News location:

Canberra Today 3°/10° | Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

No mystery in Gaza, we all know whodunnit

Novelist Agatha Christie pictured in 1964… “While Agatha and her villains have a reason to do away with the victim, there’s never a suggestion that it will turn into a war.”

“All too often lately I’ve been left staring into the darkness and worrying about the real murders taking place in the Ukraine and the Gaza Strip,” writes The Gadfly columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

My dear wife, Wendy, loves Agatha Christie. She has read Agatha’s entire oeuvre at least twice and watched all the movies – especially the Miss Marple ones – even though she already knows whodunnit. 

Robert Macklin.

Other writers of murder mysteries – PD James, Ruth Rendell, Ngaio Marsh and their detectives – are constantly tramping their bloodied boots through our bedroom.

This, you might think, would make an imperfect husband just a little nervous as the years wore on. Happily, not a bit of it. She loves crosswords with an equal passion. 

In fact, finding (or guessing) who the murderer might be is not very different from the buzz she gets when the crossword clues – and her formidable vocab – cough up the perfect answer to 21 Down. “Got it!” she cries. And thank goodness for that; now we can both go to sleep.

Well, maybe.

All too often lately I’ve been left staring into the darkness and worrying about the real murders taking place in the Ukraine and the Gaza Strip. While Agatha and her villains have a reason to do away with the victim – usually some injustice over an inheritance – there’s never a suggestion that it will turn into a war. Nor indeed is there an underlying religious theme that seeks to justify the killings by calling the victim a “terrorist” or “evil” or even sub-human.

However, one of the tricks Wendy (and her fellow murder mystery fans) use to figure out the murderer is to decide who gains most from the death of the victim.

In the case of Ukraine and Russia that’s pretty obvious. Vladimir Putin was up for election, and like most dictators he likes a good round number of support in the polls…say 100 per cent. 

Even with the forced departure of other contenders there’s always a chance that someone might have written “Navalny” on the ballot paper and told her friends about it. But with a war happening that could be a treasonable act.

Israel v Gaza is a bit more complicated, but the principle is the same. For example, let’s assume someone has been found guilty of corruption and faces a jail sentence. The only way he can stay out of the slammer is by changing the law. 

But when he tries it on, his fellow Israelis smell a rat and demonstrate against him week after week. Even when he fills his government with right-wing extremists, still the demos keep coming.

Then a political “miracle” – the hated Hamas find a chink in the armour of Israeli security and on October 7 commit a disgraceful massacre of at least 1200 innocent civilians and take hostages.

What more could a corrupt leader ask for? Well, bombs from America would help. Oh, and there’s an election on there as well with an American government trapped by decades of devotion to the Israeli cause. So President Joe Biden really can’t say no.

The only problem is that the Hamas enemy is hard to identify among the two million folk in the Gaza Strip. And that means murdering 30,000 Gazans and counting. Along the way, our suspect has been riding high.

In fact it took five months into the war before the senior Jewish legislator in the US Congress Chuck Schumer finally did his Agatha Christie denouement: “Bibi Netanyahu,” he said.

robert@robertmacklin.com 

Who can be trusted?

In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.

If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep citynews.com.au strong and free.

Become a supporter

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin

Share this

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Opinion

KEEPING UP THE ACT

KEEPING UP THE ACT's having a little flutter on RattsLotto, where they say if you want to blow your dough, they won't say no!

Follow us on Instagram @canberracitynews