fredag 7 mars 2008

This conflict is insoluble

The Palestian cause gets lots of support from well-meaning people in the west, who stand outside shops like Marks and Spencer and ask customers to boycott Israeli goods. News reports talk about collective punishment and the high death toll in Gaza due to Israeli reprisals against the rocket attacks.

The inhabitants of Gaza voted for Hamas, an organisation that expressly denies Israel's right to exist at all. They knew what they were doing when they cast their votes. In other words, they would like Israel to vanish into thin air. Had they the power to make this happen, they undoubtedly would. It would be a re-run of the Constantinople massacre of 1453, and nobody would come to the aid of the Israelis until it was too late for anything but expressions of regret.

Next... if a French government did nothing but give tacit support to groups of irregulars who lobbed rockets across the English Channel towards the south coast towns, it would not be long before there was a demand to use the RAF to do something.

Finally... the most disturbing aspect of the affair was the footage of cheering youths in Damascus, following the attack on a school in Jerusalem. The Israelis may be killing innocent children as a consequence of what seems to be a scatter-gun approach. But you do not see pictures of cheering Israelis.

In this situation, there is little reason to give support to either side in the conflict, which in any case is insoluble. Perhaps if this was openly recognised, means might be found so that people could live with their differences in a less lethal manner.

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