Rod Liddle

Israel has harmed its standing in the world

Israel has harmed its standing in the world
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Is there anything Israel could do which would discomfort my colleague, Melanie Phillips (I mean other than behave peaceably towards Palestinians)? She has been defending, without giving so much as an inch, Israel’s attack upon the, uh, “peace flotilla”; all perfectly justifiable, the convoy was actually an Islamist terrorist attack, and so on and so on. I am not absolutely sure that she commends her case to us all by continually insisting that Gaza City is a lovely, comfortably equipped mini-metropolis, overflowing with delicious fresh produce – a little like Sevenoaks on market day, people queuing up to get into Café Rouge and Loch Fyne. Nor that Israel has not harmed its standing in the world as a consequence of what must surely have been an ill-judicious and heavy handed response to the flotilla. It has. You can argue that the world may be wrong and Israel right, philosophically, but it has undoubtedly damaged itself, badly and it seems to me pointless to argue the contrary.

But there is something faintly hilarious about hearing Nick Clegg lecturing the Israelis – and it certainly does not follow that because the attack upon the boats was vicious and disproportionate that Israel should cease its blockade of Gaza. Nick Clegg would be better off reminding British citizens that it’s probably a bad idea to take on the Israeli navy, no matter how strongly one might believe in the concept of jihad. And Israel (and for that matter, Egypt) are surely still within their rights to do what they can to prevent weapons being smuggled into that godforsaken strip of misery.