‘Desecrating a war memorial is still offensive — not every offence is a criminal’ | UK News

Should respect have been paid to the Royal Artillery War Memorial despite on-going demonstrations? (Picture: Matthew Chattle/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

In today’s MetroTalk readers are sharing their views on the on-going Israel-Hamas war and its subsequent protests.

A reader has written in regarding the pro-Palestine protest, which saw the desecration of the Royal Artillery War Memorial. Though not deemed an offence by the head of the Metropolitan police, he goes on to say, not every offence is a criminal.

Meanwhile, readers demystify the Conservative Party’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda explaining the supreme court’s conclusion that deemed it ‘unlawful.’

What do you think of our reader’s letters today?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

‘This isn’t the first time the police did nothing.’

A reader says for the Met Police to not consider this an offence is offensive to the families and memories of those who fought and died for Britain in World War II (Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

When I saw pictures of pro-Palestine supporters desecrating the Royal Artillery War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner on Wednesday and heard the head of the Met say it did not constitute an offence, I was reminded of 1936 and Oswald Mosley.

The British fascist leader marched hundreds of his Blackshirts through the streets of London waving Nazi flags and the London police also did nothing then.

My uncle volunteered for the Royal Artillery when newly married in World War I. His son, aged 18, also volunteered and left on the first troopship for France in September, 1939.

As a small boy I watched him with curiosity and excitement as he departed. Months later he was captured at Dunkirk and escaped from the Germans, hidden by a French family in northern France. At the end of the war, he married their young daughter and never returned to England.

Another cousin, also in the Royal Artillery, was part of the large Commonwealth Army that surrendered tothe Japanese in Singapore.

Rather than be taken prisoner – and being a powerful swimmer – he escaped and swam three miles to a US cargo ship.

The ship eventually sailed away and when it finally arrived in San Francisco he was considered a hero. He returned to the UK and then was sent to his regiment in north Africa.

To say that there was no ‘offence’ when this war memorial was desecrated is to miss the offence caused to all those whose families served and lost their lives in service of their country in two world wars and many other conflicts. Derek, London


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The ‘National March for Palestine’ set off after a two-minutes’ silence to remember Britain’s war dead on Armistice Day was observed at The Cenotaph war memorial in central London (Picture: Henry Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images)

The protesters who disrespected the war dead – who gave their lives so that we have one of the best countries in which to live, and where many Palestinians and Jews also choose to live – should take a good hard look at their actions. If they don’t feel a deep sense of shame, their lives will amount to nothing. Frank, Hoylake

So Helen and Jenny (MetroTalk, Fri) didn’t see any hate on the pro-Palestinian marches they attended?

I take it from their statements that they had time to walk with all the people on the marches and observe all of them.

Maybe they should contact the Met and assist with their investigations. The fact they didn’t see anything should be enough for them to close their investigations! Gary, Essex

‘The Israeli government’s aim to erase Hamas from the Middle East is unachievable nonsense’

Will the Israeli government’s aim to eliminate Hamas just encourage more militants? (Photo by Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli government’s stated aim to erase Hamas from the Middle East is a nonsense and an unachievable target. In the process of ‘eliminating’ Hamas, the Israeli army will inflict so much misery on the people of Gaza that for every one Hamas militant killed, ten more will appear in future years to take up the struggle.

Look at Lebanon. In 2006, in a similar scenario, the Israeli armed forces killed over a thousand and flattened large areas of Lebanon to ‘eliminate’ the armed insurgents of Hezbollah.

Far from being eliminated, 17 years later in 2023, Hezbollah is reckoned to be one of the most powerful armed insurgency forces in the world.

Violence only creates martyrs and more supporters and perpetuates the hatred and the conflict.

Even though the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel was an act of unspeakable barbarism and inhumanity, it comes out of an enduring Palestinian sense of injustice.

In 1948, as the state of Israel was emerging, thousands of Palestinians were killed and an estimated 700,000 were terrorised into leaving their homes by the Zionist armed forces who founded Israel.

Ever since 1948, the Israeli state has continued to expel Palestinians from their land. So long as these injustices remain, there will continue to be resentment among Palestinians.

Israel won’t ‘disappear’ this resentment by brute force, revenge and punishment of innocent civilians. Only compromise, empathy and negotiation will achieve that.

There are many Jewish people – in Israel, in Britain, in the US, all over the world – who understand this and support the rights of Palestinians.

But sadly, Hamas’s actions on October 7 and Israel’s ongoing response have delayed the chances of a negotiated solution by many years. Roy Morris, Sheffield

‘Why wasn’t anybody calling for a ceasefire in other wars in the Middle East?’

Further to the 56 Labour MPs who defied the party and backed the SNP motion for a ceasefire in Gaza (MetroTalk, Fri). Where were all the Labour MPs calling for a parliamentary motion for a ceasefire when hundreds of thousands of Syrians were being murdered by the their own regime?

Where were the 300,000 marchers when the Saudis and their allies were murdering hundreds of thousands in Yemen?

Why is it that when atrocities are being committed by Arabs on Arabs in the Middle East there is silence, but when Israel attempts to destroy the Hamas terrorists who are committed to not only the destruction of Israel, but of all Jews in the world, there is uproar? John, Buckinghamshire

Understanding Rwanda and ignoring the law

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Regarding the Supreme Court’s judgement on the government’s Rwanda deportation scheme (Metro, Thu).

Much mention is made of the European Convention on Human Rights but the judgement makes limited reference to it.

In actuality, it confirms that to send people to Rwanda would violate the principle of ‘non-refoulement’, the obligation not to send someone to a place where they are likely to be subject to abusive behaviour.

The judges based their conclusion on this principle, a range of international treaties and customary international law. In other words, you can’t blame the ECHR.

To do so is misleading and will only magnify calls from the right to withdraw from it. Bob Wade, via email

We, the electorate, elect a parliament, never a government. The government uses lawyers to draw up draft legislation, which is debated in the House of Commons.

It then goes on to the House of Lords and back, before receiving Royal Assent.

The judges interpret the legislation. Spot the flaw? The lawyers who draft the legislation must take the flak if the government’s own legislation cannot get past the judges. Martin Levin, via email

Conservative Party deputy chairman Lee Anderson says ‘ignore the laws’ and ‘just put them on a plane’ (Metro, Thu). Goodbye to the party of ‘law and order’.
David Holloway, Lewisham

Sacked home secretary Suella Braverman isn’t ‘telling it like it is’, as her supporters like to claim.

She’s telling people what they want to hear. People would rather scapegoat the most vulnerable people in our society – asylum seekers and the homeless – than actually try to fix the real problems in this country, which are much more difficult and complex.

I accept that Ms Braverman is a ‘conviction politician’ who could lead her party to victory – but then again, so was Adolf Hitler. Rob Slater, Norfolk

MORE : Pro-Palestine protesters block San Francisco’s Bay Bridge

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MORE : Remembrance clashes mark ‘dangerous new phase’ says anti-racism leader

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