I decided to visit the Tynemouth Station market on Saturday last.
On arrival, I was completely taken aback to find an Israeli flag pinned to the wall not more than two metres from the Palestinian children’s Shatila mural.
Anyone with an understanding of the complex situation that prevails in the Middle East would consider such as a provocation, at least.
Also, it could not have passed anyone by that Nelson Mandela had died days prior.
Knowing that, to the bitter end, Israel was a staunch supporter of the Apartheid regime in South Africa who worked together on Israel’s nuclear programme, both of which Mandela had spent his whole life opposing, I engaged the people who were attending the stalls in discussion along the above lines, regarding them not as my enemies, just misguided.
If they had indicated that they were amongst the many Jews/Israelis who are opposed to the miserable situation that the Palestinians find themselves in, we could have had a more positive discussion.
However, they did not. They said that they were trying to sell the flag and I was given the ‘festive chestnut’ that they had come across it in a ‘job lot’ a while ago.
They also said that they had been coming to the market for years but had never noticed what was on the walls, despite the fact they were only feet away from the mural which must be 20 feet by eight and painted in the most vibrant of colours.
We had a few further exchanges after which I made what I considered to be a worthy offer (refused) for the flag and promised to raise the offer if they were at the market next Saturday.
Well, it is Christmas after all – isn’t it?
A heartfelt thanks for help after fall
After falling in Park View, Whitley Bay, on November 15, I would like to say a huge thank you to the gentleman who picked me up, and the two young ladies from the estate agents who took me in and gave me a seat and a hot drink, and let me stay until I was able to make my way home.
A heartfelt thanks to you all.