16 November 2012

Israel's security is weakened by its belicosity

Israel is one of the world's military powers - a nuclear armed state - with huge conventional military resources and powerful supporters in diplomatic and influential circles across the globe.

It's a beacon of democracy in a part of the world where tyrants traditionally have misruled over their benighted people.  Witness the appalling slaughter in next door Syria where Soviet era supremo Bashar al Assad is directing a brutal and - no doubt - ultimately futile attempt to cling onto power.

The fact that everyone expects Assad to fail in his attempt to stay in control because this brutality simply drives people into the arms of his opponents seems to have no impact on their view of Israel's impending crackdown on the benighted residents of Gaza.

Cracking down on all the people of Gaza to pursue the organised militants who have been rocket bombing Israeli civilians is stupid military tactics and even worse politics.  It will simply engender even more anger among the Palestinians and be the best recruiting sergeant for the militant groups determined to destroy Israel.

Israel needs critical friends now more than ever.  Britain could take the lead - but there is no evidence that current foreign secretary, William Hague, wants to do anything other than ape the platitudes eminating from Washington.  So here is an opportunity for the Lib Dems in government that proves they are not just in the Tories pockets. Clegg is an expert at foreign affairs and he has a team of special advisers (supposedly) pursuing liberal solutions in areas without Lib Dem ministers - so what's holding them back?

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