Now here's an interesting letter from yesterday's Australian by Ruth Magid, Point Piper, NSW:
"John Lyons equates the shocking human rights abuses perpetrated by Hamas on the citizens of Gaza, as reported by Human Right Watch, with the 'Price tag' vandals in Israel ('Precious little peace as extreme measures rise on both sides', 6-7/10). The latter are a very small fringe group of youths born in the extreme culture of the settlements, who combine religious and political extremism with the fanaticism of young people... The attacks carried out by the Price Tag hooligans usually consist of offensive graffiti. They are directed almost exclusively at property and rarely at people..."
Oh, I see. Fringe group. Only property. Just naughty boys, really. That's all right then. Had me worried for a minute.
But hang on, what's this in the program of the upcoming Jewish International Film Festival (Sydney, 1-18 November; Melbourne, 7-25 November)?
OMG, it's a new Israeli film called God's Neighbours about another group of naughty Israeli boys who don't live anywhere near the West Bank and prefer baseball bats to spray cans:
"Kobi, Yaniv and gang leader Avi live in Bat-Yam, a suburb city close to Jaffa. They wilfully use fists and baseball bats to enforce their Breslev code on the more relaxed Jews, as well as Arabs who dare disrupt the peace on the Sabbath."
Now I know what you're thinking. They couldn't possibly be just naughty boys. They're obviously thugs.
Ah, but you'd be wrong! For, despite the flailing fists and bone-splintering baseball bats, they're actually quite HUMAN:
"One day, a new girl named Miri arrives. She is not familiar with the strict rules of modesty and immediately comes to blows with the gang, although Avi, unwillingly, falls in love with her. Soon, he is torn apart between his feelings for Miri and his dedication to his cause."
So there you go, folks, as far as Israel is concerned, they're all just naughty boys, really, albeit from the river to the sea.