The Israel-Hamas war has thrown up many troubling aspects, including what some perceive to have been incidences of hate crimes both in Scotland and the rest of the UK. 

On Tuesday (October 24), our columnist Kevin McKenna penned a powerful piece condemning what he believes to be a rise in anti-Semitism in the country. 

Read more: Kevin McKenna: Why we must stand strong with our Jewish neighbours

Today, one of our Jewish readers gives his response – and many may find it surprising. 

Henry Maitles of Newton Mearns writes: 

"As a Jewish socialist, I was looking forward to Kevin McKenna’s article. I agree entirely that we all must oppose anti-Semitism wherever it raises its head. 

"He is right that there is deep worry about the events in Israel/Gaza. Almost all of us have relatives or friends there.

"We are upset about all the deaths on both sides of the Gaza border and concerned that the Israeli government - against which many Jews in Israel and worldwide were protesting until the Hamas attack - is acting out of revenge rather than thought.

"Many also fear that the Netanyahu cabinet has a far-right streak in it which views the Palestinians, in the words of Defence Secretary Yoav Gallant, as 'human animals' - a phrase reminiscent of 'sub-human', used to describe Jews and others in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Herald: People take part in a vigil organised by Medical Aid for Palestinians at Parliament Square, central London to mourn the children killed in GazaPeople take part in a vigil organised by Medical Aid for Palestinians at Parliament Square, central London to mourn the children killed in Gaza (Image: PA)

"Many people, indeed many Jews, including establishment figures, now think that Israel is an apartheid state. 

"But, unfortunately some of his piece was caricature. First, he is just plain wrong in suggesting that the Left is uncritical of Putin in Ukraine.

"I am active in the Left and most policies by trade unions, for example, pushed for by the Left start with a condemnation of the Russian invasion. 

"Secondly, although condemning the Hamas attack, I note that Mr McKenna did not mention the 5,000-odd deaths in Gaza so far, nor whether he thinks withholding water and food and medicines from a dependent population constitutes a war crime.

"Surely worth a sentence at least; particularly as one of his main arguments is that the pro-Palestinian rallies don’t criticize Hamas. 

Read more: Israel steps up bombardment of Gaza strip

"Turning to that, I was on the platform of a large Stop the War meeting on October 23 calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

"It was a broad-based platform - Labour Party, SNP, trade unionists, CND, civil society speakers and a broad audience.

"Almost all speakers from the platform and floor condemned the targeting of civilians on either side of the border, that we needed to campaign against Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid on a vast scale.

"According to polls in Britain, Europe, and the United States, this is a majority position in most countries. 

"Further, the slogan 'from the river to the sea...' is the call for a democratic state for all the peoples in the area - not, as Mr McKenna suggests, the driving of Jews into the sea.

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"It reflects that the traditional call for a two-state solution appears impractical now that 600,000 (illegal according to the UN) settlers are in the West Bank.

"It is condescending for the media to reduce the 75-year conflict down to the last two weeks. It has been ongoing and no amount of bombing of Palestinians in Gaza is going to solve it.

"Peace and justice go hand in hand and seem a long way off. But there is no alternative. Ceasefire would be a start."