Sunday, January 04, 2009

Rebels without a clue

Somewhere between 12 and 60,000 people wasted a fine winter afternoon protesting about Israel/Palestine in front of 10 Downing Street yesterday.

I say 'wasted' an afternoon because the Prime Minister of the UK can do absolutely nothing useful about Israel. He can make some noise, but no one will listen to him anyhow and it's not really any of his business. Several hundred protesters grabbed a cluebat and protested outside the Israeli Embassy, but only after they had wasted precious hours throwing shoes at Gordon Brown's front door.

Speaking more broadly - I remain confused about why a small Middle Eastern country attracts so much attention compared to, say, Zimbabwe. The only explanation I've dredged up is that it's the intellectuals' equivalent of wearing a Man U sweatshirt - it shows which team you're on. And, like wearing a Man U t-shirt in a Chelsea supporters' pub, all bets are off if you lament the death of Palestinian toddlers in a room of people buying artery-clogging junk food for the Israeli troops.

As someone who isn't interested in football for the political classes, I can't understand why no one is calling for everyone to stop sending money to both sides. This would mean they would have to stop shelling each other and instead throw rotten vegetables or something.

Less facetiously, it would be reduced to the level of the 'Troubles', which has happily now been resolved after much heartbreak, horror and tragedy. I can't emphasise enough that terrorism and conflict destroys lives. Which is why people on the other side of the world using it to make sure they get invited to the right dinner parties makes me quite that mad.

Once the problem had been scaled down to pre-Good Friday Agreement levels, I recommend a two-step plan for stopping people dying. First, provide appropriate sanitation, healthcare, etc. for all the ordinary families who are doubtless heartily sick of the whole situation and just want to do normal things like have grandchildren and go to work. And, second, once both sides realised no one gave a flying f**k about them anymore, they would have to broker some sort of agreement.

The Arab/Israeli conflict - solved before 10am - amazing!


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