Sir – Many of your readers will have seen the full-page fundraising advertisement for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in last week’s issue of The Oxford Times. Both the image and information it contains are misleading and unhelpful to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The image, which transposes an Israeli army checkpoint and the Israeli security wall on to St Aldates in Oxford and shows an Israeli soldier shouting at an English mother with a baby, is emotive and dramatic, but it would only make sense if Oxford were also at the heart of a protracted and dangerous armed conflict.

It is facile and misleading to pretend that checkpoints are as outrageous in Jerusalem as they would be in Oxford. The need for security for Israeli civilians is clear and Israel has the right to protect its citizens from indiscriminate Palestinian attacks. Furthermore, the advertisement cites statistics from a UN report in a highly distorting manner. It refers to 39,000 refused permits but fails to mention that 80 per cent of permits were granted. The implication that medical referrals beyond West Bank and Gaza are the only means for Palestinians to receive high-quality health care is incorrect.

In reality, the Palestinian government bears a significant degree of responsibility for reliance on medical referrals, having consistently failed to invest in appropriate health services for its people, despite significant aid from Islamic states, the USA and the EU.

Indeed, the very UN report quoted by MAP urges Palestinian authorities to prioritise an improved health service and reduce its reliance on referrals. Like much human suffering in this conflict, the problem of medical referrals is co-generated by both sides. MAP has a blind spot on Palestinian fault and responsibility. Reckless publicity stunts of this kind only increase misperceptions and escalate tension.

Hugo Slim, Oxford