It must be clear that Israel had no military objectives in Gaza. It knew, as soon as it left, that the tunnels would be rebuilt - and they are being. It knew that rockets could still be fired. Now, after keeping the journalists out, journalists have gone in, and we are being shown what happened. The misnamed Israel Defence Force simply went around flattening place after place, killing innocents as well as any set targets, but mainly frightening everyone and adding to trauma.
The European Union poured billions into Gaza, and all that has been demolished by the Israelis. So we ought as Europeans to regard Israel with distance. It may have decent citizens, but its government is an example of state terrorism. After all, what is terrorism other than fear and uncertainty among civilians that they may be injured or killed? The fear must have been appalling, and then picking up the dead.
A great deal of humanitarian assistance is needed, but the Europeans will be reluctant to put in replacement development money until there is a comprehensive settlement that unifies Palestine (though it looks more like going the direction of Bangladesh and Pakistan as time goes on) and institutes peace with Israel. We must have Israel constrained too.
It is beginning to look like the setting up of Israel as a state was a mistake back after the Second World War, with hindsight. It seems that the legacy of the terrorists that set up the state goes on and on. It should be a properly operating democracy and a beacon to the region, but it is little of the sort.
There was no just war here: no military objectives at all. Israel got the nod from the dreadful indeed atrocious George Bush, and gave the Gazans a good thumping, and then left before this new American President took office, leaving a wasteland behind it. Tony Blair, Bush's poodle, remained his poodle as he went around the Middle East achieving precisely nothing and not addressing Hamas and its bitterness.
Have we learnt anything about Israel? Can we treat this country at a distance? Can we do this without any resorting to racism and attacks on a religion - there must be none of this. The Jewish people have an honourable multi-layered history and one of persecution, and a cradle of civilisation. The Jews assisted the English and then were tricked and massacred in York. They were part of the flowering of southern Spain under Islamic rule before being crushed by the trickery of Ferdinand: the Jews received the swiftest and worst treatment. Germany turned from one of the most progressive places for Jews and contribution to culture into a hellhole. We know all this and it stains world history: but Israel, this modern country, behaves like a thug, and it only adds more to the pain.
Gaza is Israel's prison camp or ghetto for a tribe it despises, and it seems that's not good enough: it goes in to the prison and smashes it up.
A view from the gallery - http://changingattitude.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/GS-A-View-From-the-Gallery-75x42.jpg 75w" sizes="(max-width: 299px) 100vw, 299px" /> When I was a ...