this would result in the immediate and complete destruction of Israel.

Do the Germans demand a right of return to East Prussia, the Greeks to Ionia or the Armenians to Eastern Turkey? Of course not. Could Jews exercise a right of return to the Rivers of Babylon or anywhere else in the Middle East, where their ancestors lived for centuries or even millennia until 1948? Inconceivable.

The blame for yesterday’s bloodshed should be placed firmly and solely on Hamas and its Iranian and other Islamist sponsors.

Otto Inglis,

6 Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh.

UNLIKE his predecessors, Donald Trump kept his campaign promise that if elected he would move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. For all the media hand-wringing the fact is Congress voted in 1995 to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and he’s just fulfilling the law.

Moving the embassy is not a departure from the US commitment to facilitate a lasting peace deal. The move doesn’t mean it’s taking a new position on final status issues such as the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or on the resolution of contested borders.

Jerusalem is already the de facto capital city of Israel. The Knesset, the offices of the Israeli prime minister and the president are located there. But the move does signal that President Trump will protect Israeli sovereignty amidst implacable regional and international anti-Semitism.

Rev Dr John Cameron,

10 Howard Place, St Andrews.