Archive | July, 2014

Two Articles in the Sydney Morning Herald about the Value of Human Life

31 Jul

All Israel wants is to live in peace with its neighbours

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/all-israel-wants-is-to-live-in-peace-with-its-neighbours-20140729-zy5jn.html#ixzz392M0QFvW

 

Yair Miller is president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/all-israel-wants-is-to-live-in-peace-with-its-neighbours-20140729-zy5jn.html#ixzz392MIL5AW

 

MH17, Gaza and the value of human life

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/mh17-gaza-and-the-value-of-human-life-20140724-zw8jn.html#ixzz392MhnNGX

 

Waleed Aly is a Fairfax columnist. He hosts Drive on ABC Radio National and is a lecturer in politics at Monash University.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/mh17-gaza-and-the-value-of-human-life-20140724-zw8jn.html#ixzz392Mp5dxZ

Wanting to understand what is happening in Gaza

31 Jul

Rabbi Mordecai Finley, PhD is the spiritual leader of Ohr HaTorah Synagogue in Los Angeles.

Read more: A letter to friends who want to understand what is happening in Gaza | Mordecai Finley | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-letter-to-friends-who-want-to-understand-what-is-happening-in-gaza/#ixzz390RRFCVk
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

 

”  . . . .

The martyring of civilians in war is not that uncommon either. Thousands of Japanese committed suicide instead of surrendering to the Americans. Civilians are often proud to die for their country. Gazans, however, are not given the opportunity to choose. By hiding rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods, by declaring war on Israel without building bomb shelter for their people, means only one thing: Hamas wants to martyr their civilians. It makes an uninformed world blame Israel. This is a very smart tactic. Just don’t fall for it.

My heart breaks for the suffering of the Palestinian people. I pray that they get their state soon, and will live peaceably alongside Israel. There will be lots of wounds to mend in this process on both sides.

But I don’t blame Israel for the civilian suffering of Palestinians that you see. It is a deliberate tactic of war intended to make you feel exactly what you are feeling: sympathy. I feel sympathy as well, but I know who has the responsibility for this suffering: Hamas.”                                                                   ‘

Read more: A letter to friends who want to understand what is happening in Gaza | Mordecai Finley | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-letter-to-friends-who-want-to-understand-what-is-happening-in-gaza/#ixzz390Qacb2y
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

 

I CAME ACROSS THIS BLOG BY Rabbi Mordecai Finley. I FIND THIS BLOG VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. WHAT INDEED DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE CONSTANTLY AFRAID SOME TERRORISTS IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD ARE OUT TO KILL YOU AND ALL YOUR PEOPLE?

THE LAST FEW PARAGRAPHS OF THE RABBI’S BLOG I COPIED ABOVE. THE RABBI REFERS TO HISTORY SAYING THAT the martyring of civilians in war is not that uncommon.

Robertson Station

30 Jul

Last Sunday on the way to Burrawang we stopped with Caroline and Matthew at Robertson Station. Peter and I were reminded that last time we had stopped there was about five years ago. We did take some pictures then of the surroundings of the station. We also took some pictures last Sunday, which was the 27th of July 2014.

I have found now in Peters files the following pictures that we took in April 2009.

 

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I took this picture on Sunday, 28th July 2014

I took this picture on Sunday, 27th July 2014

The following pictures are also from that Sunday.

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These still stand not far from the station. A lot of vegetation has grown around them since 2009 when we took pictures of ourselves in front of them!

These still stand not far from the station. A lot of vegetation has grown around them since 2009 when we took pictures of ourselves in front of them!

 

 

 

Burrawang, NSW, Australia

30 Jul
There's even a bus stop in front of the cafe. Maybe on Sundays there aren't any buses, this is why people parked their cars there.

There’s even a bus stop in front of the cafe. Maybe on Sundays there aren’t any buses, this is why people parked their cars there.

Caroline and Matthew were with us last Sunday, July 27th. Caroline offered to drive us to the highlands. Caroline and Matthew were sitting in the front, so Peter and I could relax in the back. Caroline managed very well to drive all of us up MacQuarie Pass in our little car. We were aiming for a village called Burrawang, where Peter and I had been some time ago. We had quite liked this historical little place and were happy we could go there for another visit.

Here we had a cup of coffee and some cake.

Here we had a cup of coffee and some cake.

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This is one of the pictures I took inside of the cafe.

This is one of the pictures I took inside of the cafe.

I took a few more pictures in that cafe:

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Here is what I googled about Burrawang and Wildes Meadow:

“Burrawang is a village in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia in Wingecarribee Shire. According to the 2011 Australian census, Burrawang’s population was 238”

“Wildes Meadow is a hamlet village in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire. Due to its location, it does not receive many passers by, and so the tourism industry has suffered as a result.”

Now, if ever we had the idea to relocate to one of these places, just seeing what is on offer for buying would make us give up this idea quick smart. The problem is, that in order to live in one of these places we would have to invest millions which certainly we do not have. Still, even if we cannot live there it is within our reach to visit these places. Actually, this is good enough for me. I am not complaining, not at all.

A charming country cottage idyllically set on 27 acres of serene landscape, now doesn’t this sound lovely? Well, I can keep dreaming about places like this, can’t I? However, I know it is just a dream!

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This is a card about a BURRAWANG FESTIVAL which takes place in October 2014.

A Card about  a BURRAWANG FESTIVAL

This is at the back of the card.

This is at the back of the card.

Maybe this is a good way to make a living if you live in this area.

To be a House and PET Sitter? Maybe this is a good way to make a living in this area.

In June 1985 Peter had also done this 8 km FUN RUN.

In June 1985 Peter had done this 8 km FUN RUN.

End of July 2014

30 Jul

Today is already July 30. I think it is about time for me to catch up on my Diary.

The last few weeks have been difficult as far as writing for the diary is concerned. I had often very mixed feelings about what was going on in the world. Usually I felt I could not concentrate enough to do much writing. Just reading what the newspapers said and hearing the news on radio as well as watching them on television became very tiring and upsetting. However whenever I found myself with some spare time I tried to catch up on reading novels. I also went for walks as often as possible. After a bit of walking I usually sat down in the sun for a while to relax. I was always grateful when the winter sun made its appearance. I tried to catch as much of it as possible. 🙂

 

 

 

Displaced Persons

24 Jul

The other day when I was awake in bed for a while, my thoughts went to the refugees from the Eastern Ukraine. I remembered pictures of women and children in Russian refugee camps. One woman had said she wanted to stay in Russia for a limited time only so that when the fighting stops she would be able  to go back to her home town in the Ukraine. Some people may have dual citizenship. These people are of course allowed to stay in Russia indefinitely, others would have to apply for permanent residency if they want to stay in Russia.

For sure it is not a very pleasant experience to have to live in a refugee camp for weeks on end. Who knows when there is going to be peace again in these places where Ukrainians are fighting the insurgents?

TIME FOR UKRAINE TO DIVIDE? The following is an extract of an article by Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald from 2014, July 20th:

It is more than 20 years since the orderly, democratic, bloodless dissolution of Czechoslovakia took place on January 1, 1993, when the Czech Republic and Slovakia came into being as two sovereign nations. Like Ukraine, this was a nation divided with geographic neatness between language and ethnicity.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/time-for-ukraine-to-divide-20140720-zv19c.html#ixzz38LX5O0Np

 

Here is another example where a two state solution ought to be possible and why this did not happen so far:

This is taken from an ABC Australia National program called Rear Vision.

 

 

 

Israel, Palestine and the problem with the two-state solution

Tuesday 22 July 2014 4:51PM
Annabelle Quince

With Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza and casualties rising, international attention is once again focused on the Middle East peace process. The two-state solution is generally accepted as the blueprint to end the decades-old conflict, but intractable issues and deep mistrust remain on both sides, writes Annabelle Quince. 

If it wasn’t clear before this week, the Middle East peace process is in tatters. Israel has launched a ground invasion of Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 500 Palestinians and around 20 Israelis.

. . . . . .

 

‘The majority of the people in Israel do accept the notion of a Palestinian state, but we suspect that most Palestinians don’t accept the notion of a Jewish state. This is the problem,’ says Eiland.

‘Everybody understands that what Clinton proposed nine years ago is probably the only practical solution if we are based on the two-state solution. In other words, it is not only that the concept is well known, but also the details are well-known. So if it is so important to solve the problem, if the concept is acceptable and if the details are so well-known, what is the problem? Why both parties don’t sit together and sign an agreement, and here is the paradox, both parties don’t do it because this solution is not really desired by both sides.’

‘The maximum that the government of Israel, any government of Israel, can offer the Palestinians, is less, much less, than the minimum that any possible Palestinian leader can accept. The gap between both sides is much bigger than the way that it is perceived. Everybody is committed to say that he is committed to this solution, but no-one really, really means it.’

Which leaves the peace process where it is today, mired in mistrust and nearly a century’s worth of grievances, with the blood of both soldiers and civilians flowing once again.

Rear Vision puts contemporary events in their historical context, answering the question, ‘How did it come to this?’

Foreign Investment

24 Jul

Foreign investment isn’t meant to be a form of aid to rich foreigners.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/mining-boom-our-gift-to-rich-foreigners-20140720-zus1b.html#ixzz385EiBDjk

 

This is an article by Ross Gittins about the Mining Boom. How much did Australia actually profit from it?