Archive for December 30th, 2008

A success story.

Eighteen year old Zanelle van Zyl who attends the DF Malan High School in Cape Town is a very hard worker. But the reward at the end of it has been to come 11th of the top 20 list of Matriculation students in the Western Cape.

Zanelle says “It’s very, very, hard work, studying many hours each nights and going to sleep late”, but she says that she received a great deal of support from parents, friends and family. All the teachers, were also always prepared to give me extra help.”

She took 11 subjects: Afrikaans and English home language, mathematics, life orientation, accounting, information technology, applied computing, physical science, life sciences, Xhosa second language, and “additional programme” maths. She also wrote an optional extra maths paper on geometry and probability theory.

Zanelle interspersed her studies by playing for her school’s first hockey team for the past two years, in both of which it had won the Western Province League title. She also sang in the school choir, and been a member of its wind orchestra.

She had also been chosen as a South African youth representative for climate change conferences in both England and Kobe, Japan.

All this puts a little more truth in the saying “If you want to get a job done, ask a busy person”.

She plans to study accounting at the University of Stellenbosch next year and is hoping her 10 A’s and being in the top 20 will win herself a bursary.


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The Middle East

As I see it, there can be only one solution to bring peace to the Israeli and Palestinian population.

  • Lets begin by analysing the present Israeli solution. Put very simply, it is not working.

  • Let us now cast our mind around the world for a similar problem in the past where hitting hard incensed the minority population and by doing so, the aggressor acted as a recruiting sergeant for the minority. We don’t have to look far… Britain versus The IRA.

  • Let us now assess what happened when Britain stopped over-reacting, improved security and just went after the individual bombers. After a couple of decades peace broke out.

Mmmmmm… not rocket science is it?

I am certainly not anti-Israeli, or pro-Palestinian. But neither am I anti-Palestinian or pro-Israeli. But I hate Hamas with the same fervour as I hate all politicians all over the world.

When speaking to a Palestinian in London recently, one who has now settled in Britain and has no wish to return, we had a long discussion on this subject and finally came to the conclusion, jointly, that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other!

The Israelis need to change their whole approach to the matter but this will not be possible as long as they retain their particular brand of proportional representation. It is geared up so that the right-wing minority war-mongers always retain a strong hold of the country.

Rather than using any of their jets and tanks, they need to develop a guerilla army, akin to our special forces, and to be on constant alert so that when a rocket is fired into Israel, they take out the gunners with a surgical strike. If they spend their military budget mainly on intelligence, security and special forces for this situation they may get more value for their American dollars than wasting it on great numbers of tanks and jets.

They also need to offer to rebuild Palestine once there is ever-lasting peace and offer work for all the inhabitants. This will have no immediate effect but as Arab babies start to grow towards adulthood, and only the war mongers are attacked, that could be the beginning of a change of attitude towards the Israelis.

There is no immediate solutions but if they adopted the methods Britain adopted with the IRA problem, they could begin to see a change within twenty years.

I will leave you with one last thought. Hamas wanted this. They are run by the Iranian government and however much many in the West may despise the Iranian government, they are not stupid.

Think of this – Israel is approaching its general elections. Any Israeli government needs to be strong with military might. So Hamas knew if they attacked Israel with rockets just before an election, the incumbent Israeli government will hit back hard, very hard, as the Prime Minister seeks to impress his voters.

You must ask cue Bono?, “who benefits?”. There are two people who benefit. On the one hand we have the sitting Israeli government, from the point of view of being re-elected, and on the other hand we have the Iranians, from the point of view of turning the world against their enemy, Israel.


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