As with all international crises I like to put myself in the position of those suffering through them. Of course, living a comfy live in the UK means I’ll never get closer than a rough, approximation of what things are like on the ground but it’s the least you can do.

So what would you do if you were a people struggling for your own state and the international community had stopped aid from getting through to your government and you suffered troubled relations with a neighbour next door who controlled your borders?

Protest strongly at the UN? Withdraw a delegate or two from those states that do recognise you? Garner international support from some influential people? Maybe give Bono a call?

My guess is slaughtering your own countrymen would feature low down on that list.

When people protest that Gaza has turned into a bloodbath because wicked Europeans and the Great Satan have turned off the money tap they’re close to iterating by-now rather tired prejudices against the big powers of the age. No opportunity’s too good to pass up if it means you can lay the boot into the US and the EU. Alas this time the same old targets are so stale the blows aren’t penetrating.

Jeremy Bowen writes: “The financial sanctions . . . caused severe hardship and helped fuel the violence in Gaza”

Hardship there certainly was, but if killing your own people is the response it is surely legitimate to ask: is it a sane response?

When Israel realised it could no longer occupy Palestinian land in Gaza it got out of the hellhole that Gaza (in part one could argue thanks to Israeli occupation) had become. The Palestinians then had a golden opportunity to turn Gaza into something resembling civilisation. I cannot help feeling the opportunity has not been grasped.


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