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The Glass Box for Thursday

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Sequin | 16:49 UK time, Thursday, 21 June 2007

The Glass Box is the place where you can comment on what you heard on PM, interact with other listeners and get responses from the people who make the programme.
Just click on the "comment" link.
The Glass Box is named after the booth outside the PM studio where we all discuss the programme at 18.00 every weeknight. We try to be honest and constructive. Sometimes there is criticism, and the criticised get a chance to explain themselves.

Comments

  1. At 05:27 PM on 21 Jun 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    enthralling, rivetting, enchanting, entertaining....i could go on and on....but doncha jus lurve Blue Peter.....

  2. At 05:30 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sequin!

    Blair, Stature?

    xx
    ed

  3. At 05:31 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Blair should spend some time as a footsoldier and as a gravedigger. After that, he should do a Portillo and live in Gaza as a normal Palestinian for a few weeks without any of the comforts he takes for granted.

    In no way can he be accepted as an 'honest broker'. The concept is laughable, as is virtually everything which has issued from 'the quartet'. Has anyone here actually read 'the roadmap' and the Israeli 'reservations', which include the following illustration of the generous offer on the table for the Palestinians:

    The character of the provisional Palestinian state will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of sovereignty, be fully demilitarized with no military forces, but only with police and internal security forces of limited scope and armaments, be without the authority to undertake defense alliances or military cooperation, and Israeli control over the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.

    xx
    ed
  4. At 05:46 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Do I care if Tony Blair has been given a photo of Chequers? No, I do not. Do I care if someone (unnamed) cried? No, I do not. Do I care if Blair cried? No, I do not.

    Please, please, can we *not* have a 'last time he did this' spot every day until he finally gives up the job? I may have to give up listening to PM if this creep is going to feature every damn' day.

  5. At 05:50 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Diane Millman wrote:

    Surely if we are looking for a Middle East envoy, the obvious person for the job is Paddy Ashdown? He obviously doesnt want to work for Gordon......

  6. At 06:09 PM on 21 Jun 2007, irene edwards wrote:

    The programme was so boring tonight. Sycophantic comments regarding Tony blair , and to be honest the conversation was mainly gossip-like between the presenter and reporter. Anyone would think that we live in a paradise on earth.Serious issues concerning home news are rarely reported and many of the items, eg Royal Ascot and the ' Noise' item were more suited to a local news programme. BBC radio news is the only serious news coverage we have now in this country and this is appearing to be being ' dummed down'.

  7. At 06:37 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Dan The Man wrote:

    6)

    I see what you mean, but the straight news comes after PM which, I see as lighter. It has a loyal audience, who do not listen for 'news', but for familiarity and comfort. But stay tuned!!! We can change the world!!!

    Victory to the Int*f*da!!!

  8. At 09:16 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Disappointed Pete wrote:

    Really excruciating to hear about Tony Blair and his cronies crying! They must live in a parallel universe not to realise how hated Tony Blair is. This is also illustrated by the suggestion that he would somehow make a good peace envoy to the Middle East. Surely this country has caused enough problems in the Middle East - I mean it is just unbelievable! When is he going to be prosecuted for starting an illegal war? I think they were probably crying because they are going to lose their own jobs. Gordon Brown appears no better. Having imposed massive stealth taxes on the population he should be put out to grass. He has shown his scheming nature already by trying to divide the Lib Dems before he even gets into No 10. He shouldn't even be there, as he is a Scottish MP and all the Scots are laughing at us because they are using our taxes to pay for their stupid parliament and free care for the elderly and free education system that the same MPs have deprived us of in the UK. Blair's hypocrisy really is astounding though - not only with the middle eastern malarky, but jetting off round the world to free the Lockerbie bomber and other pointless activities at great environmental cost. There is even talk of him being made president of the EU if he agrees with the consititution robbing us of the little independence we have left! Inevitably he is playing tough saying that it's doubtful that there will be an agreement and then no doubt as normal tomorrow he will cave into everything. In summary:

    1. Crocodile Tears for a failed administration
    2. European constitution is going to get approved without democratic vote
    3. Tony will be "peace envoy" to middle east - unbelievable
    4. Gordon Brown has taxed us to death and is now in charge.

    I am emigrating.

  9. At 10:19 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    Regardless of whether Tony Blair is given the job of envoy to the Middle East the bull sh*t I read on this site often makes my blood boil.

    Tony Blair is not responsible for the horrendous suicide attacks in Iraq the Iranian backed terrorists/murderers are. The Iraqi population voted at great risk to themselves because they wanted to live in a democracy.

    As for the Palestinians. When Yasser Arrafat died his widow was offered 12million pounds a year to divulge the secrets of Yasser's 2 billion pound fortune. Money that no doubt was destined for the Palestinians. On Tuesday June 19th it was reported in the Telegraph that Aid pours in to help moderate Palestinians (It is written into America's constitution that aid cannot be give to terrorist organisations. The same applies to Europe and Britain). America resumed direct aid to the Palestinian Government. Aid had been witheld from the election in which Hamas were elected.

    There are approximately three and a half million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. What happens to all the aid? We know Yasser built a personal fortune. What happens to the aid given to the current Palestinian Government?

    Israel has an obligation to protect it's citizens from attack. Hence, the security on the West Bank and Gaza.

    Israel is a speck of a country compared to it's Arab neighbours who wished to see it's demise from the moment it was made a Jewish State. One explanation of why people should wish to see the demise of this extremely small country is based on 'fear societies'. That is, the Middle East is dominated by fear societies, dictatorships. "To survive in power, the leaders of fear societies need an external enemy. A threat that justifies their policies of control, their emergency laws, their police infrastructure". This can be seen in the notion of the Israel-America bogy man conspiracy, a theory embraced by many Muslims in this country. This is documented.

  10. At 10:37 PM on 21 Jun 2007, JPAllen wrote:

    8)

    I am no Blairite. Unlike you, I presume, I cannot see Cameron being anything other than of the same Blair mould. Whatever I have against Gordon Brown, as I do, has nothing to do with his race or nationality, and I believe the greatest threat to Britain are your own English Nationalist attitudes. I presume it's because you have been taxed to starvation point. I recommend a glucose and saline solution.

    If you love your country, then let's work out these Parliaments for the good of the people, smash the mould of the Cameron/Blair spin obsessed leaders who have prostituted their positions to the level of pop celebrity. And let's use the tax to improve the quality of life for all the producers in this country who produce the wealth, rather than hand it over to corrupt arms companies and parasitic privateers. Then, after that, if you still feel the same way, I'll buy your ticket.

  11. At 10:57 PM on 21 Jun 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Disappointed Pete, you sound as if you think your opinion is fact. It isn't.

  12. At 10:58 PM on 21 Jun 2007, admin annie wrote:

    Disappointed Pete, - quite happy to NOT have so called 'english money' coming this way if we can keep our oil money - then we might all see where the strength of the so called 'british ' economy comes from.
    You keep your grudging so-clled 'subsidy' and we'll kep our oil revenues and then everyone will be happy.
    well the english might not be quite so happy to lose all that money but as the saying goes 'be careful what you wish for'.

  13. At 01:44 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Diane (5) - Ashdown might be more respected than Blair. After all, look at their records.

    But, really, any Bush-appointed envoy is a non-starter.

  14. At 09:23 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Tony Blair wrote:

    I'm sorry many of you feel this way but as Gordon and I were saying to Angela Merkel earlier,

    "We think we are creating this problem; we are not creating it, it is being created for us. The very forces that we are fighting in Iraq, ... the elements that we are fighting in Afghanistan, that we are fighting everywhere, if we do not stand up and fight them back, and at some point in time we are going to have to, they are going to get stronger."

  15. At 10:28 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mr Blair,

    I'm so glad you clarified that for us. We are going to miss your plain speaking.
    xx
    ed

  16. At 11:06 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Aperitif @11, I did agree with Pete's first sentence -- I had even said much the same myself, so obviously he must be a person of sense, taste, insight and whathaveyou. ;-)

    I suppose that the offence Brown is committing is that he's a Scot who is honest enough to stand in a Scottish constituency, rather than being a Scot who comes a bit further south to occupy an English one? After all, we have had a Scottish Prime Minister for the past ten years (unless Blair is Irish really: didn't his parents immigrate to Scotland in the first place?) so just being Scottish isn't an offence in and of itself, it would seem. If it were, that good Scots name Cameron would be being held against another potential Prime Minister.

    We must have had a Scottish Prime Minister before -- maybe the Earl of Aberdeen, or Ramsey Macdonald, or Arthur Balfour, who all sound fairly Scots to me. We've had at least one Welshman, and a Jew, though I think Lord Beaconsfield aka Disraeli was kinda lapsed or something, and his family had been living in England for a century or so.

    Anyhow, at least Pete didn't start by saying this frog is a bull[shitful]frog! I do slightly wonder why people would think that throwing insults about is the best way to get their opinions listened to. I don't think being gratuitously rude ever had a really positive effect, in the history of the world.

  17. At 11:22 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Oh good grief!

    D Pete makes some sensible points, but is way over the top and polemical in the way that he makes them.

    Ruth;
    Blair etc. are indirectly responsible for the violence in Iraq, it didn't exist before the invasion. Although I applaud the removal of a barbaric dictator I am angry at the lack of thought about what should happen afterwards. Nature abhors a vacuum, that left by the toppling of the Saddam regime has been filled the worst kind of criminal behaviour (and I include Abu Ghraib in that, not just suicide bombings).

    Arafat was venal and corrupt, that's a well-established fact. One might assume that these practices still exist today. I see few signs of any aid being used for the welfare of the Palestinian people, just a civil war between Hamas and Fatah.

    Israel has an obligation under international law to protect all civilians not just it's own, not kill them as collateral damage in attacks on Hamas. All human life matters, not only one group or another. It has the right to exist within the boundaries as determined by the UN resolution which created it in the first place, not to conduct land grabs (illegal settlements and the security wall) from the former inhabitants who happen to be some of the poorest people on the face of the planet.

    Oh, by the way, I'm pro-existence of Israel. Ask Ed Iglehart if he's around. We've had many a lively debate about this.

    JPA;
    One of the greatest threats to Britain is summed up in the West Lothian question, still unanswered after all these years. For the first time since Tam Dalyell framed it we now will have a PM sitting in a Scots constituency whose writ does not extend to his place of residence nor his electorate. But whose vote can affect the lives of English (and Welsh) people nonetheless. When Major took over from Thatcher there was a clamour from the opposition for an immediate election so that Major could establish his own mandate. I trust that GB will do what he wanted Major to do in 1991?

    Appy;
    D Pete is a bit hysterical in tone. But on the substance he may have reality on his side. You shouldn't dismiss him out of hand so easily, simply because you think TB has a nice posterior.

    AA;
    Please take the oil revenues, cancel the Barnett block grant. The rest of the U.K. will immediately be better off in cash terms, because the block grant is larger than the revenues, the net transfer is from Westminster to Scotland. Plus the corporation tax and other taxes from the petrochem companies will continue to be levied in Westminster, due to the company registrations and stock market quotations being in England. And as the oil revenues decline Scotland will become progessively poorer having no other major industry to speak of which can replace it.

    The true strength of the British economy is its service sector, not manufacturing and it especially flows from the City of London. It's why Tony and co have never imposed serious restrictions on the activities of the City and why the Serious Farce Office is a paper tiger compared to its counterpart in, say, the USA. Fettering the activity of the Square Mile would hobble the entire economy. It's also why no-one has seriously tinkered with Private Equity tax reliefs, in the news recently.

    Si.

  18. At 11:25 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Klein wrote:

    Well whatever Tony Blair says it is far more sensible than the irrational hatred we have seen even in this country (7/7).

    Prior to the Iraq war those who wish to see the demise of democracy in favour of theoccratic regimes held Israel responsible for their actions when engaged in terrorist acts. Prior to Israel it was the Crusades etc, etc.

    Some individuals are easily led into participating in terrorism if they have the right mindset. Just as some individuals expect their children to become Martyrs. However, it takes rationality to counter the level of hatred being churned out in the dictatorships of the Arab world directed at the West and Israel which fuels terrorism world wide.

  19. At 11:26 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Frances (11),

    You're right about ANY Bush-appointed envoy, or ANY appointed by anyone associated in any way with al Kharb. It's worth noting that Arab culture considers it not only unclean but positively un-civilised to allow dogs indoors. In this light the nickname carries more disdain than we might realise. We also have the legacy of 'perfidious Albion' to our discredit.

    I can't think of a better 'white' person for the task than Ashdown, who I think would know better than to represent the discredited 'quartet'. What is needed is someone who can forcibly bring Israel trulyinto line. If that could be accomplished, the other side would be relatively easy.

    Jimmy Carter has the right kind of gravitas, but is probably too old, and sadly, too few folk realise just how much integrity (and unpretentious humility) the man has.

    Ironically, it may be that the Saudis will end up doing the job, if only the 'west' would leave them to it? (A low-flying fighter just parted my hair, literally less than 200 feet up and directly (I mean directly) above me.) They're watching me!

    xx
    ed

  20. At 11:42 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Klein (17),

    You mention the Crusades, which was the other period in which Europe chose to meddle in Middle-eastern affairs. Both periods resulted in increased hostility between the various ethnic groups in the area. Both periods have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the native populations.

    "However, it takes rationality to counter the level of hatred being churned out in the dictatorships of the Arab world directed at the West and Israel which fuels terrorism world wide.
    "

    Indeed, and any rational person would look to treat the cause rather than the effect.

    XXIII. We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to
    caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of
    Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools
    should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the
    Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom
    to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us.
    Wendell Berry

    xx
    ed
  21. At 11:44 AM on 22 Jun 2007, JPA wrote:

    This changes nothing, but I, personally, do appreciate TB commenting. There cannot be much publicity here for him. It's not much, though, considering the amount of blood spilled and human suffering caused directly from his decisions. Iraq and the UK are joined not by terrorism, but by greed. Straight IMPERIALISM.

    WAR IS EVIL. GOD FORGIVE HIM!

  22. At 11:55 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Richard Lund wrote:

    I have every sympathy with Alan Johnston's plight but when will the BBC end its shameful campaign to mention him on main radio 4 news bulletins at every opportunity? Classic reports have included "It is a week since the last news of Alan Johnston" (8-6-2007) and "Further efforts are being made to secure the release of Alan Johnston" on the 8am news this morning (that was the whole report, nothing else!). This is not news reporting! This is special treatment for a colleague, which is perhaps understandable but is undermining my respect for BBC news. If you would like to mention the circumstances and continuing efforts to free other significant figures (e.g. Aung San Suu Kyi) then I would not mind. But you don't - because it isn't news and they don't work for the BBC.

  23. At 11:56 AM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (17),
    "It has the right to exist within the boundaries as determined by the UN resolution which created it in the first place,"

    I don't know exactly from where this right derives, and I do feel that by violently seizing almost half as much more land than allocated by the UN resolution (181) and driving out the bulk of the non-Jewish population thereof, Israel may have invalidated any such 'right' it may have had. She has compounded these crimes by refusing the UN and Geneva mandated right of return for refugees and by further violent land seizure and, as you note, the continued construction of the wall and settlements. Construction of these abominations continues at this very moment.

    Israel claims legitimacy through UN membership while she thumbs her nose at UN rules and resolutions. What club would tolerate such a member?

    Shalom/Salaam/Shanthi/Peace/Dorood
    ed

  24. At 12:10 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Ed (19);
    You were doing well until you got to "forcibly bring Israel in line".

    No hope at all then, is there!

    Carter?! Spare me. Extend beyond the white population then. Who can do the job, regardless of the colour of his skin, religion, orientation, who commands the respect of the Permanent five and the UN SC?

    Hmmm.

    No hope at all then!

    Your quote from your guru, Mr. Berry, is fine. But it's not required to understand your enemy to invade his country and wipe him off the face of the Earth. Oh, we don't seem to be too good at that either, do we? The US Armed Forces are the worlds best instrument for war-fighting, and one of the worst for securing the subsequent peace.

    A late thought for Ruth;
    It's not just the Middle Eastern dictatorships who use the spectre of the external enemy to bring the population into line. Galtieri and the Junta tried it in the Falklands. And since September 11th 2001 the West has the spectre of the enemy amongst us, in the form of the Islamic terrorist, both home-grown and foreign-born.

    Every national leader can play at that game. Including Ehud Olmert, who would have won major kudos at home if only the other side had played ball in Lebanon last year. Unfortunately for him they were reading a different script. So he is now unelectable. Whoops!

    Si.

  25. At 12:17 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Ed (19)

    There is no need to bring Israel forcibly into line. All that is needed is for her neighbours to stop attaking her, as they have been since 1948.

  26. At 12:19 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    at 12:18 approximately, I posted a message. It was accepted, and when the page returned it only had the first 14 entries. This is peculiar.

    It is now 12:21, and I am expecting to be given the epithet, "Malicious."

  27. At 12:27 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (23),

    I doubt Israel will respond to anything less than very strong coercion. "forcibly" was intentionally chosen because she seems beyond simple moral isolation (perhaps even to thrive upon it).

    I have searched my mind for anyone of any pigmentation who might serve as mediator/broker, and can only suggest Satish Kumar or some other heir to the Gandhian way.

    I don't see much hope, sadly. The 'permanent five' and their Vetos are part of the problem, not the solution.

    xx
    ed

  28. At 12:28 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    JPA;
    Your (21) is rather confused and disjointed.

    What about the blood spilled and human suffering caused by the unlamented Saddam? When people were nailed to telegraph posts and left to die in public for criticising the regime.

    I'm now kind of expecting you to trot out the old, stilted jargon about the "Fascist-imperialist CIA" and their "lickspittle cronies" that I used to laugh at on Radio Tirana back in the good old days of Enver Hoxha.

    Or perhaps 'Trot' is the wrong term. Your weblink seems to be promoting a discredited form of politics.

    Calm down and make your points in a clear and considered fashion. Please.

    Si.

  29. At 12:37 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Excuse me Vyle, but have you read your history? Try Plan Dalet. The Arabs rioted and boycotted, but Proto-Israeli terrorists attacked and slaughtered first! No Arab army EVER entered the area designated for the "Jewish State" by resolution 181, and no Arab army entered Palestine before May 15, 1948, by which time the Israeli terrorists had already created almost half of the eventual number of refugees.

    This displacement and dispossession is at the root of the problem, and it violates all civilised principles.

    xx
    ed

  30. At 12:45 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    If it is being suggested that we should blame ourselves for some of the irrational hatred which is aimed at us i would have to say that, that argument is not sustainable.

    Some people would wish to impose Sharia law in this country at the expense of democracy. Why? Because Sharia law and democracy are incompatible. There are several countries where Sharia law is practiced and in my opinion people who wish to live with Shari have the choice. We are a tolerant society unlike many of the ones which practice Sharia law. Why should we blame ourselves for the fact that some cultures teach hatred of the West, Israel etc in order to keep their populations disempowered and oppressed. That is not our problem, however, as stated we still offer tolerance to some of those people.

    Simon (24) I do not agree with your point that the "West has the spectre of the enemy amongst us, in the form of the Islamic terrorist". Because, we have heard terrorists speak of their hatred of us. We have seen the destruction they have caused and we know that many attempts at destroying us have failed. In other words it is tangible. In fear societies it is the propaganda which prevails.

    I do not understand your point regarding Ehud Olmert.

  31. At 12:48 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    US Vetoes.

    xx
    ed
    Malicious vetoes?

  32. At 12:49 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Ummm Ed (23);
    I thought that I had pretty much agreed with you? The UN, whether you consider it legitimate or not (and plainly every Palestinian does not), created and defined a space for the nation of Israel.

    If you wish that nation to comply with the very many UN resolutions which it currently chooses to ignore then you acknowledge the legitimacy of the UN to make resolutions regarding Israel. And that includes the one which created it in the first place.

    I, as you ought to know by now, believe that the UN resolution creates the precedent for existence, but only within those defined boundaries. I deplore land grabs, whether in my back garden or elsewhere, as above. I agree with much of what you say and have said in the past. Where we differ is that you place the blame squarely and solely on Israel and excuse any butchery undertaken by Palestinians as being understandable. I believe that barbarism should never be tolerated, in any form or from any source. There is no excuse at all.

    Even to use the notion that the Palestinians were there first can be challenged, because the Old Testament states clearly that the land was given to the people of Israel, by no less a personage than God himself, in ancient times. And authorities don't get any higher than that! So the Jewish people were there before the Palestinian Arabs. They only got to inherit the place after the Diaspora, after all.

    And it's all semantics. There ought to be a place for them both. And the most relevant and contemporary verdict which would stand up in a court of international law was that same UN resolution. That should be the sole basis for a solution. But since the Palestinian people will never accept anything less than full restoration there will never be a lasting result until one or other no longer exists.

    My definitive viewpoint is that the Palestinians should accept what the UN said way back then and stop fighting. So should the Israelis. Period. They don't have to like each other, just leave each other alone.

    Si.

  33. At 12:55 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Vyle;
    Israel needs to return to its original borders, as determined by the UN reso that created it in the first place. But it won't. If it's enemies permanently suspended aggression against it would that induce them to return all the territory they have illegally seized since their nation was created? I think not.

    And even if it did it is unlikely that the Palestinians would stop short of full restoration. So there is no end possible. Pretending that there is a solution acceptable to both parties is delusional.

    Si.

  34. At 01:12 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (24),

    "The US Armed Forces are the worlds best instrument for war-fighting, and one of the worst for securing the subsequent peace."

    And today's news shows us approaching israeli levels of efficiency with regard to the ratio between targets and 'collateral' damage.
    :-(
    ed

  35. At 01:22 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Is PM planning to cover the story about Blair's imminent conversion to Roman Catholicism, as widely rumoured over the past few days and apparently borne out by his finding time during his whistle-stop world farewell tour to stop by the Vatican for a chat?

    If I were the Pope, I think I would politely suggest to Mr Blair that the right person for him to approach about instruction prior to joining the Roman Catholic Church would be his parish priest, not the Pontiff of Rome. That would be the parish priest in whatever part of London he ends up in, not someone running special private masses for him and Cherie at Chequers, too.

    Then if I were that parish priest, I might find that I had to ask some rather awkward questions about why Blair's faith has for so long taken second place to his desire for worldly power -- since he was told he couldn't be a Roman Catholic and Prime Minister at the same time, he shelved God until it was convenient, and that doesn't somehow seem very sincere.

    If I were a devout Roman Catholic I think I would probably be quite angry about this. I might even think that God might be a bit peeved at being treated that way.

  36. At 01:29 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si,

    I agree that we agree on much of these matters. I also agree that it's unlikely Israel will ever withdraw to the Res 181 boundaries, which were awkward in the extreme, necessitated by having to gerrymander as large an area as possible with a contrived Jewish majority (barely 55%). This was only achieved by isolating an Arab enclave in Jaffa.

    That Israel chose to 'defend' her allocated area by expelling the bulk of the 45% non-Jewish minority and by extending herself over half the area allocated to the "Arab state" does in my mind diminish her claim to a 'right to exist'.

    That claim is also weakened by the fact that Resolution 181 was imposed against the clear will of the majority of the affected area and thus in direct contravention of the principle of self-determination, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

    If there were an analogue to the US Supreme Court, it would rule resolution 181 "Unconstitutional".

    xx
    ed

  37. At 01:35 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Billy wrote:

    35)
    Hear, Here!

  38. At 01:39 PM on 22 Jun 2007, RJD wrote:

    Chris Ghoti (35)

    "since he was told he couldn't be a Roman Catholic and Prime Minister at the same time"
    What???

    Sorry Chris, you usually write quite good and interesting stuff here, but that last posting is just irrelevant gossip, opinion and not a lot of fact. Any particular reason?

  39. At 01:44 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    (26).   At 12:19 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote: 'at 12:18 approximately, I posted a message. It was accepted, and when the page returned it only had the first 14 entries. This is peculiar.'

    You aren't the only one occasionally baffled by the Ways of the Frog. For reasons I shan't go into but mostly because I got interested in the differences between them, I am looking at the frog on two machines simultaneously: a small Mac running Netscape Navigator 3.01, and a Mac laptop running iCab 3.03.

    If I turn both on at the same time and open the frog on each, having deleted the cache on both machines, Netscape consistently seems to pick up the more recent posts about ten minutes before iCab does.

    I am three times as likely (as a proportion of posts) to be declared malicious via iCab, over the past two days. And just at the moment, Netscape has got the Glass Box for Friday, but iCab hasn't! (Which is why my most recent post was on Thursday rather than on Friday: iCab avoids strange squares in my posts, so I use it more to try not to annoy people with unapostrophes.)

    If anybody thinks they understand how these things come to be, could they explain the three-colour problem to me for their next trick?

  40. At 01:47 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And, from Article 2 of the UN Charter:

    # All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

    xx
    ed
  41. At 01:57 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Tuppence wrote:

    Hi folks

    I only get half an hour for lunch, so will not be around to see what you think, but it strikes me that the lack of peaace is not only in the middle east. I have never seen such heated print on my screen before, and I'm not sure that I would want to read all that vituperation even if I had time!

    Perhaps we need somebody to appoint a peace envoy for discussions about the middle east - I hear there is a soon to be out of work Prime Minister around somewhere.

  42. At 02:06 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Ed (29)

    Although I have not read as many versions of history as you do (facilities not available) I do read my history. Here is a short extract:

    (Sorry to intrude in this manner)

    In the midst of the peace talks and endeavours to bring a solution to the "Palestinian
    problem" certain distortions of history are being purveyed by those who would see
    Israel abandon territory, including Jerusalem, given to her by God, and ultimately her
    final destruction. Some of these distortions of history are so frequently portrayed in
    the front line of the world media that by constant repetition they become received
    truth in the minds of journalists, politicians, and the man in the street. It is common
    (at least in BBC news parlance) to refer to east Jerusalem as 'Arab east Jerusalem',
    thus implying that it belongs not to Israel but to the Arabs.
    Reference is regularly made to certain U.N. Resolutions and to International Law as
    it relates to Israel and the occupied territories, and some clarification is needed in
    these matters.

    WHO ARE THE PALESTINIANS?

    The claim that the Palestinians are the original occupants and owners of the land of
    "Palestine" has been made not only by politically motivated Palestinian leaders, but
    also by Arab Church leaders in the official churches of the Middle East.
    Arieh Avneri in his impeccably researched book "Claim of Dispossession" has
    shown quite conclusively that a large proportion of present day Palestinians are in
    fact quite recent immigrants, and are descended from Egyptian, Algerian, Circassian,
    Yemeni, Bedouin and other refugees and immigrants - both legal and illegal - who
    entered the country during the past 100 years. Indeed, he says:
    "The few Arabs who lived in Palestine a hundred years ago, when Jewish settlement
    began, were a tiny remnant of unending conflicts between local tribes and local
    despots." "Social paroxysms, wars and destruction prevented the Arab population in
    Palestine from taking root and from handing down a tradition of permanent
    settlement from generation to generation." (pp 11,12)
    The ancestry ploy is the most common Palestinian prevarication. Yasser Arafat is
    reported as having once claimed "that Palestinians Arabs are descendants of the
    Jebusites who inhabited the city even before King David".

    If the Palestinians (Rome devised the name "Palestine" to humiliate the Jews) were descended from the Jebusites et al, then the fact that Israel was instructed to drive them all out would not change anything, since Israel's neighbours, while acceptng some of the laws of the Old Testament, reject its history.

  43. At 02:12 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    RJD @ 37 quoted my "since he was told he couldn't be a Roman Catholic and Prime Minister at the same time"
    and then wrote
    'What???
    'Sorry Chris, you usually write quite good and interesting stuff here, but that last posting is just irrelevant gossip, opinion and not a lot of fact. Any particular reason?'

    As I understand it, this advice was given to him by the late, lamented Cardinal Hume, to whom he went with questions on the subject back in, um, can't remember the year, but Blair also stopped going openly with Cherie to Mass at the RC church in Islington at that point. The objection that could be raised would be that the Prime Minister advises the Queen on the appointment of Bishops in the Church of England, and it would be a potential cause for fuss if this were being done by a practising RC. (Hume was a great one for avoiding unneccesary confrontations, as I recall.) I imagine the same objection might apply if the PM were a follower of Islam, or a Quaker, or whatever else other than 'nominal C of E', and the obvious answer would be for the Prime Minister to stop having a say in the appointment of CoE Bishops, but as things are set up at the moment it does make some sense as a viewpoint I suppose.

    As far as i know we never have had a Prime Minister who was also a Roman Catholic whilst holding that office. Can you think of one?

  44. At 02:16 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Billy wrote:

    Tuppence, thank you.

    At least it's in cyber-space!

    Those most respected in their class and in their Saville Row whistles who take us to war, claim a direct-line to God, and slaughter thousands for profit should talk here more.

    Sticks and Stones/the truth is offensive

    xx

  45. At 02:25 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    To put the Israel - Palestinian question into perspective the actual size of Israel is 8019 square miles compared to the UK which is 94,525. Israel is also surrounded by hostile Arab States.

    The land which was taken in war by Israel was held onto for security purposes. Since the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the West Bank Palestinians have used the West Bank to attack Israel.

    The collosus oppressive status that certain individuals/countries attribute to Israel is actually factually incorrect but, feeds the notion of hatred.

  46. At 02:49 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    Tuppence (41) I think the point that a lot of people miss is that what happens in the Middle East is being used as an excuse to murder innocent people in this country. Is that not war? Of course there are people who insist there is no such thing as an innocent, that as suggested above we are all complicit in how extremists react to us, therefore, we deserve what we get.

    It would be easy to imagine that Israel is the cause of these problems (because terrorists say that is so) what is rarely reported is that similar fighting is going on in Egypt between the Arab nationalists government and the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. Hezbollah and the Syrians are killing Lebanese ministers.

    These infights that we have seen recently in Gaza are not about Israel but rather, they are struggles to the death between two authoritarian forces. Although, Hezbollah and the Muslim brotherhood have an Islamist agenda similar to some individuals, organisations in this country.

    I think a huge part of the problem here is media reporting. To put it bluntly it is biased. It pits one group against another with dire consequences in that it gives credibility to people who quite simply enjoy murdering their fellow human beings.

    (43) Billy. If Muslims stopped murdering their fellow Muslims in Iraq the majority of it's population would be happy to live in a democracy. Only people who murder can be held responsible for those they slaughter. People have a choice.

  47. At 02:54 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Billy @ 43,

    If someone tells me that God told him to do something, I always look to see what sort of a God would tell, say, Sutcliffe to kill random women, or some televangelist to amass large sums of money and run a Lear-jet. (Usually 'him': when it's women, like Joan of Arc, they tend to put the blame on the Virgin Mary, and she seems to give less ego-boosting, pleasing-to-the-recipient instructions on the whole.)

    If someone's claim to something physical, like an object or a patch of land, is that God gave it to him, I always wonder why God would bother, since from His point of view what matters is surely the soul not the body.

    As for God-given rights, over the centuries those always seem to mean 'at someone else's expense' -- like the God-given right to enslave people for being of a different colour or religion, or the God-given right to beat one's wife because Eve was a Bad Naughty Person, or the God-given right to mistreat animals (well, he gave us 'dominion over' them, didn't he?). God-given duties too all too often involve torturing people or killing them to make them 'see the light' (as in the case of the Inquisition in Spain and elsewhere), or invading their country because they believe in the wrong god[s], or in less extreme cases beating children till they bleed to stop them from 'going astray'.

    Using God as an excuse for doing whatever one happens to want to do is always a cop-out, isn't it. I expect God is a bit fed up with it: that's not what She's about at all, at a guess, though of course I don't *know* that.

    (Tuppence, if you come back after tea and happen to see this, as vituperation on the internet goes the frog is nowhere near the top league. Try some of the skiing newsgroups!)

  48. At 03:01 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Billy @ 43,

    If someone tells me that God told him to do something, I always look to see what sort of a God would tell, say, Sutcliffe to kill random women, or some televangelist to amass large sums of money and run a Lear-jet. (Usually 'him': when it's women, like Joan of Arc, they tend to put the blame on the Virgin Mary, and she seems to give less ego-boosting, pleasing-to-the-recipient instructions on the whole.)

    If someone's claim to something physical, like an object or a patch of land, is that God gave it to him, I always wonder why God would bother, since from His point of view what matters is surely the soul not the body.

    As for God-given rights, over the centuries those always seem to mean 'at someone else's expense' -- like the God-given right to enslave people for being of a different colour or religion, or the God-given right to beat one's wife because Eve was a Bad Naughty Person, or the God-given right to mistreat animals (well, he gave us 'dominion over' them, didn't he?). God-given duties too all too often involve torturing people or killing them to make them 'see the light' (as in the case of the Inquisition in Spain and elsewhere), or invading their country because they believe in the wrong god[s], or in less extreme cases beating children till they bleed to stop them from 'going astray'.

    Using God as an excuse for doing whatever one happens to want to do is always a cop-out, isn't it. I expect God is a bit fed up with it: that's not what She's about at all, at a guess, though of course I don't *know* that.

    (Tuppence, if you come back after tea and happen to see this, as vituperation on the internet goes the frog is nowhere near the top league. Try some of the skiing newsgroups!)

  49. At 03:05 PM on 22 Jun 2007, RJD wrote:

    Chris (43) - As far as I know you are right, but to be honest I couldn't care less one way or the other whether the Prime Minister is Catholic, Jewish or Muslim.

    I was just bewildered why you thought it necessary to raise it as a point of discussion and why you could assume that you knew the "real" reasons for a visit to the Vatican and what conversations should take place between Tony Blair, the Pope and a virtual Parish Priest

  50. At 03:37 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Vyle;
    You are, of course, quite right to point out that the history of the Palestinians is quite short, both in biblical and historical terms. So who really owns that stretch of land?

    Do the Jewish people have the invoice and bill of sale proving that David bought the threshing floor from Araunah/Ornan the Jebusite? Was it registered with the land registry? Possibly not, in both cases.

    So the current ownership is based purely on posession being nine-tenths of the law, as was that of Saladin during the Crusades.

    Any side can use books and records of dubious historical authenticity to prove their ownership. Perhaps the Knights Templar should stake their claim, they were based on Temple Mount, after all.

    It's all a spurious argument. The most recent authoritative statement is the UN reso, as I've commented above. It may contradict the right to self-determination (Ed, but what about the right to self-determination of the Jewish people ?) but it is the latest, and therefore only extant, basis on which any attempt at an end to this disgraceful and internecine conflict can be concluded.

    For the rest, see my other comments above regarding living together in adjacent nations etc. Frankly I don't think that the Israelis will ever comply with the many UN reso's outstanding against them. Nor do I think that the Palestinians will ever learn to stop hating.

    Si.

  51. At 03:55 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    RJD @47

    Ah, all is now clear.

    'I was just bewildered why you thought it necessary to raise it as a point of discussion and why you could assume that you knew the "real" reasons for a visit to the Vatican and what conversations should take place between Tony Blair, the Pope and a virtual Parish Priest.'

    I wuz being hypothetical-loike, see, m'dear. It's a rumour, but that doesn't stop PM reporting about things -- or it hasn't before. *If* that's what he's seeing the Pope about, then *if* I were the Pope I would give him the bum's rush, was the tenor of my remarks, and *if* I were a parish priest I might not be too friendly either.

    I agree that I don't care an old ha'penny what religion the PM may or may not be, apart from hoping that whoever it is and whatever faith he or she doesn't make a show of devotion. It is inevitable that PMs are sometimes going to have to behave in ways that don't sit well with religious faith, and the charge of hypocrisy can be thrown at them if they witter on about a faith whose second tenet is 'love thy neighbour as thyself' and then declare war on their neighbour or invade his country. It may also be deeply offensive to other members of their congregation (I think that's the right technical term?)

    Nah, I was just throwing in something to discuss apart from whether Palestine is in a mess or whether it's in a mess... which I think we've mentioned once or twice before.

  52. At 04:01 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Ruth (45),
    "Since the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the West Bank Palestinians have used the West Bank to attack Israel."

    Surely, if you wish to accuse others of inaccuracy, you should try to be accurate yourself. I think you mean Gaza, which has received its share of attacks and incursions from Israel since it 'withdrew'....

    "Only people who murder can be held responsible for those they slaughter. People have a choice."

    Indeed, including al Nakba, of course.

    And I might ask just which basis you choose for your calculation of the area of Israel, the only remotely 'official' borders for which are those suggested by resolution 181.

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

    Malicious, eh?

  53. At 04:21 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Vyle,

    The British Census of 1946/7.

    Perhaps most of all residents were of "recent" arrival, but Jews were outnumbered by two to one.

    The Hope Simpson report is worth a read.
    (www.mideastweb.org/hopesimpson.htm)

    xx
    ed

  54. At 04:29 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Ruth;
    If only the truth were as simple as you paint it to be then things might be easier to resolve.

    As Vyle has pointed out in (42) the people we now call collectively 'the Palestinians' are a collected and motley assortment of various Arab clans, races, tribes, call-them-what-you-will. They are not a homogeneous people. They derive their name from their having lived in Palestine. For a certain percentage of them that history in Palestine doesn't go back to Biblical times, but more recently.

    Nonetheless, they were there in the run-up to WW1 and WW2, they were the occupiers and owners of that land. They were, in too many cases, evicted from their homes and land by an incoming tide of people without so much as a by-your-leave. There was no attempt at co-existence, nor compensation. Those who did not leave voluntarily were coerced to depart against their preference. Ed I refers to this by its Arabic name of al-Nakba. The history of this phase does not make for comfortable reading.

    There was a concommitant forcible expulsion of Jewish peoples from many Islamic countries, which is often overlooked. No doubt this would be as uncomfortable for Muslims to acknowledge as al-Nakba is for Jewish people.

    The Jewish immigrants in every case had no obvious claim to the land or its resources. All they could point to was the Old Testament of the Christian Bible and the UN resolution which brought Israel into being.

    But Israel came into being and was attacked forthwith. It has been attacked since and in every case has managed to survive.

    It is certainly true to say, despite your protestations, that the mass arrival of Jewish settlers in Palestine and their forcible eviction firstly of the British who had the legal mandate to look after the place, then the indigenous population DID lay the foundations for the current situation.

    I'm no terrorist, nor hostile to Israel, but I will tell you straight that the existence of Israel is indeed the cause of all the subsequent problems. On that fundamental point you are wrong. The subsequent '67 War pretty much completed the expulsion of Palestinians from a more extended territory.

    Israel has used every subsequent conflict to increase it's land-holding, until the peace accords with Egypt caused it to give back the Sinai to Egypt, and the recent exit from Gaza. In defiance of over one hundred UN resolutions Israel illegally holds onto land which is not hers to hold. All of which belongs to Arab people of one persuasion or another. With a track record like that there is no need to ask why you are surrounded by neigbours who dislike you.

    No-one suggests that Israel is responsible for the Egyptian Government - Islamic Brotherhood problem, nor the Syria - Lebanon sitation. They are reported in Britain from time to time. Your use of them in this context is a red herring, because they have no bearing on Israel's relations to her neighbours.

    If one extends your suggestion (45) of holding onto illegal enclaves as a security buffer then Britain can justify taking and holding parts of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Argentina, all of whom have been our enemies in the last 200 years. Or of occupying parts of Russia because Putin has threatened to target missiles against us recently. It's not a sustainable argument. Oh, and I think that you meant Gaza in (45), not the West Bank.

    Israel's right to exist, within certain borders, is established in law. That she illegally occupies territory outside those borders is a fact. I support the first and would like to see the second permanently resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

    Si.

  55. At 05:11 PM on 22 Jun 2007, RJD wrote:

    Chris – Yes, I understand what you say, I just don't understand the need to say it.

    Tony Blair can be and has been accused of most things. As it happens, I reckon in domestic politics that he has done a better job than any of his rivals would have done. Iraq has been a 100% disaster and I will never understand why he followed that line. It will be his legacy.

    But as for the religion thing - sure he has a faith, but he has never overplayed it. Every story that I have come across on the subject has been media-led and for the most part speculative nonsense. And every one of those stories has led me to ask myself – “Who cares?”

  56. At 05:24 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (50 & 53),

    Very well put. I would only note that the right of self-determination does not extend to forcibly displacing another people and seizing their land and property, but you knew that, didn't you?

    Also, I'm not at all sure the Sephardis were 'forcibly expelled' from their Arab homes, nor in all cases dispossessed. To be sure, they were made somewhat unwelcome due to the Zionist's expulsion of the native Palestinians.

    xx
    ed

  57. At 05:30 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    EdI @ 50

    More to the point, what has the area of Israel as compared with the area of Great Britain got to do with *anything*?

    Nor indeed have the relative populations of the two nations got a lot to do with anything.

    The per capita per annum expenditure on weapons in the two countries might be interesting, but that wasn't on offer.

  58. At 05:52 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    RJD @ 54 -- I was trying to change the subject. I figured that if we were going to squabble, we might as well have two different things to squabble about... Unfortunately you're the only one who has bitten so far, but I can hope.

  59. At 05:54 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    Simon. I would also suggest that the situation is not as simple as you portray, which is how Israel is presented by the media.

    Yes, I am aware of who makes up the 'Palestinian' population. Yes, I understand how the State of Israel was implemented. I am also aware of how Nasser vowed to drive every last remaining Jew out of Israel. I am also aware that Israel comprises four deserts which the Jewish settlers developed and inhabited. I reiterate that it was not in the interests of neighbouring fear societies to allow a democracy to exist on their doorstep.

    As for the notion that Israel has an expansionist agenda it's borders would not be constrained by any law. However, what you fail to point out is that Israel is surrounded by countries and organisations which have at it's locus the destruction of Israel/ the Jewish State, i'm afraid that dealing in UN facts will not counter this mindset.

    I read an article a few weeks ago by Zia Rahman "Time to confront the Muslim conspiracists" Rahman notes that "A quarter of British Muslims believe the Government and security services were involved in the July 7suicide bombings...an NOP poll last August showed that 45% of Muslims believed that the attacks of 9/11 were a conspiracy between the United States and Israel". Rahman points to the conspiracy theories which abound in the Muslim community,MANY OF THEM PIGGY-BACKING ON AN UNDERLYING NOTION OF AN AMERICAN-ISRAELI BOGEYMAN. This is the mindset that Israel has attempted to make peace with. Do you think Jews are a waring people?

    What is missing from media reporting is why a Jewish State was implemented in the first place. Not for the small number of Zionist Zealots but for Jews who were left beleaguered not just after World War 2 or Stalin or Europe, indeed, throughout history as with other groups but, because they were led to believe a Jewish State would end Anti-Semitism.

    You write "Israel's right to exist within certain border is established in law" This can only have meaning with people who uphold the law.


  60. At 06:20 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Ruth (58),

    "As for the notion that Israel has an expansionist agenda it's borders would not be constrained by any law. "

    Excuse me. Do you mean what you just said? Israel is above the law? That would seem to be her opinion, but then,
    ""Israel's right to exist within certain border is established in law" This can only have meaning with people who uphold the law."
    and,
    "why a Jewish State was implemented in the first place. Not for the small number of Zionist Zealots but for Jews who were left beleaguered not just after World War 2 or Stalin or Europe, indeed, throughout history as with other groups but, because they were led to believe a Jewish State would end Anti-Semitism."

    How wrong could they be? And how can that justify the displacement and dispossession of another people on another continent who had NOTHING to do with European sins?

    The Great Land Grab

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

  61. At 08:45 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    Why is it that when people decide to settle in this country we do not hear cries of "We're being displaced. We're being dispossessed? dispossessed by whom? What did the 'Palestinians' have in the first place? What we're they allowed to have? Not even freedom of thought or speech.

    More effort could and should have been made by their representatives to enable them to benefit from a democratic state. It seems that now the Palestinians face Islamic rule things may change for the better.

    I suspect that most 'Palestinians' and Jews would be extremely happy to live in peace.

    I rest my case.

  62. At 10:10 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ruth ranted rhetorically @ 61

    'Why is it that when people decide to settle in this country we do not hear cries of "We're being displaced. We're being dispossessed?'

    Possibly because the people who decide to settle in this country generally don't send men with guns to evict us from our houses, or threaten to bomb us if we don't get out, or in extreme cases bulldoze our houses with our children asleep in them? Nor force us to leave with only what we can carry by hand or in a wheelbarrow if we happen to have one?

    I know that might be too simple an answer, but it does make a certain amount of sense.

    Now here's a rhetorical question for *you*: do you have any idea how much harm you do to your cause by making such an ass of yourself?

    (Those who know me may at this point recognise the symptoms of mild irritation.)

  63. At 11:35 PM on 22 Jun 2007, Simple Simon wrote:

    We are people. We are one. The enemy is elitism and inequality. I don't really care how it is expressed-
    Love your neighbour
    Workers of the world, unite
    Power to the people
    Universal Suffrage

    Some how, we have to realise the 99.9% of common need we have as humans. We have to realise our interdependence as a species. We have to stop screwing the next guy to satisfy our crazy human egos.

    Or maybe, we just deserve what we have got.

    G'nite folks. xx

  64. At 08:07 AM on 23 Jun 2007, Ken wrote:

    Ruth, you make some excellent points. Those who consider you views as rants show their inability to have an open mind.

    Simon, yes the true enemy is elitism and inequality. If only the media would put the same depth of feeling into raising the plight of levels of poverty and deprivation some people face in this county.

    With Palestinain/Israeli question the media have good opportunity to vent their prejudice without being held to account. However, the problem of bias in the media has been pointed out recently. Predictably the media are reluctant to face it head on.

  65. At 08:55 AM on 23 Jun 2007, Ruth wrote:

    Chris 62.

    I do not have a 'cause', if I did they would include the plight of child carers, poverty, and inequality in this country. Internationally, the plight of the Aborigenes of Australia would deserve attention.

    What I object to are media organisations taking up the 'cause' of one particular group against another and acting like a political party. There has been media coverage of this point recently so I am not alone in my thoughts.


  66. At 02:59 PM on 23 Jun 2007, Klein wrote:

    Chris Now there is a rant. Some of the people you mention also encourage their children to become suicide bombers. Some of them use their 'brother' civilians as human shields etc,

    If Israel was not having to defend itself against terrorists who are prepared to use the civilian population of their own community to commit acts of terrorism I am sure they would not be on the receiving end of any defensive behaviour by Israel.

    I am not Jewish but, I remain impartial.

  67. At 12:45 PM on 25 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Interesting discussion from taday's Today:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today5_0830_20070625.ram
    from about 6 minutes 30 seconds onward
    salaam/Shalom
    ed

  68. At 02:07 PM on 25 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Klein,

    If Israel hadn't moved into the neighbourhood and evicted the bulk of the original residents, she wouldn't find herself having to 'defend' what she has stolen.
    xx
    ed

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