Wednesday, February 12, 2014

12-Feb-14: Checking people at the crossings: context can make all the difference

Image Source: BBC this morning
Context, it is sometimes said, is everything.

We live in a country with a strongly multi-ethnic mix. The same for the city in which we make our home. Tragically, a significant number of certain parts of that mix have murder - literal, life-ending homicide - on their minds a great deal of the time.

Our political leadership along with the security establishment know that. So protective measures, calibrated as much as possible to minimize inconveniencing the innocent, are in place to keep the intending killers from their targets.

This tends to be reported in a very unfriendly way by parts of the reporting industry. They use words like apartheid, racism, land-theft and illegal.

As a family whose tranquility was permanently ended by an act of murder some years ago, we stay focused on the good that protective measures can bring. We try not to let the hypocritical reporting, often done by people who would never dream of allowing their own loved ones to be exposed to the evil plottings of human savages without aggressively pre-empting, upset us too much.

Occasionally, that hypocrisy becomes so plain that almost anyone can see it. Whether this causes laughter, a sense of wry cynicism or straight-out anger probably depends on how it fits into your own personal context.

At the BBC, there's a report today about checkpoints. They have been put up by the military. The British military. Their intention is to check people. Some will be kept out. And most will be allowed to pass through. Which is alright because this is in order to save lives, right?

Perhaps not.
Our correspondent said that, with so many homes in the village evacuated, there was a real fear some of the empty properties might be looted so the Army had set up checkpoints on some roads to monitor overnight who comes and who goes. [BBC]
If you go to the source, you see it's about keeping property safe.
Chief Supt Matt Twist, of Surrey Police, said the flooding in the county was "unprecedented" and warned that a further 2,500 homes were at risk. [BBC]
Read the details here: "UK floods: More flooding fears as storms forecast". It went up in the past hour. Naturally, there's no reason to hold your breath waiting for a UN Security Council resolution.

That sounds silly, right? A UNSC resolution about a checkpoint that was only put up so to make it less likely that things would get purloined by opportunistic malevolents

Now call to mind how many Israeli lives have been stolen in the most violent way by people whose evil is, to a great extent, frustrated these days by a carefully designed and exquisitely implemented protective system, including check-points and the fences that connect them. 

How many lives do you guess have been saved by our check-points? None? Some? A lot? We will never really know for certain. But we do know about the lives that were not saved. You can see one of the faces connected to those lives below. That's our daughter.

Malki was 15 when her life was stolen from her and from us. She was talented musically and in so many other ways too. We remember her with unbearable longing. 

We often think, too, about the hypocrisy that lets people feel perfectly comfortable with self-defense measures that protect their microwave oven and golf clubs, but cannot comprehend how or why people like us want to keep our children's lives safe.

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