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Hamas is a brutal terrorist group that’s started this phase of the war with Israel, but it’s outrageous that the Israeli government refuses to implement Joe Biden’s eminently reasonable recommendation to allow a humanitarian pause so that urgently needed supplies of food, medical equipment and fuel can get through to desperate Palestinians. It’s yet another example of the Israeli government’s total lack of any sense of proportionality.
Kevin Burke, Sandringham
Let the necessities of life flow
Some vile actions are declared to be war crimes. Other equally cruel and devastating behaviours resulting in the predictable death of thousands of mothers and children are to be assessed as unfortunate collateral damage. The suffering is similar, the death and mutilation are similar. This mayhem must stop. The murderous incursion into Israel by Hamas can never be justified, though Israel has been brutal and unfair in its treatment of Palestinians over many decades. Blocking Palestinians leaving Gaza and laying siege to millions by denying them the necessities of life cannot be justified. At least this aspect can be remedied with little risk to the eventual outcome.
Peter Barry, Marysville
Next, a cartoon depicting Israel’s anguish
Leunig’s cartoon and poem in Spectrum (4/11) illustrates Israel’s bombing of Hamas, the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, and expresses his sympathy for the population. How about his next cartoon and poem describing the murder and kidnapping of Israeli citizens, or Hamas hiding its weapons in civilian areas, schools, hospitals and religious sites, or using Gazans as human shields, or rockets continually fired at Israeli civilian areas since 2005? Also, Leunig could illustrate and write a poem about the brutal murders and kidnappings of Israeli civilians, including children and babies, which precipitated this war. He has a large list of Hamas crimes from which to choose.
Annette Gladwin, Bentleigh
If Hamas hadn’t attacked in the first place …
The loss of lives on both sides of the Middle East conflict is a tragedy that shows no sign of abating. The pro-Palestinian protesters around the world seem to have overlooked the fact that all those who died would still be alive were it not for the horrendous and barbaric actions of the Hamas terrorists last month.
And the 200-plus captives still being held in Gaza would be home with their families. And the residents of Gaza could enjoy far better lives if the money spent by Hamas on tunnels and armaments had been spent on improving living conditions. It is pointless and simplistic to measure the response by comparing the numbers of casualties on each side. For those alleging that Israel’s response has been excessive, I have a question. What would you have them do? Put yourself in the position of Benjamin Netanyahu and the minister of defence and describe exactly what actions you would take.
Jeff Lerner, Elsternwick
No easy solution to a wicked problem
Hamas committed atrocities in their murderous attacks on Israeli civilians, and there must be consequences for that, aimed at destroying the leadership. Hamas constantly fires rockets at Israel, and independent analysis says some of them misfire and hit targets in Gaza. Independent journalists state Hamas uses schools and mosques as bases for its activities. Analysts believe Hamas has stockpiled essential supplies while the Gazan civilians starve and go without medical supplies. I know that Israel is justified in responding to Hamas’ declaration by going to war, but I am so conflicted by what is happening to innocent Gazans. Their suffering is not right, but neither is letting Hamas survive to do such harm. Hamas must be stopped. It is a wicked problem with no easy answer. Louise Kloot, Doncaster
Millie Muroi gives a brilliantly simple description of the workings of the global oil market (″The world’s most traded commodity thrives on fear″, 6/11). The price and supply of the “black, sludgy stuff” is hugely dependent on geopolitical events. In March last year, defence analysts called for Australia to accelerate its transition to electric vehicles because our heavy reliance on imported oil was a “massive” security risk.
John Blackburn, retired air vice-marshal, pointed out that our national economy would “grind to a halt” within weeks of a disruption to fuel supplies, 90 per cent of which are imported. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute agreed.
Our transition to electric vehicles, stymied by a decade of Coalition obfuscation and denial, has been sluggish. The number of electric vehicles doubled last year, but we need to get our skates on.
Fiona Colin, Malvern East
State school needs
While I can understand the decision by your correspondent (Letters, 6/11) to move her daughters to a private school she found better answered her daughters’ needs, this is impossible for most parents.
The solution is better funding for state schools, so that salaries can be raised, more teachers recruited and better buildings provided.
This is what is meant by the statement that education should be free, compulsory and secular.
Of course, this might mean higher taxes for some parents. My response to that is too bad.
Juliet Flesch, Kew
There certainly needs to be a complete rethink regarding the treatment of ADHD in adolescents in Australia. I once taught a class of pupils with ADHD, and have experience and training regarding ADHD in four countries.
In extreme cases medication is necessary, but generally, it can be treated without drugs.
In Europe I have seen excellent results with cognitive behaviour therapy, Jacobson’s muscle relaxation, drumming, running, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing, yoga and meditation and other treatments and combinations. There is no concrete scientific evidence that either CBD, or THC has any long-term positive effects regarding ADHD. Cannabis does have therapeutic value, but not in regards to ADHD, and it should never be used by males under 25.
Jeff McCormack, Javoricko,
Horses hurt, too
I must admit, I looked twice at the heading on the article ″How do horses react to being whipped? Do they feel pain″ (6/11). A horse can feel a fly land on him, so deduce from that the answer. As a lifelong horse owner, I have had a few horses who had been whipped as part of their training, and I can tell you, it’s not a good answer.
They whip racehorses to make them go faster. The horse are trying to get away from the whip. The whip replaces the rider’s legs which, in most other equestrian sports, are tucked softly around the horse’s belly and the calves are squeezed to gain momentum. This is not an option for jockeys perched on top of their mount. If people think horses don’t feel pain they are deluded. The racing industry has a very long way to go.
Christine Smith, Healesville
Our freedom fighters
Last Friday The Age reported (″Charles meets family of executed rebel leader″) that King Charles met the family of executed Kenyan rebel leader Dedan Kimathi, hanged by the British administration in 1957. Kenya was a former British colony and Kimathi was a freedom fighter. This year, Kenya celebrates its 60th year of independence. King Charles is reported to have cited ″the abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence″ committed against Kenyans as they sought independence.
In Australia, two Aboriginal freedom fighters, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener, were executed by the British government in Melbourne in 1842, the first executions in the colony of Port Phillip. Their fate is not widely known to Australians, their burial grounds in the Victoria Market unmarked. I hope one day soon there will be wider acknowledgment of this country’s own freedom fighters.
Elizabeth Crock, Brunswick
Laughing or crying
Point very well made Mary Crooks (″At one with John Howard″, 4/11). I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the thought of an eminent, honoured leader of social justice such as yourself, having something in common with a conservative like John Howard.
Jane Ross, San Remo
Council’s climate vision
Great to see some councils are reading the tea leaves on sea surges and sea levels (″Council determined to keep coast clear as seal levels threaten”, 5/11). It doesn’t take much to notice what is already happening and the increased frequency of ″unprecedented″ damage from climate events. If you take any notice of the coast and the shorelines of estuaries with tidal flows, you’ll see evidence of the thousands of dollars already spent in generally vain attempts to reduce erosion.
To find it noteworthy that a council like South Gippsland protects its own interest by restricting further development in the path of such destruction, gives insight into the distance we have yet to go in understanding what is happening with our climate.
It is good to see a council lift its sights to what is coming and resist the draw of immediate sources of revenues, in the face of future accusations of failure to take climate change seriously. This should not be news.
Carolyn Ingvarson, Canterbury
Cyclists’ survival skills
As a survivor of more than 50 years on pushbikes and motorcycles and having ridden in extensively in Europe and Asia with no injuries, it beggars belief that Australian riders still blame car drivers for not seeing them which results in accidents, rather than understanding that often car drivers just don’t see bikes and motorcycles – not on purpose.
I don’t know why this happens but I do have a few theories. What I do know is if you assume you haven’t been seen and ride appropriately, you don’t crash. It’s that simple.
Riding into intersections at speed and assuming you will be seen is simply gambling with death.
As part of any child’s bike training every parent should be ensuring their child understands you should always assume you are invisible to other drivers on the road.
We all see these groups of riders travelling at what I consider is at high speed for something riding on liquorice straps, who are constantly distracted by electronic devices, conversations between riders and generally admiring each other’s racing gear while obliviously sailing along to the next accident.
Sandy Richards, Merricks Beach
Riders, obey the rules
While aggression towards any road users is unacceptable it is especially abhorrent towards bike riders who are more exposed and vulnerable, however article after article fails to address the behaviour of bike riders, they also break the road rules. I live in the inner city, every day on my walks I observe bike riders going through red lights, riding in the pedestrian lane at traffic lights to avoid stopping at the red light, riding on footpaths, this behaviour is not limited to a few errant riders, it is the majority, and they are not food delivery riders.
Mary O’Shannassy, East Melbourne
PM, speak clearly
Sean Kelly’s comment piece “Tiptoe through tripwires of spin″ (6/11) signalling to voters to be wary of the adroit language politicians use isn’t breaking news. The PM’s constant reference to the Voice being a “modest″ proposal was an example of voters seeing the dissonance between a simple word and the monumental change that was envisaged. It was a tripwire the PM set himself and with no open and inclusive communication on the aims and structure of the Voice trust in the “modest″ proposal nosedived.
The PM’s comment on his expressed concern for the wellbeing of Julian Assange, “Enough is enough″, implying he wants the US to drop the espionage charges against Assange and release him is, so far, an empty utterance.
Surely the result of the Voice referendum is informing the PM that he needs to communicate in everyday, open language with voters or they will just stop listening to him.
Des Files, Brunswick
RBA is not Grinch
A central bank does not exist to provide the public with a happy ending; it acts to control inflation (″Pre-Christmas rate increase would be ’nail in the coffin‴, 6/11). It is above politics and should not be seen as the Grinch who stole Christmas. Yet, whether in housing, banking or indeed retail, the public has been sold a consumeristic dream – impoverishing many in the process. It is no longer a question of needs versus wants, but rather falling for marketing that preys on the individual’s self-esteem.
Anders Ross, Heidelberg
What is the purpose of the Albanese government pursuing the prosecution of whistleblowers before the court (Comment, 6/11). This is shameful and could influence others not to speak out. These brave individuals are our canaries in the coal mine alerting us to serious corruption issues. They should be praised and supported, not prosecuted. Immediate action needs to be considered in stopping the prosecution of these whistleblowers before more harm is done to individuals brave enough to speak out. Investigate the offenders before the prosecution of whistleblowers. This would be true justice. Christine Baker,
AND ANOTHER THING
Seems Scott Morrison is trying to make himself relevant again. Should Peter Dutton watch his back?
Marie Nash, Balwyn
Which ex-ministerial hat was Scott Morrison wearing in Israel?
Sean Geary, Southbank
Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson working together. Soon, everything will be coming up roses.
Michael Brinkman, Ventnor
If only Scott Morrison realised that his visit to Israel will be as beneficial to Israel as were the benefits to Australia when he was PM.
Annie Wilson, Inverloch
Like a pair of lost socks, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison are trying to find relevance somewhere. And then they found Israel.
April Baragwanath, Geelong
It was a great relief that I heard that Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison had gone to Israel. With those two on the job all the issues should be solved soon.
Glenn Murphy, Hampton Park
I am sure the people of Cook are wondering what the benefit is for them that their representative will gain by pretending he is still PM and going to Israel.
Greg Tuck, Warragul
Can we please move on from Melbourne Cup Day as a public holiday. It’s 2023. Some alternatives: State Save a Species Day or State Treaty Day.
Gail Cumming, Metung
If the average punter had shown as much interest in the referendum issue as they do in picking the winner of the Melbourne Cup, the Yes vote would have won by a short half head.
Randall Bradshaw, Fitzroy
Population growth is out of control and they put the brakes on infrastructure spending. Welcome to the Third World, Australia, where’s your “liveability index” now?
Geoff Hall, Mentone
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