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    "Wayne Rooney is a crap role model for all the kids who think footballers are the coolest, most exciting people in the world."

    My heroes were Sir Charles Clore, Ze'ev Jabotinsky and a certain relative who fought in underground in Palestine.

    I'm not convinced about this role model business. I believe that for the most part we are attracted to that which explains us best. Thus, I was interested in making money and Israel long before I'd ever heard of Clore and Jabotinsky. And they particularly attracted me because they possessed the kind of qualities that I already admired.



    The trivialization of the fine old Cross of St. George continues.

    Still, I must confess: David Beckham has always struck me as a thoroughly decent guy.

    I'm not quite so sure about Rooney.

    Steve M

    Wayne Rooney is one of the best footballers in the world and is the finest English player for many years.

    He's an ordinary young man who happens to play football, brilliantly. He didn't ask to be anyone's role model and I don't see why he should be.

    I'm sorry to hear that your future son-in-law isn't interested in football as it seems that you could do with the education in this area. The world's greatest sporting event is about to start and almost the whole world will be united in its excitement and enthusiasm.

    What other happening can find common cause between people from Germany, Brazil, Togo and Iran? The World Cup is a rare example of real understanding and communication between people as, for just a few short weeks, billions from all over the world will actually be speaking the same language.

    I think it's a pity that you think your family won't be amongst them, although I expect you may well change your mind if England reach the quarter finals or beyond. After all, nothing would unite our country in the same way.

    Steve M

    During the last World Cup in 2002, at the time of a major Israeli military offensive in the West Bank, fighting hit a noticeable lull, as Israeli soldiers halted operations to allow Palestinians to watch games on television.

    Israelis, Palestinians Agree on World Cup


    *Tsk*, Judy...and this from someone who must remember a time when football was "the beautiful game".

    OK, I agree that money, lack of sportsmanship, and lack of characters has robbed the game of most of its magic, but it still has some...the very fact that I've bought myself the new away shirt to take to the Holy Land in June proves that, once bitten...

    I'm trying to work out where in Israel I'll be at the time of the last two group games (the proximity of satellite TV could be issue)...such a shame that I'll miss the thoughts of the DIY football mavens of Redbourne Avenue...the trouble with Barnet is that, because some of them actually know what they're talking about, it's nothing like as amusing.

    PS - not that I see any point in posting supportive messages re. NAFTHE on here (because it's they who only have a narrow view of the facts, not us), but once again, it just shows how trendy it is to think that the Palestinians became poverty-stricken, stateless, etc. the moment that the Israelis walked in.

    PPS - our chanukiot scrub up well on the internet, don't they?! Thanks for the publicity!


    " The trivialization of the fine old Cross of St. George continues. "

    Oh dear. Once more the Muslims will feel insulted and suffer from humiliation.


    I suspect that as ever with poiniiclats like is not being compared with like.There's a big diference between the headline fares and those that most users do actually pay.Frankly it doesn't matter who gets in. Fares will doubtless raise higher than inflation whether it's Ken or Boris.

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