Friday, July 29, 2005

More English and un peu francais

There are now reports filtering through that the unlucky Brazilian national did not in fact jump the barrier at the Tube station and was not wearing a heavy coat. The investigation may well come down to jittery police rather than silly behaviour by the man in question. UPDATE: He might well have run because his UK visa had expired.

In light of that whole story, I had this sad little photo (above) sent to me today. I'm just not too sure if it's real - you never can tell these days. Read what others are saying about it. (Make sure to find the comment that adds that there was a similar notice at Canary Wharf recently which read something like: "Do not leave bags unattended, especially if you are of Middle Eastern appearance".

I wanted to query you all about a related issue - that is, the footage being slowly released (or found) of the London bomb attacks on July 7th. Israel has had to do its own evaluation over the last 10 years or so about what 'bloody' footage and the like to show on TV (especially Israeli TV). Obviously (and sadly, but importantly) the blood and destruction does have its PR effect. The UK on the other hand, showed almost nothing of the train damage or injured people, people screaming, running etc. I understand that ABC (US) has now pubished some footage from inside the trains. UK Police are asking bloggers to stop republishing the photos (which include photos of the bombs found in cars) because of the interference it may have with their investigation. So you won't find a link from here at least... (what a good boy I am!)

Regardless, what do you think? Is there benefit from showing the dead, the injured, the body parts and the blood left behind? (Click 'Comments' below).

Et maintenant, un peu francais! The last few days of smiles and backslapping between Arik Sharon and President Chirac would make the world wake up and take notice - if only they could really believe that it was all with good intention. Frankly and frenchly, I am a big believer in maintaining and building strong allies and political friends even at the risk of sacrificing one's own priorities at home. I know how much some of you will be looking at me sideways right now. Maybe that's because we are talking about France who has been a traditional Arab ally for some time now and in that regard I can add my own scepticism.

It's fair to say though that Chirac is saying some very warming and comforting things. They come at a vital and testing time for Sharon. It feels good to hear it from the mouth of a European leader. And yet, I feel as do these analysts, that all this renewal of French-Israel relations has had a lot of sugar added to make it taste all sweet.

But why be cynical all the time? Israeli diplomatic achievements do continue to appear. After Israel's UN Ambassador was recently elected to position of Deputy Security-General of the UN General Assembly, it is very pleasing to see that another Israeli has been elected to an important UN position, this time to the deputy chairmanship of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC).

And that's a positive way to go into the weekend here in Israel. (Enjoy the Tri-Nations everyone).

Shabbat Shalom.

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