In a letter to The Guardian, UKIP FOI Press Officer Jacob Campbell points out the flaws in Naomi Shepherd's thinking.
Thanks to Naomi Shepherd for her article ('Israel needs a coherent opposition', 19 January), which is a textbook example of the European Left's delusion over the Arab-Israeli conflict. If only Israel could get its act together, she sighs, there would be peace in the Middle East.
How many more failed negotiations will it take for Ms Shepherd to realise that no concession Israel can afford to make will be great enough for the Palestinians to accept? The idea that "the Palestine Authority [sic] needs only an end to settlement building to resume talks" is absurd, not least because even the recent ten-month moratorium could not coax the PA back to the table. The settlements issue is a red herring; the real clincher is the Palestinian 'right of return', which would be a death sentence for the Jewish state.
Even more outlandish is the belief that "Hamas is prepared for an indefinite truce" - a pronouncement so trusting of a fascist regime that it would make Neville Chamberlain blush - when precedent shows that Hamas only favours ceasefires when it needs time to rearm. Common sense dictates the futility of negotiating with someone whose raison d'être is to have you annihilated, but Ms Shepherd is apparently impervious to common sense.
Whether "the time is ripe for an end to the conflict" is questionable, but Israel cannot be blamed for Palestinian obduracy.
JACOB CAMPBELL, York
Press Officer, UKIP Friends of Israel"