EU calls for immediate end to fighting

Ahead of funeral, PM calls Goldin ‘a great hero’; rockets fired at Tel Aviv | The Times of Israel   ‘The European Union calls for an immediate end to the “intolerable violence” in Gaza, condemns rocket fire on Israel and reiterates the state’s right to defend itself – as long as its response maintains “proportionality.” ‘

“Proportionality” is a very tricky thing to establish in absolute terms, especially in a conflict where the situation has this unsettling habit of rapidly changing at a moment’s notice.

Yet ‘proportionality’ is a most desirable quality if a peaceful outcome is ever to emerge as a viable proposition from so unfavourable a background as that currently existing between the belligerents here.

But how can ‘proportionality’ be achieved when everything that happens and almost every word that is said conspires to deny the provision of just such a prospect?

In circumstances that have always frustrated even the most tentative of peace overtures in this Israeli-Palestinian struggle, the only answer here might be that of random response rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.

Such a method would cut through the many objections upon which the more conventional type of peace proposal has so often come to grief. Undue or unconscious bias towards this side or that; the pressing need for security considerations to be maximised, even guaranteed; instant attention and redress not given to perceived instances of hostile intent or actual harm; a lack of any movement towards coexistence and the establishment of a better future for all; no discernible baseline from which all sorts of other agreements might then be entered into and made mutually unbreakable. – ‘ for those of us with better things to do.’

The alternative is to carry on much the same as before. And we’ve all very graphically seen what that can lead to in these past few weeks.