Too busy for terrorism
Sir: The Islamisation of countries surrounding Israel may not necessarily constitute an increased threat to the Jewish state (‘Israel under siege’, 24 November). The reluctance of Hezbollah to open a second front in Israel’s north in the past weeks may be due to the recent economic recovery of south Lebanon following massive infrastructure destruction extending up to south Beirut in the 2006 war with Israel, largely funded by Iran. Similar economic growth and prosperity in the West Bank may well be responsible for the virtual absence of any recent anti-Israel violence. (A recent television report on West Bank high schools showed many kids wearing orthodontic braces — a sure contra-indication to becoming a suicide bomber.)
Hopefully once the citizens of Gaza have recovered from this onslaught and have rebuilt their city, they will appreciate the benefits of free enterprise and economic prosperity without further bloodshed.
Perhaps the greatest long-term threat to Israel’s identity may be a peaceful economic and political subsumption into a greater Israel-Palestinian conurbation.
West Perth, Western Australia
Sir: Hugo Rifkind is commendably bold to forecast (24 November) that in ten years’ time we will all be buying cannabis from the off-licence. About the cannabis he is almost certainly right. But what makes him think there will still be any off-licences?
Stiff upper lip, Toby
Sir: Toby Young (24 November) should continue in his efforts to grow an iconic moustache. My grandmother, born in 1897, told me on my 21st birthday in 1968 that ‘kissing a man without a moustache is like having strawberries without cream’.
I have had my well-groomed moustache since then and know that her advice was sound.
Sir: I was surprised by Blair Worden’s view of my biography of Henry Jermyn, The King’s Henchman (Books, 17 November), as largely ‘fictional embroidery’.