When Tony Blair claims it is religious or cultural difference that will fuel 21st century wars, not the ideologies that caused past wars (The Observer, January 26, 2014) he shows only a skewed notion of religion's place in society and history. He projects a narrow idea of what it means to be religious, and diverts attention from other, more systemic problems.
What would life be like in a prison camp? We can postulate about dirty, cramped conditions but few of us will ever experience anything remotely resembling such an ordeal. It is even hard to imagine. The only given is that we would live in hope of being liberated from our nightmare. We would expect to be rescued as quickly as humanly possible.
While the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire is welcome, it will only last if the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people are remedied. Similar ceasefires have failed in the past precisely because of a lack of progress towards a negotiated settlement that is fair to the Palestinians. A genuine injustice is what gives the Palestinian fanatics influence.
Gaza has been under siege since January 2006, after its residents dared to elect a Hamas goverment. The subsequent economic blockade imposed upon the Strip by the Israeli government at one stage prevented the residents of Gaza from importing, among other things, coriander, ginger, nutmeg and, even, newspapers.
Reflecting upon the verdict given at a Haifa district court on Tuesday morning, essentially blaming the victim for her own death, the intransigency of Israel's politicised justice system was immediately exposed when the judge legitimised a legal avenue for Israel to exploit now and in any similar future case.