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    Dear Judy,

    I must say, I'm struggling to express how disappointed I am in this post... I've come across your blog through Twitter & the #IranElection community and this is where I find such a surprising disconnect. As you would know, Judy, #IranElection has a truly mixed bag of mainly compassionate tho angry & frustrated posters. Perhaps as a consequence of being in that environment, my finding what appears to me to be your "tricky" & partisan stance above was truly jarring. I'm sure you have great heart, & certainly over-arching passion - it can be seen in all your entries. But why, from the relatively well-informed proximity of one fortnight after the end of the IDF's at times literal fire-bombing of Gaza (& I use that term advisedly, having seen photos & videos of phosphor shell damage & burns), where even at writing you were aware of such a shuddering loss of innocent life, can you not seem to engage with much other than the disproportionate pro-Palestinian coverage of UK media, particularly the BBC? Was the UK media at all sympathetic towards Israel & her people during the 2002 suicide-bombings? Of course they (largely) were, as were a great majority of people.

    And as for Afghanistan, though Western public's detachment from it's people's plight is often lamentable, it is still, in human terms, easily understood. It's a far off, developing country, with different cultural traditions & beliefs, its peoples speaking languages other than our own, at different levels of education, etc. Of course there's going to be less of an I-get-it response from the West, echoed in an often distorted way by our media... Ah, the media... What does it's parasitic machinery require? I read a fascinating, warts-&-all interview in the Melbourne Age newspaper speaking of the REAL life of foreign corresponents in the Middle East. "The "frank, if brutal (dictum): ''If it bleeds, it leads.'' (is mentioned and..) "the (journo's) colleague even offered a formula: ''Divide the number of deaths by the number of kilometres from home; dead whites are bigger news than dead blacks or Asians, and dead Christians are bigger news than dead people of other faiths, except that, as American colleagues (say) . . Jews are news.'' Pretty brutal & certainly frank, but don't be put off; the above doesn't reflect the interview's tone. So, "The Media" is at times going to cynically target one side (yes, perhaps often Israel, but also other states & groups), but that shouldn't be the over-riding commentary theme in the midst of such HUMAN misery & loss. How can the symbolism of a frightened family, being shepherded by IDF soldiers into a so-called safe house, only to later (abscent-mindedly?) be obliterated in a shelling flash? Is this not absolutely deplorable, not just a lamentable mistake? The government of Israel, the IDF, the people of Israel, & indeed the Jewish people of Israel have a duty of care with regard to the Occupied Territories & their inhabitants, a duty seen by many in this situation, myself at times included, to be manifestly & perhaps obscenely ignored. By similar token, how obscene that young teenagers, sitting at a cafe, should have their lives shredded, their innocent bodies dismembered, by a single blast... And this could either precious Israeli or Palestinian kids. ALL are invaluable, beyond price - in Gaza, in Israel, in Iran, in Afghanistan, wherever...

    I'll finish now as I'm typing this with a broken arm so it's taking forever. Obviously we both hold our beliefs very dear, Judy, & I've hardly had a chance to read more than half a dozen of your blogs so have only scratched the surface with your ponderings. Consequently, tho I have been surprised at the strength of my reactions, I would hope that it's exactly people like us who need to be able to talk, if there's ever solutions to a world filled with inequity. Perhaps we'll tweet each other, tho I'm rather glad I had more than 140 characters for the above mini-thesis! For now, thanks for the provoking to express! Will catch you out there, huh?

    Ciao David

    ps Was disturbed but appreciated seeing the YouTube vid of the rockets launched from the school(?) grounds. How disgustingly reckless - But enough of that...

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