The terrifying upsurge of violence in the Middle East is shocking. It is also all too regular an occurrence in a cycle of hatred and discord which seems almost everlasting. Arab and Jew occupy the same region and somehow have to be friends.
Some progress towards this obvious goal has be made recently, but the core problem, the absence of a formally recognised Palestinian state with defined boundaries and secured with a peace treaty with Israel, remains in hopeless disarray. So does the fantasy that some kind of Greater Israel can inclusively absorb and recognise Palestinian territories and their populations into a harmonious state. The civil unrest in Israel itself is a new dimension which makes things worse not better.
There will and can be no solution until Palestine becomes a recognised state and Israel must be made to accept that. Then both states can be required to become responsible members of the international order and all its institutions. The present mix of Israel in continuous breach of UN resolutions it does not like, hell bent on illegal annexations and evictions of other people’s land which in turn provokes terrorism and violence in a desperate response, is a totally bankrupt political ideology which this country should be robust in condemning.
Instead our Foreign Office shuffles from one platitude to the next in a cowardly avoidance of addressing the real problems. Meanwhile as we wring our hands while ministers waffle catch phrases from platform to platform across the media, civilians on both sides are subjected to bombings and rocketings which slaughter and terrify without justification by any civilised measure.
As a small child I was under bombardment from the air with missiles, bombs and rockets during WWII. I know what it is like. This should not be happening.