I notice that Iain Dale Tory vers 1.0 is whizzing around the Lib Dem Blogosphere saying to any of us with an opinion on the subject of Gaza/Israel that we're not seeing it from a Israeli perspective. Well being up for that sort of challenge here goes.
The Israeli state since its inception has bee back against the wall, or should that be the Mediterranean, with Lebanon to the North, Syria to the North East and Egypt to the South West, plus the threats of Iraq and Iran as well they are on a constant state of military readiness. To use playground parlance (which I will carry on in) they are the odd kid out, who has joined midway through the year, and indeed as many of Israeli's citizens have returned the the land of Abraham from exile, they are the outsider tyring to fit in.
So in a sense they have been bullied for year. Whether it be Syria raking through their stash of conkers in the Golan Heights or the constant bickering with Egypt over just how many Top Trump cards need to be placed and on which bits of the Sinai Peninsula.
But when the new kid came along he was automatically teacher's pet. Teacher in infant school was English and saw the youngster mature and gain its own independence. Then it moved on to the big school where the American headmaster realised that the bullying hadn't ceased and did all it could to help Israel fend off the bullies, and even engaged both sides in discussions in his office or while on camping trips.
However, behind all this support for the bullied one kid in the class did get somewhat overlooked. He used to sit in the seat that Israel was put in on his first day in class. And no matter how much he tried to get the teachers attention he was told to accept his new place and shut up. There where the times that that other kid was put out of the room, and left on the naughty step, teacher despaired of ever trying to get the two kids to get along.
However, as they matured they did attempt to get together to sort things out. The head was greatly relieved and did all he could to help both parties. Of course many of Israel's cousins lived near the head so he may have shown a little partiality that way. An agreement was made where Israel and Palestine would share the same desk peacefully. Palestine was given one corner and a chunk in the middle. But the bulk of the desk was given to Israel. Things started out fine under the new arrangement. But Israel started to but up his pencil case, books and other items to mark just where Palestine part of the desk should be. For some projects Israel needed Palestine to help out on his part of the desk, but Israel controlled when and where these trips took place.
Palestine wasn't too happy. But knew that Israel had many thing he could hurt Palestine with ruler, compass point catapults, paper darts, but Israel didn't want Israel to have any of these. Palestine snuck some of these things of the desk of Egypt who sat next door. But Israel didn't like this and took action. Israel started to inflict a lot of pain on Palestine for a couple of weeks and only suffered a few scratched himself in the process. Finally teacher saw what was going on and called all the other staff together. They agreed to ask Israel to stop it, so they could sit down and talk about it. They knew that Palestine wasn't entirely blameless and that would be something they would talk about but Israel really was going too far. Taken parts of Palestine's space, destroying bits of his work and not letting he do anything in peace.
It was like the kid who once was getting bullied had found a tinier kid in the playground to pick upon. They both wanted to sit at the same desk and they were going to have to sort out how to do that peacefully. It would require give and take on both sides. But Israel should really go the the teachers first and not always take things into its own hands.