The two large and very similar photos of women, one a grieving Palestinian, the other an Israeli in shock (Report, 17 October), trade in a grotesque deception: that Israel and Gaza are suffering in equal measure. If it is no surprise that Netanyahu seeks re-election by pulverising Gaza and claims that Israel is the victim of Palestinian aggression, it is however reprehensible for the Guardian to plug the shop-worn fable of equivalence. The fourth most powerful (and US-backed) army in the world is once again bludgeoning one of the most oppressed, impoverished and overcrowded places on the planet. No matter that Israel struck first or that Hamas fired rockets, this absurd horror has been going on for years. There is no equivalence between occupied and occupier, prisoner and jailer. What we are watching again is the shooting of fish in a barrel.
Skipton, North Yorkshire
Jonathan Freedland really should take off his blinkers (A battle that solves nothing, 16 November). The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is not just about who started firing the most recent lot of missiles. It's about a decades-long refusal by the Israelis to acknowledge the background – their occupation, annexation and frequent destruction of Palestinian olive groves, homes and wells; their refusal to be bound by international law over their settlements; the "Berlin Wall" they have erected through farms; the checkpoints that prevent critically ill people from getting to hospital – that has provoked Hamas intransigence and bitterness. If Jonathan Freedland – let alone the Israelis – cannot take this on board, can there be any hope for reconciliation?
Fr Julian Dunn
Great Haseley, Oxfordshire
And finally, for the good ones:
As a Jew who escaped the Holocaust in a Kindertransport 74 years ago and who voluntarily joined the British army to help fight the evil of Nazism, I utterly condemn the disproportionate response of the Israeli government to the Hamas rocket attacks. I am dismayed that both the British and American governments have given Israel carte blanche for these acts of barbarity in Gaza. Has the world learned nothing sinceGuernica?Typically, in the interests of balance, there are some appalling ones too including one from a "Professor Marc Saperstein" of Cambridge, who Tony Greenstein claims is a fake of some sort. Don't tell me there's a hasbarista shortage.
Emeritus professor Leslie Baruch Brent