There is a tendency, in the media reporting of crimes, to mix up retribution with justice. 

In my view, the punishment of the crime should be designed to deter or prevent, future crime .It should never  be designed to fulfil an emotional wish for retribution or revenge.

These considerations should apply to crimes committed against peoples and nations, as well as individuals. 

States have a responsibility to defend themselves, and to help build a credible international order that will deter future crimes against peoples and states. Revenge and retribution should never motivate state action.

Hamas has made a callous calculation. They reckoned that the  Israeli response would be so severe that it would strengthen Hamas’ position in Arab public opinion. 

Unfortunately, Israel looks as if it is playing the role Hamas cast for them. 

Is there another way to build peace ?

We need to find a practical compromise between Israelis and Palestinians. This will require rigorous thought. Slogans will not suffice.


The international community advocates a “two state “ solution. 

It is far too easy to advocate  a two states “solution” without thinking through the practical details. The devil will be in the detail.. 

“Two States” will not be  a formula for  peace, unless

  1. the proposed boundaries between the  two states are delineated,  and
  2.  there is a clear statement of the obligation each state will have towards the other, and the means whereby  these obligations might be enforced.

These  two issues should be put the every advocate of a two state “solution” by media interviewers. 

The answer given may not be definitive , but we would then be moving the debate away from evasive cliches, and towards difficult practical issues that cannot be avoided in the real world.

If a two state solution cannot be found, we will be left with three  even more difficult options…..

   a one state solution, 

   perpetual war, or 

   complete defeat of one side or the other.

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