IT appears that Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, February 20) has now not only lost all faith in Britain’s influence on the world stage but in British democracy.

Should a majority of MPs vote to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, then a message will be sent to Israel that the tide of support from one of its staunchest allies for actions resulting in the daily massacre of Palestinian men, women and children, has turned. Of course this message must be reinforced by the suspension of arms sales and military support along with a call to the US to join most other countries around the world in demanding an immediate ceasefire.

Regrettably even an immediate ceasefire will not totally end the bloodshed nor will it quickly bring about a lasting two-state solution, but along with substantially more aid delivered it will greatly reduce the daily death toll and the horrendous suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The colossal Israeli military machine is in control of the enormous battlefield into which it has turned Gaza, not scattered groups of Hamas terrorists, and the human carnage cannot stop until Israel decides to cease hostilities and enter into meaningful negotiations for the release of the remaining hostages as well as the estimated thousands of Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial.

What is the point of Britain being a member of the UN Security Council and of making the massive investment in equipping our own military to engage in major conflicts around the world if we cannot use our influence and resources to end the continuing mass slaughter of innocents?

The motto of Clan Gunn is “Aut Pax Aut Bellum”, either peace or war: the British Parliament must make the choice that reflects the will of the people it is supposed to represent.

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.

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We must let our leaders know

MY youngest grandchild will be five next week, and she’s brought happiness and joy into our lives since the day she was born. When I see nightly on TV the horror inflicted on the children of Gaza, I can but weep for the catastrophe that has engulfed them. It reminds me of 40 years ago, when my children were very young, and one day I was in a famine relief camp in Mek’ele, northern Ethiopia. I particularly remember a little boy, he’d have been three or four and he was squatting in the dust and his own excrement, without the strength to stand up and with no one helping him.

And that is the situation Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist war cabinet want to create in Gaza. Already they’ve killed 30,000 Palestinians, with probably 10,000 of those being children. Tens of thousands more children have been left orphaned or maimed, with limbs blown off by Israeli bombs and shells. Now the plan is to kill thousands more, by violence, disease and famine. And all so that they can shout "Victory" at some point in the future.

Not in the same league, but still worthy of condemnation, has been the response of many western leaders. Joe Biden is reduced to pleading with Israel to at least have a plan for the evacuation of civilians before they destroy Rafah; Rishi Sunak has had nothing to say since the early days, when he said he wanted Israel to win; Keir Starmer edges ever so carefully towards a call for the fighting to stop but is too timid to call for an immediate ceasefire. It’s all too little and too late.

It was BBC reporter Michael Buerk and pop star Bob Geldof who spoke up and alerted the public to the monstrous humanitarian disaster in Ethiopia and the public responded, forcing a response from our politicians. Thousands of lives were saved as a result. I urge everyone to speak up and let our leaders know that we will not be complicit in genocide in Gaza and they have to do a whole lot more to prevent it.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.

I'm ashamed to be British

EVERY country on the UN Security Council, except the US and UK, wants an immediate ceasefire in Israel's war on Gaza.

But the US vetoes the motion and the cowardly UK abstains.

Scotland, apparently part of the UK, has been calling for an immediate ceasefire for months through First Minister Humza Yousaf.

But his voice was dismissed by Westminster.

The UK's Labour leader Keir Starmer has only just accepted Mr Yousaf may be right, but we know he will say anything to try and win support ahead of the General Election.

I'm dejected and ashamed to be considered British, ruled by a corrupt, arrogant, hypocritical, bigoted, privileged, inhumane government that cosies up to a government with the same values.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

What about our own country?

I WATCHED Steven Flynn on television news this morning (February 20) demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. Humza Yousaf has been banging on about it for some time; the SNP administration sent a letter to Westminster on the subject and has discussed it in Holyrood. It seems every other week the SNP is riding a white charger for someone else’s problems. There’s nothing wrong with being sympathetic to the troubles of others but have we no problems in Scotland to solve? No families choosing between heating and eating? No gaping black hole in Scotland’s finances? No homeless people sleeping in shop doors?

It’s time our politicians started caring for the people and the country they are supposed to be looking after.

Ian Balloch, Grangemouth.

• JAMES Quinn (Letters, February 19) is highly critical of SNP MPs at Westminster, calling them "a noisy embarrassment" and "signifying nothing". I would remind Mr Quinn that it is the SNP which is tabling a motion for debate in the House of Commons this week, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. It is to be hoped that this time Sir Keir Starmer will do the right thing and support it.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.

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What will future generations think?

I TEND to have some sympathy with the view of Norman Lockhart (Letters, February 20) that we in Scotland should perhaps be circumspect on the issue of weapons being sent to Israel now that they have appear to have adopted a total war strategy on the civilian population of the Gaza strip.

I believe that since its creation in 1948 the state of Israel has been granted by almost all of the human race an outpouring of emotional warmth and self-reproach due to the guilt felt by humanity that we as a species could commit appalling atrocities against a group of people who simply identified with a certain believe and culture. I expect that most post-war baby boomers like myself grew up knowing that something really terrible had happened in modern times against the Jewish people.

However history moves on and while I knew about the Second World War and indeed the First World War as they were still talked about by my family, the Battle of Waterloo, for example, and even the Boer War meant little other being distant historical events in a text book or in films.

Young people born this year will be 17 in 2041 which will be 100 years since the start of the Holocaust. I wonder if their feelings towards Israel will be those my generation grew up with or if the more recent events in the Gaza strip will have become the abiding identity Israel will have established for them.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.

The Herald: What will future generations make of the Holocaust?What will future generations make of the Holocaust? (Image: PA)

SNP halcyon days are over

I REFER to Mark Smith’s column in which he writes about the SNP failing, particularly in relation to alienation of the support from the Scottish middle class ("SNP is failing the kitchen table test", The Herald, February 19). He conveys the impression that the Scottish middle class is some kind of unitary grouping. The fact is that there are many middle-class voters who have never voted for the SNP and never will. They are content to remain British and Scottish and for Scotland to be part of the United Kingdom. They have no interest in borders being created between Scotland and England, particularly those who have relatives and friends resident down south. They have no truck with the idea of becoming independent whatever the consequences.

The fact is that the SNP had its halcyon days in the years before the independence referendum in 2014. It was given the opportunity to get over the line in 2014 and was unable to persuade Scots of its mission in sufficient numbers. Since 2014 it has been treading water and now it is finding it difficult to arrest its decline with little evidence of ever finding a way back to its position of clear prominence in the political life of Scotland while meantime it continues in charge of the devolved Scottish Government.

There are others who occasionally sit around kitchen tables whose support the SNP never had.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.