Wednesday, 4 March 2009

A chink of light?

Two things suggest there might be some movement in US/UK attitudes to Israel and Palestine. The first is that Obama has appointed Charles Freeman as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. He has in the past alarmed Israel by saying that Israeli interests are not the same as American interests. He pointed out in 2007 that Hamas was "the only democratically elected government in the Arab world.

The other possible sign of change, though I long since ceased to hope for anything from Mr Blair, is that he has at long last visited Gaza. He was careful not to meet Hamas, but he was visibly shocked by the destruction he saw. He made a remark that sounded odd even from him: "given the numbers of people that have died I find the conversation about proportionality not really a sensible conversation to have." It sounds as though he means that the disproportionality is so enormous that there is no point in arguing the contrary.

On another subject, poor old Scotland! Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland are both at the bottom of the pile. So much for Scottish prudence! Well, at least people should no longer make jokes about the Scots being mean! They seem to be ready to lend money to any charlatan who asks for it.

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