Nope, I am not someone who flourishes in the cold. I am in fact such a wuss that I have a tendency to clean my teeth in warm water. As Cambridge freezes around me I withdraw muttering and whimpering to pace around my little flat in search of warmer socks. I try not to keep the heat on all day but its hard when working from home (when I say ‘working’ I mean glaring balefully at my unedited book and checking facebook every two minutes to see if anyone has said anything ribald or interesting.)
However I broke my usual winter hibernation and finally went out for a jolly evening at the pub.
‘What do you make of the Gaza situation?’ asked my friend as we settled in by a roaring fire with pints of warm ale. I had wanted to make some joke about the fact that I had turned on the TV the previous night to watch ‘Surviving Gazza’ only to realise too late that it was a documentary about the alcoholic footballer Paul ‘Gazza’ Gasgoine and not the West Bank but it didn’t seem like the time to be flippant.
What could I say? I haven’t been there and haven’t studied the history of the area in detail. Could Hamas have spent these few years caring for and within their communities and quelled the bickering and corruption? Could they have won the hearts of the West with a call to self sustenance rather then a call to arms?
Whatever the situation, Israel’s retaliation is ‘disproportionate’ in the way that me gouging out your eyes and slashing your
throat for stepping on my toe would be ‘disproportionate’
I have no truck with anyone, no matter how provoked they feel they may be, who tries to justify the deliberate bombing of schools.
That Britain mostly stands back and allows what is increasingly looking like a ‘collateral genocide’ ensures that we will face further terrorist attacks around the world and that the self destructive cycle will continue. I can only state the obvious and ask ‘why?’ and where are the Buddhists when you need ’em? ’.
That conversation petered out and we stopped and stared at the fire before shaking off the gloom, buying another round and getting down to more vital discussions about who was doing who at the gym. Its all about balance you know…
(Disclaimer: please note all rather weary assessments of Middle East situation are authors own, riddled with ignorance and disinformation and come with inbuilt apologies to those who actually ‘have a clue’.)