Sunny evening, 6 June 2018

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday 4 August

A fairly overcast day here, with occasional bright spells interspersed with typically Hebridean drizzle. A moderate west wind drives the weather today.

It is a hundred years ago today that Belgium and the United Kingdom joined the First World War. Belgium was invaded by German forces, who met with stiff resistance at Liège - the Eben-Emael fortress  proving to be a tougher nut to crack than the Germans had anticipated. History has recorded the events that followed over 4 years, 3 months and 7 days, claiming the lives of millions, and reshaping the map of Europe.

It left a legacy, consisting of all the ingredients for another conflagration, which followed just over 20 years after the First World War ended. In turn, the Second World War left its own legacy, which is continuing to reverberate in the world today. The Gaza conflict, as we are watching it on the TV news these days, is a direct offshoot of WW2.

Is it proportionate for the murder of three teenagers to be avenged by the summary justice of the demolition of a house, and the murder of another teenager? I condemn the use of missiles to terrorise the civilian population, even though this has not claimed lives. I roundly condemn the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defence Force. They state that missile stores and launch sites in Gaza need to be destroyed, and in a sense, such is a justified aim. However, the civilian death toll is way, way too high. It could be argued that Hamas, in a cynical way, place their weaponry close to civilian sites - almost inevitable in Gaza. But three times over now have we seen the targeting of United Nations schools by IDF, shortly after being notified by the UN of the location of these schools. That too is a cynical approach, and comes close to deliberate targeting of such sites. There is no trust between either side, and there is no prospect of a lasting resolution.

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