Thursday, May 13, 2021
Israel and Palestine
It is depressing how many people seem to have a problem recognising that both Jews and Palestinians are human beings and the death of a single Jewish child or a single Palestinian child is a tragedy.
You don't need to speculate how we in Britain would react if someone fired rockets at our cities in an attempt to kill British civilians in the way that Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel's cities. Because Nazi Germany did exactly that within living memory, in my parents' lifetimes.
There is a story that during the "Blitz" while London was burning after a Nazi air raid, the chief of the air staff, acting Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Portal (as he was at the time) was called to the roof of the Air Ministry by another officer to view the devastation. After they had looked on the scene, the other officer said, "Well, they are sowing the wind" (a biblical reference to Hosea chapter 8 verse 7, "Those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.")
The officer who said this was Air Marshall Arthur Harris, soon to be known to history as "Bomber" Harris.
Whether the story is true or not, Portal and Harris certainly did their level best to make the prophecy come true, and if you ask the citizens of Hamburg, Dresden, or just about any other German city within the effective range of an Avro Lancaster from the UK they are likely to be able to tell you all about the RAF attacks on German cities which followed Luftwaffe attacks on British ones.
That deadly episode in history was, of course, part of an all-out war. Such a war between Israel and Palestinians is in neither side's interests.