No taking sides

The line taken in last week's NS leader column (12 January) is one of humanitarian concern, and yet to describe Hamas only as "what [Israel and its western allies] regard as a terrorist organisation" seems mealy-mouthed, to say the least. The Hamas charter swears eternal enmity to all Jews everywhere. Further hatred is promised for secular Palestinians who support Fatah. And as for western liberals, atheists, homosexuals . . . This does not justify Israel's actions, but does provide necessary context.

What is needed from those of us fortunate enough to live in a safe country is sympathy for both sides in this most emotive and intractable of conflicts.

J E Stubbings

London N3

Just recently Google has brought out with a great deal of alterations and improvements to their prominent search system, including Googles Knowledge Graph Release. Read More...

This article first appeared in the 19 January 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Obama: What the world expects...