Diplomatic Exchanges

In the Middle East, Egypt seems to have brokered a cease fire, or rather a cease of rocket launches and bombings between Gaza and Israel. Rockets have been fired into Israel and in retaliation air strikes that have taken place on Gaza and in retaliation rockets have been fired into Israel and so forth. This vicious circle of violence seems to have no beginning and no end. As usual, recent exchanges of violence have resulted in many more Palestinian dead than Israeli dead. The most recent body count is 25 to nil, in favour of Israel.

In the United States of America the full truth of these exchanges go largely unnoticed as Americans are used to supporting Israel as its ally, usually for better or worse. Instead attention is being focused upon the visit of David Cameron to President Obama. Mr Cameron is being treated to a flight in Airforce One. The British media is treating its audience to a discussion on the “special relationship” that as far as the United Kingdom is concerned exists between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Other things are happening in the Middle East; many nations are expressing great concern about the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Those most vociferous in expressing their concerns are those with nuclear weapons themselves. Israel has been particularly vocally aggressive about preventing Iran from having a nuclear dimension, because it argues that Iran threatens Israel’s right to exist.

Does any nation have a right to exist as a nation?

It is clear that people have a right to exist – an inalienable right to live and be free. A nation is merely a collection of people gathered together for self protection. Provided that the nation does not threaten the existence of other peoples and provided its primary purpose is to protect the people that dwell within its boundaries, it is arguable that a nation has a right to exist. If a nation becomes an instrument of oppression and threatens or curtails the existence of other people, then the right to exist of that nation is not an unrestrained right but a right that has to be subject to duties and obligations of good behaviour towards others. These duties and obligations are found lacking in Israel, which places its right to exist beyond the rights of others.

No doubt Mr Cameron and Mr Obama when they meet will be discussing the nuclear potential of Iran and the ways to curtail it. They will also discuss the operations in Afghanistan and when to curtail them. I doubt if they will discuss the vicious circle of rockets and bombs in Palestine and Israel. Whatever their talks may decide outcomes will not arise by virtue of any special relationship between the two nations, but as a result of each nation putting forward policies perceived to be in its own self interest. No nation will subject its self interest to the self interest of any other nation unless there is a very special relationship between those two nations. That special relationship does not exist between the United Kingdom and the USA, but does exist between Israel and the USA and Mr Cameron must surely understand this, regardless of the ride in Airforce One.


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