Sunday, January 11, 2009

News In Brief

It was a lazy day today and I was happy with that. John W came over after lunch to do some Chorus stuff and pick up copies of the photos I took at his wedding. Apart from that I spent most of the day alternating between reading (Bones, Rocks & Stars), surfing the web and watching a bit of TV (more of John Adams.)

The news today seems to have been dominated (rightly) by Israel in Gaza and (wrongly, IMHO) by Prince Harry’s home video.

The latest non sequitar relating to the Middle East came from the organiser of a rally in support of Israel’s current actions. According to the BBC they said, “they want people in Gaza and Israel to live in peace, but … Palestinians must accept some responsibility for the conflict,” which is fair comment, but then went on to add, “the number of Israeli deaths should not be considered disproportionate to the number of Palestinian deaths, because Israelis were lucky and escaped their houses before they were hit by Palestinian rockets. At the time of writing, 850 Gazans have died in the last week as a result of Israel’s actions, whilst 13 Israelis have been killed in the same period and 28 have been killed by Hamas rocket attacks over the last seven years. A ratio of 20:1? Surely you can see how that's not disproportionate at all!? (I don’t have details of the amount of Israeli property that has previously been damaged by Hamas rockets, as I'd be curious to calculate what an Israeli house is currently worth in terms of dead Palestinians.)

While the Middle East is kicking off again though, it inevitably draws people’s attention away from the ongoing disaster in Zimbabwe where President Mugabe has just returned from a four-week holiday, but the schools aren’t open because they can’t pay the teachers (or the soldiers who are now being fed on elephant meat because it’s cheaper than beef.)

Finally, it’s awful to hear of the death of Rob Gauntlet and his friend. The world has too few inspirational young people. Parents should never have to bury their children.

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