How a child solved the Middle-East problem

ARRGGHH! My kids have started reading the newspapers and watching the TV news. What a pain! That means I have to constantly explain things to them. “Er, the lady is swinging around a pole because she’s a firefighter and they slide down poles to get to their fire engines. Why the bikini? Well, when you fight fires, you get really hot.”

When the latest rocket fight broke out in Palestine, I thought that would be a tough one to explain. But to my surprise, it wasn’t. This intrigued me—the world’s most intractable problem was de-constructed instantly by kids.

The next time I was doing a discussion on a school visit, the same thing happened again!

One child immediately saw what was wrong AND how to fix it. Kids are amazing.

So here are the answers as a handy 10-point plan that UN negotiators can stick on the wall of the peace process meeting rooms.

I call it “How A Child Solved The Middle East Problem.”

1) If you both want the same thing, you have to SHARE.

2) Even if the other person won’t share, you still can’t hit him.

3) If the other person hits you, hitting him back will just make it worse.

4) Sitting on something that belongs to someone else does not make it yours.

5) If something can’t be shared, then you have to take turns with it.

6) Saying “It’s mine now” doesn’t mean it’s yours forever.

7) Saying “I got it first” doesn’t mean you’ll have it last.

8) If you can’t sort it out yourselves, ask a teacher for help.

9) When the teacher says something, you have to do it even if you don’t feel like it.

10) If you really want to stop the other person being an enemy, give him some candy.

Short, simple and brilliant. Okay, UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East, our kids have done their bit: the next step is up to you.

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TERRORISTS HAVE plans to implant deadly explosives inside human beings, security officials said. They would be timed to explode in the air. Why go to all that trouble? Just feed them pastries from the cafes at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan.


ARCHEOLOGISTS recently discovered the first household pet: the bones of a dog which lived with humans 10,000 years ago. Next: Archeologists find 9,999-year-old stone pooper-scooper and a granite sofa horribly scratched on one leg.


FIFTY PERCENT of men would forgive their wives or girlfriends for having a love affair if it was with another woman, according to a survey sent in by reader Mel Collison. “I imagine the figure would rise to 98 percent if photos were provided,” he added.

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ASTRONOMERS BELIEVE they have located a planet 60,000 kilometers in diameter made entirely out of diamond, Science journal reported last week. In related news, thousands of women have decided what they want for their wedding anniversaries.

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LATEST LETTERS AND COMMENTS FROM READERS: Bianca Schlimm, referring to the previous post, asked: “What does Gaddafi Duck mean?” It’s a joke, Bianca – it sounds like “Daffy Duck”, a cartoon character, if you say it out loud..

On the subject of names which sound odd, Graham Lovell wrote this morning: “Here in North-West London during the 70’s there was a telephone entry that was drawn to my attention. When you see a page of initials followed by a surname it may not mean much, but when you see the entry “R Sitch” you want to find something funny to say and ring them up. It didn’t cross my mind at that time to see how many Ducks lived locally.”

Jia Ming Suen writes: “I'm a big fan of your columns. Just wondering though, does your writing ever get affected by your mood? I mean let's say you had a really really (like really really really really really) bad day --- how do you still come up with such light hearted articles?”

I have a toilet in my head. I lock my bad mood in the toilet and only let it out when I have finished writing. Try it. It really works.

Thanks everyone, have a great weekend.

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