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Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy 2024! Love Thy Neighbour.

Happy 2024!

Love Thy Neighbour

That's not really a theme that the world seems to be embracing these days.

A more peaceful year would be very welcome. In 2023, we saw the Russian invasion of Ukraine move into its second year with some particularly heavy shelling over the Christmas and New Year period. Meanwhile Putin's crackdown on his people just gets worse and he declares he will stand for re-election with no real opposition left alive.  

Putin seeks new friends as his war on Ukraine alienates him from much of the world

We saw the obnoxious and brutal terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7th, followed by the heavy handed bombardment of Gaza by Israel that continues to kill thousands more innocent people as the days go by. Israel says it won't stop until the hostages taken on October 7th are released.

There is currently no end in sight for either war so my New Year's wish is for peace in those two regions. The ordinary people deserve that so badly. The rest of the world would also benefit hugely.

Israel loses the support of most countries as the world is flooded with pictures
of innocent victims of the war in Gaza

In my Blog of November 2014, I spoke of Sir Nicholas Winton, the quiet and reserved hero who organised the Kindertransport in 1938-9 to evacuate mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia before they could be deported by the Nazis to be murdered in their concentration camps. He saved the lives of 669 children. Most of their parents were murdered. He died a few months after I wrote about him, aged 106.

Today, January 1st 2024, a new film on Winton's life comes out with Anthony Hopkins acting his part. Sir Anthony says that he agrees with Sir Nicholas Winton's view on averting conflict, which was that "the only way through is compromise".

I also agree. Compromise is under-rated. I look forward to seeing the film. 

Sir Nicholas remains one of those few special people who undertook such remarkable acts for others for no personal gain.

Statue in honour of Nicholas Winton at Prague railway station, July 2025

Quote for the New Year

"The only way through is compromise"

Sir Nicholas Winton on how to avoid conflict.

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