Happy Australia Day! This weekend Australians are celebrating our national day by meeting up with their family and friends, gathering around barbecues and at picnic spots and, quintessentially, going to the beach.
When I saw this little family group at my local beach I couldn't help but think of the Ghaliya family. In 2006 they were enjoying an outing on a beach in Gaza when an artillery shell, fired from an Israeli naval vessel, targetted them. Seven members of the family, mostly children, were killed. Dozens of others were injured. They were not Hamas. They were not firing rockets into Israel. Their crime was to be Palestinian.
On Australia Day I urge my fellow Australians to consider their good fortune. We live in a democracy (as do the people of Gaza) under no threat from a powerful, murderous neighbour which covets our land (unlike the people of Gaza). Spare a thought for those whose human rights have been trampled underfoot.