Twenty-six sports, 302 medal events, about ten and a half thousand competitors. A total of 204 National Olympic Committees represented at the Games of the XXX Olympiad, plus the "Independent" athletes. Medals were won by 85 NOCs, one less than the total at Beijing. That's 41 per cent of competing teams coming away from London with at least one medal, with Bahrain, Botswana, Cyprus, Gabon, Grenada, Guatemala and Montenegro each taking a medal for the first time. One hundred and nineteen NOCs missed out on an Olympic medal in London.
As a resident of the Marrickville Local Government Area for just over a decade, I am proud of my council's track record, under both the Labor Party and the Greens, of its committment to social justice and its displays of solidarity on human rights issues - examples, Burma, West Papua, and the handling of refugees seeking asylum in Australia. I am especially pleased with the attitude they have displayed on human rights in Palestine, particularly in the context of their sister city relationship with Bethlehem.
"Australia supports Israel's right to self defence and its right to self determination. We understand that it is hard to feel confident in a peaceful future when your people are coming under daily rocket attack. We acknowledge that there are nations and forces in your region that are committed to Israel's destruction. Australia's Government was a champion for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Our commitment to Israel's security has not wavered since that time. It's why we opposed the referral of the Goldstone Report to the UN General Assembly."
Jimmy Carter has been pilloried for using the term "apartheid" to describe Israel's treatment of Palestinians, but what else could you say about the situation in Hebron?
MIDEAST: Hebron Occupied, And Deserted
- HEBRON (Occupied Palestinian West Bank), Jan. 22 (IPS) - As the illegal Israeli occupation grinds on, the daily situation for Palestinians worsens by the day. Hebron presents a vivid picture of the cumulative face of this colonial project.
The UN General Assembly has, quite rightly in my opinion, condemned Israel for the killing of Palestinian civilians in Beit Hanoun on November 8. Their attacks on, and blockading of, the Gaza Strip represent a continuing outrage bordering on the genocidal.
An article posted on the highly recommended Haaretz.com today tells of some of the most heartening news I have heard from Gaza for a while. The IDF called off an air raid in northern Gaza on Saturday night after hundreds of civilians barricaded a house earmarked for attack. The best defence against attack, by sheer weight of humanity, and something the locals should have organised sooner.