Even with a heart of stone, one could not fail to be moved at the killing of innocent men and women, but especially children, in the Israel onslaught on the people of Gaza.
During the Troubles explosives and arms were often found in schools and homes, and church grounds were used to launch attacks on our security forces who never attacked those sites as the Israeli forces are now doing in Gaza.
That is because the world's most professional army acted within the rule of law, unlike the Israelis today.
Two questions arise. Firstly why is there no condemnation of the disproportionate violence in the illegal collective punishment of the Gaza population by our church leaders?
Secondly, why are many "loyalists" flying the Israeli flag on their social media sites and elsewhere? What is it they admire about Israel?
Contempt for the Geneva convention and international law: their illegal occupation of Palestinian land; internment without trial: collective punishment of the guilty and the innocent; or the denial of human rights? This really does tell us a lot about their psyche.
To fly the Israeli flag alongside the Union flag which represents the rule of law or indeed alongside flags representing the RUC or any British army regiment is profoundly and deeply offensive and those who do so have much of which to be ashamed.
Rally is for men who carried out terror atrocities
In Northern Ireland we tend to keep in mind past events that are noteworthy.
However, we are not exclusive, narrow or insular in our remembrance. We recall the Twin Towers bombing, the appalling London bombings and now the horrific downing of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine: dates, with others, that go down in infamy.
Due to our recent history there is much sympathy for those who have also suffered at the hands of terrorists; individuals often lauded as martyrs and heroes.
Sinn Fein’s planned commemorative rally on August 3 in Derrylin to glorify IRA hunger strikers is in line with admiring the evil men who carried out the above atrocious acts — there is no difference. Only a political party deprived of all that is decent would want to venerate men guilty of horrendous terrorist atrocities.
Robin Newton MLA
DUP, East Belfast
In praise of our pride and glory
Here's to our hero,
Here's to young Rory,
King of the fairway,
Our pride and glory!
UK citizens and foreign conflict
It's concerning to read of the recruitment of dozens of British citizens to fight alongside Israeli forces in the latest military confrontation between Israel and Gaza.
I wonder do our security services have the same concerns they have for the hundreds of Britons fighting in Syria who could, as one national newspaper alarmingly put it, “return [home] to emulate attacks such as the London bombings and 9/11”?
I also wonder did our security forces have the same concerns regarding the SAS operations in Iraq which amounted to dressing up as Arabs and planting car bombs to stoke sectarian hatred?
Hot weather can be dangerous for animals too
With the arrival of warmer weather, we should be reminded that animals suffer and die when temperatures rise. Dogs die quickly in hot cars and they should not be left inside them even for very short periods. Opening a window a few inches is not sufficient.
Other animals suffer, too. Rabbits must not be left in a hutch in the glaring sun. They need a cool, shady place where the air circulates, and where they are able to move freely. A hot rabbit can be kept cool by applying cold water gently to his ears. Should your rabbit become listless, or start breathing hard through an open mouth or go limp, get him to a vet immediately. Rabbits must also be checked daily throughout summer months for signs of flystrike.
Smaller animals, like hamsters and gerbils, can be kept cool by opening windows and closing curtains, using a fan, refreshing water and providing a frozen water bottle, wrapped in a towel so that it cannot be chewed.
Carson brother’s family tree plea
My name is William James Carson, a brother of the late entertainer Frank Carson. I am in the process of completing a family tree. To the best of my knowledge we have relations by the name of Thompson who live or have lived in the Shankill Road district of Belfast.
I remember one of them as my Uncle Pedlar who wore a white silk scarf and sold newspapers on the corner of the library.
If you have any information with regard to the Thompson family would you please contact me through the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org