Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

Injustice must end

I noticed our PM Malcolm Turnbull pandering to Israeli (Zionist) leader Benjamin Netanyahu on the recent occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the charge of the Australian light horsemen in Palestine. I also noticed that the Palestinian leaders didn’t even rate an invite by our government. The Balfour declaration 1917 and later British and USA statements upon the declaration of the state of Israel, supported a two state solution.

The Palestinian people are still waiting for justice and in my opinion half the Middle East’s problems (ever on-going) can be attributed to Palestinian injustice. How can we expect other Arab countries not to see and feel this betrayal. I lived in Jerusalem & the occupied territories in 1970/71. The injustice was obvious to me then and I have watched  for 47 years since, with Western pro Israeli bias (primarily the USA with usually Britain & Australia toeing the line) being the order of the years. Much has been written about this conflict but two books more than any others high-light Israeli State terrorism and a long unheard cry for Peace and Reconciliation 1) ‘I shall not hate’ by Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish  and 2) ‘Blood Brothers’ by Elias Chacour. Both tell stories about People - not Politics and I take great hope from recent protests/demonstrations by Palestinian & Israeli women joining forces & hands in seeking ‘Peace’ together. One thing I could never understand is how the Israelis’ (after the holocaust experience) can so blindly mistreat and ignore Palestinian suffering and discrimination?

The likely answer to this question was in the Bendigo Advertiser Sat, 28th Oct, 2017 book review of  ‘Balcony over Jerusalem’  by foreign correspondent John Lyons, wherein he reports on the tragedy in Israel and the occupied territories, and the public relations war waged by the Israeli government and media to keep its citizens and the rest of the world in the dark and ends with this telling statement “ If the whole world could see the occupation up close, it would demand that it end tomorrow ”. Now we have President Trump (of the so called free world) declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Jerusalem should be a neutral, universal world city and this act is madness and sooner or later we will all suffer mayhem. I just want the Australian Government policies to be neutral, fair and independent.

Ray Wilson, Kangaroo Flat

Lads, we need to talk

You see a girl walking down the street, so you honk your horn, whistle or call out to show your appreciation, right? Wrong. Most women don’t like this. It’s not “a compliment”.  Our recent Young people and walking study found this behaviour makes young women aged 15-20 feel vulnerable and unsafe while walking. The study of over 1000 young people by Victoria Walks and Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and funded by VicHealth found 40 per cent of our young people do not feel safe walking. Only 15 per cent of young women feel safe walking after dark. A top concern was being approached by strangers. Walking is important to young people’s health.  Victoria Walks is calling on local and state governments to invest in making our streets safer and easier for young people to walk so they can develop healthy habits as they transition to adulthood. But we need males to reconsider their actions. Young women told us they are regularly harassed while walking. We don’t tolerate this sort of behaviour in schools and workplaces. Men who think it is ok to objectify women in public places should take a good hard look at themselves, grow up and stop it.

Dr Ben Rossiter, Victoria Walks