Thank you, Guy Rundle

Beverley Burke writes: Re. “Rundle: in MH17, the death of meaning from the meaninglessness of death” (yesterday). Thank you for this, Guy Rundle. How I often despair that the age of reason is gone forever. Then I read something like this.

Every night between midnight and 4am, while waiting for my stroke-affected husband to fall into peaceful sleep, I watch the BBC news and catch up on the day’s reading — mostly Crikey and The Guardian.

From the BBC coverage I know that the Russian separatists and villagers on whose heads the bodies and debris from flight M17 fell suffered terrible trauma from the event. They immediately began the search for bodies, on the first day simply marking the locations with white flags. I saw more than one gun-toting militiaman weeping. Women and children came with flowers and candles, and within hours the small group of UN observers were being conducted around in deep discussion with the soldiers. Next night I saw a large group of women and children with their priest, who conducted a religious ceremony as many wept, and the promise was made to “come to this place every year to pray for those killed”. Genuine and touching. I have yet to hear or read a kind word about them. They will be living with the aftermath for years to come.

The local media, it seemed to me, was only prepared to print what read like government press releases that putting our Prime Minister at the head of an army of the righteous — interested only in allotting blame and seeking retribution. It was 9/11 again, the same familiar warmongering rhetoric.

The Daily Telegraph told its readers that the bodies of the victims had been “defiled” by the Russians. It should be forced to retract such a claim. At the same time in a BBC interview the separatists’ “president” said they had been ordered not to touch the bodies until the experts arrived, so they waited for two days, but no one arrived. He asked two legitimate questions: “Why did they not come, where were they?” Yet we were told they were refusing access.

An even more important question was asked by a distressed soldier within hours of the disaster: “Why was this plane flying over here, where we are fighting a war?”

I am now in my 82nd year; I saw the Korean War started with this kind of Hearstian press coverage, and it makes me sick at heart. So I needed to write this. Thank you and your colleagues for providing relief with your insightful, rational and witty articles, which give me hope for our society. As Edward de Bono said: “Humanity should learn to think.”

Whose side are you on?

Stephan Ross writes: Ms Razer, you should really get your facts correct before you go making accusations you know not little, but seemingly nothing about. Apartheid state with 11 Arab parliamentarians, the second highest judge in the land also an Arab. A country no Arab citizen would want to leave and live anywhere else.

Arabs have the same education opportunities as everyone else, etc.

The fact that 800.000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries, more than Palestinians who mostly left following instruction from six invading armies. The fact that no Palestinian leader will ever sign a peace treaty because he knows full well there will be a bullet with his name on it within hours — these are just some of the facts your weak excuse of knowing little of the Balfour declaration does not excuse.

Israel builds shelters while Hamas builds rockets. Eight years of Palestinian rule in Gaza (not occupied) and what has Hamas to show for it other than thousands of rockets, a miserable populace living under Islamic fundamentalist laws prohibiting music, uncovered heads and wholesale murder when they eradicated Fatah after taking over?

A terrorist organisation whose charter calls for the murder of all Jews — this you think is an acceptable government in the 21st century, or are we talking mediaeval times?

Millions of Israeli’s and children traumatised by rockets with a 15-second window to get to a shelter, afraid to go to sleep or school. Who began firing rockets and refused a ceasefire?

Get off her back

Chokyi Nyingpo writes: Re. “On Jacqui Lambie and the male equivalent” (yesterday). Derryn Hinch reminded me of the great Bette Midler telling Sophie Tucker jokes during both her tours and recordings.

The one I remember was performed on her live album Live At Last (1977). It’s worth repeating in your journal because Hinch does highlight the appalling double standards shown by the mainstream media re: Jacqui Lambie’s “well-hung male” comments.

So it is not fine for men to do it but OK for women? I’ll let the Divine Miss M tell it better than Hinch did …

I was in bed last night with my boyfriend Ernie, and he said to me “Soph, you got no tits and a tight box”. I said to him “Ernie, get … off … my … back.”

Perhaps we can all get off Lambie’s back now?