Gaza: Embassy move further inflames Gaza residents

 theage.com.au  5/17/2018 7:26:24 PM 

Brian Newman, Brunswick

Hamas' aim: to create carnage in Israeli communities

It was not Israel firing at unarmed protesters or using disproportionate force. Hamas organised the protesters as cover for attempts by armed men to infiltrate Israel's border fence and create carnage in nearby communities. Tragic though the loss of life was, Israel needed to do what was necessary to prevent that happening.

The violence was not provoked by the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem. This was an excuse by Hamas, which has been conducting violent attacks against Israel for 30years. The violence was not provoked by Israel's blockade of Gaza, which is itself a legitimate response to Hamas violence from Gaza.

As Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made clear when he said the demonstrations would begin the Palestinian "return to all of Palestine", the violence is provoked simply by Israel's existence. Hamas is more than happy to sacrifice its own peoples' lives to make Israel look bad in pursuance of that aim.

Danny Samuels, Malvern

When will Turnbull condemn Israel's actions?

At the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, as Palestinians were being shot dead outside, many in the back and many children, Jared Kushner said that "peace was within reach" and Benjamin Netanyahu declared it a "glorious" day. And all the mealy-mouthed Malcolm Turnbull could do was condemn Hamas for the violence but offer no criticism of the Israeli killers. What a spineless prime minister we have.

Neil Hudson, East Melbourne

Time to forswear the attempts to destroy Israel

For the third time in two weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip set fire to the main border crossing through which they get their medicine, fuel and other humanitarian essentials from Israel. We hear a great deal about the misery of Gaza. The authors of that misery are also the presumptive victims. There is a pattern — harm yourself, blame the other. It deserves to be highlighted amid the torrent of morally blind, historically uneducated criticism to which Israelis are subjected each time they defend themselves against violent Palestinian attack.

No decent Palestinian society can emerge from the culture of victimhood, violence and fatalism symbolised by these protests. No worthy Palestinian government can emerge if the international community continues to indulge the corrupt, anti-Semitic autocrats of the Palestinian Authority or fail to condemn and sanction the despotic killers of Hamas. No Palestinian economy will ever flourish through repeated acts of self-harm and destructive provocation. No state is perfect but if Palestinians want to build a worthy, proud and prosperous nation, they could do worse than try to learn from the one next door. That begins by forswearing their attempts to destroy it.

George Greenberg, Malvern

THE FORUM

Ecologically precious

The Andrews government's decision to open up Victoria's pristine coastal waters to gas exploration (The Age, 17/5) is in complete contradiction with its decision to ban unconventional gas. Its allowance of onshore drilling to access offshore fields makes this obvious. Contrary to conservative myths, domestic gas demand in eastern Australia has declined, and will continue to do so, with increased competition from renewable energy and efficient electrical appliances.

These projects have no social licence in the area. The closest towns – Warrnambool, Portland and Port Fairy – spoke out against onshore gas extraction. If Daniel Andrews were serious about addressing climate change and protecting tourism jobs, he would rule out this project and continue to move in line with the local communities' needs.

Zianna Fuad, Thornbury

Put the animals first

The Turnbull government will not ban live animal exports this year. So with all that confidence in the humane treatment of animals, which do not have a voice, the government surely will not mind each shipment being monitored by onboard representatives of Animals Australia or another independent body.

Monty Arnhold, Port Melbourne

Profit from the powerless

Never let it be said that this government will stand in the way of others making a profit based on unspeakable cruelty – from innocent humans locked up on isolated islands to animals crammed onto floating saunas. An election now, please. This putrid government has to go.

Kim van den Berghe, Highton

Very dangerous power

The police will be given new powers to demand identification from travellers at airports (The Age, 16/5). The dog whistling and progressive over-reach of Peter Dutton brings to mind the warning of English politician Tony Benn: "The way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it".

Juliette Borenstein, North Fitzroy

Presuming to judge others

Clementine Ford, your article about the West Australian family murder/suicide was cruelly judgmental (Comment, 15/5). You presumed knowledge of a relationship between a man and his former son-in-law without having met either of them.

If the father of these poor, dead children can describe their grandfather as a "good bloke", I respect his view. After all, he knew this man. As humans, we have the capacity to do good or cause great harm, and the choices we make are driven by many complexities. Of course such an event is truly shocking, but your response provides no useful service to the issue of domestic violence or, indeed, to mental health, if that is proven to be relevant to this case.

Christine Harris, Mordialloc

A dose of humanity

Thank you Helen Garner (Letters, 17/5) for your analysis of Clementine Ford's article and the Margaret River tragedy. You have breathed an eloquent and reassuring dose of humanity into our grief, which these days is so quickly consumed by anger and score-settling before the curtain has gone down.

Dr Gregory White, psychiatrist, Balwyn North

Very light sentences

I am appalled at the judgment handed down in the case of the assault on paramedics (The Age, 16/5. We have paramedics and police officers in our family, and it is very disappointing to see the lack of interest in their safety shown by some members of the judiciary. So much for mandatory sentencing. Following the court's logic, can we assume that a paramedic found drunk or under the influence while on duty will be in line for promotion?

Ken Wall, Mount Martha

Boomers: talent to burn

Caitlin Fitzsimmons, you are correct that the boundaries between the generations are "arbitrary" (Comment, 16/5), so much so that I first thought I fitted into your topic: poised to take on the leadership roles.

I am 56, so a Baby Boomer, but I am tech savvy and I have years of experience behind me which I am using to power my way in business. The statistics are convincing, but I and many of my age are simply not ready to retire. On the contrary and, in fact, some of us simply cannot afford to do so.

So despite the fact that some of the big corporates are putting their executives on the scrap heap, those directors and partners are taking the board positions and starting their own consultancy firms. True, we will not work forever, but please do not write us off just yet.

Karen Lomas, Hampton

Held to higher standards

It is true that Europe has many "fabulous, rejuvenated" markets (Letters, 16/5). Local councils manage the renovations; if private investors and developers are involved at all, they are tightly controlled by clear specifications.

Developers in Europe have lower profit expectations than they do in Australia (even when the same company). They don't assume last-minute changes in their favour if the economics change. They are held to higher design standards. They have a long tradition of appreciating and working with heritage. If they do not deliver on time, their option to develop can be rescinded, and they are held to account.

Perhaps people in Melbourne cannot accept the Queen Vic market redevelopment because they cannot trust the process through which public-private-partnerships are transacted.

Dr Kate Shaw, school of geography, University of Melbourne

Please explain, ABC

How is it that the ABC's director of news, analysis and investigations Gaven Morris say "there is no more fat left to cut" when it paid almost $2.6million in bonuses last year? What are the criteria for bonuses in a public broadcasting organisation? Perhaps a more reasonable analysis of the ABC's expenditure priorities is required.

Barry Peake, Malvern East

Regardless of one's views on the monarchy, the royal wedding will offer a few moments of delightful theatre: castle, coach, laughter, applause and perhaps some snarls. Enjoy it while it lasts and reality returns. You know, the dreadful situation in the Middle East, the torment of refugees, erratic leaders, bad banks and so on. The lighter aspects of life have a role to play in our often gloomy, cruel, unjust world.

Mary Cole, Richmond

Marriage inequality

Meghan's wedding gift to Harry is an eccentric father-in-law – a poor response to Harry's generous gift of a weird father-in-law and an embarrassing stepmother-in law.

Neil Jillett, Mornington

My choice of service

Ziran Guo asks: "Who will catch a train from Melbourne to Brisbane if it is not high-speed?" (Letters, 16/5). I will. My preference would be a high quality service, using existing infrastructure, which provides excellent sleeping accommodation and a meals menu served in a well-appointed lounge, to suit ordinary working people. Such a service would avoid the disruption to the environment and towns along the route that would be required for high-speed rail. Furthermore, high-speed rail would not benefit intermediate towns as stopping at them would defeat the purpose.

Vaughan Greenberg, Chewton

Hands off, Prime Minister

Do not let Malcolm Turnbull decide the route for the rail link to Melbourne Airport. Remember what happened with the NBN and "fibre to the node" when politics trumped the quality of the service to be provided.

George Bennett, Cheltenham

Catching up to the west

Perth CBD, 9am: hail the local 930 bus, pay cash to the driver ($1.90 senior), put luggage into allocated spot and arrive at the airport 40minutes later after passing many treed parks. There were no hassles. And Western Australia is building a Perth Airport rail line. Wake up, Melbourne.

Allan Lowry, Brighton East

We are a two-person family, retirees, with an air conditioner and gas heating, plus a small electric fan heater which is used in a hobby room in winter.

Recently I changed energy companies. My latest account was $321.15, discounted to $220.77 if I paid on time. (I did.) My account for the same time last year (with my previous company) was $409.05, and every account after that was more than $400, with the exception of August last year, which reached $596.29.

I would guess that my current provider is still making a satisfactory profit, even with its generous discount. So what sort of profits are the others making? There is no real need for any interpretive comment, is there?

Russell Brown, Great Western

Sam Duncan's article on the expansion of the AFL (Comment, 16/5) raises interesting questions. Does the prospect offer another avenue for overseas countries – for example, China to exercise its soft power that is being propagated around the world, including in Australia? What a wonderful prize it would be for say, China, to own an AFL club.

As Sam says, "don't laugh". We do not seem to mind selling off our prime assets – ports, rural properties, food businesses, etc – to overseas monied entities. Why not an AFL club? It has happened to soccer clubs overseas. It is time we had policies that take into account our long-term, national interests.

Bob Malseed, Hawthorn

Saving life and property

The police are investigating after an oBike was thrown onto a moving train, causing $300,000 worth of damage (The Age, 17/5). The Victorian government should follow the example of NSW and South Australia and encase pedestrian footbridges with secure safety caging, thus preventing hazards to life and property. This would inhibit the dropping, or throwing of, rocks or other objects onto freeways and railways.

Joan Kimm, Mallacoota

AND ANOTHER THING

Royal wedding

Poor Meghan. You choose your friends but you can't choose your family.

Diana Goetz, Mornington

Never in the history of mankind has so much been written and spoken about so little.

Rex Condon, Ashwood

What a debacle. Is this an episode from the sitcom, The Royle Family?

Margaret Skeen, Point Lonsdale

A big wedding is always rolled out when soap operas become irrelevant.

Phil Bodel, Ocean Grove

Meghan's mum is "helping with the preparations" (17/5). Making canapes? Last minute wedding-dress alterations?

Lesley Black, Frankston

A royal wedding: so last century.

Dianne Anderson, Bundoora

Politics

Israel is behaving like the abused child who grows up to become the abuser.

Lesley Taskis, Kingsbury

What kind of people are the inhabitants of Gaza who place their children in the front line of war?

Michael Katzew, Doncaster

Littleproud and his colleagues have little to be proud of after deciding to continue the vile live sheep trade.

Pauline Ashton, Maribyrnong

Setka: 1. Cash: 0. It seems Cash is no longer king.

Philip West, Jan Juc

Is Andrews softening up Victorians for eventual onshore gas exploration in the state?

Rupert Steiner, Balnarring Beach

Furthermore

Vale Tom Wolfe. The literate bonfire has lost its bright spark.

Alex Njoo, St Kilda

The judiciary in Victoria is a bloody disgrace on sentencing.

Peter Caffin, North Ringwood

The Director of Public Prosecutions should appeal the County Court's leniency.

Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills

Let's hope there are sufficient "friends of Fed Square" to save it from architectural vandalism.

Ken Courtis, Golden Square

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