Town twinning helps to promote peace

Liverpool Friends of Palestine Silent Voices photography exhibition of pictures taken by children of Bil'in and Liverpool photographer Elaine Stapleton:  The Wall can keep me away but it can't take away the love for my homeland

Liverpool Friends of Palestine Silent Voices photography exhibition of pictures taken by children of Bil'in and Liverpool photographer Elaine Stapleton: The Wall can keep me away but it can't take away the love for my homeland

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Mr Pendle (September 6th) seeks to provoke debate about twinning but advances a shallow argument that twinning is only a minority interest. It is not.

World War memorials around Pendle remind us all of the huge sacrifices made by Pendle soldiers.

Sadly, new inscriptions are needed to record recent sacrifices of Pendle soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Twinning partnerships developed strongly after the Second World War seek to diminish the risk of future war. This is thus a majority interest.

Many children from Pendle high schools, my sons included, enjoyed and learned much from exchanging letters and visits; strong links have been forged, developed either from twinning or earlier associations. Visits were arranged to First World War battlefields near Ypres.

My sons travel to Europe to work, to complete the Camino de Santiago in Spain and visit South America.

Earlier correspondents ask what useful purpose is to be gained by twinning Pendle with “some village in Palestine”.

Beit Leed is an agricultural community as is much of Pendle. Mutual exchanges have been well publicised and valued in the Leader-Times series.

The future of Palestine is of great common concern to many people in Pendle of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Humanist and other beliefs who only wish to live peacefully together. Peace in Palestine is central to such concern.

Britain and France bear much colonial responsibility for present problems in the Middle East; thence a responsibility to help resolve them.

I worked on an Israeli kibbutz, my uncle worked in Palestine before the Second World War in forestry. I have no axe to grind beyond a need to seek peace via diplomacy.

Peace in Palestine is particularly important; a resolution in favour of a two-state solution remains central to a reduction in tension and conflict across the world, the discouragement and defeat of terrorism.

Moral and financial support given voluntarily by many Pendle citizens to the citizens of Palestine is a contribution towards peace and understanding.

This does not preclude the moral mutual support from the council already given.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians support the right of Israelis to live in freedom and security within Israel’s 1967 borders and commit to Palestinians’ right to a state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

The useful purpose of linking Pendle with communities both in Europe and Palestine is to help foster better relations, understanding and prevent war.

Growing Pendle companies need staff with experience of life abroad and linguistic skills to develop their export and import business worldwide.

Andrew MacDonald

The Old Vicarage, Trawden