Sunday 18 March 2018

A Joycean slant on the problems facing Israel

IN 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', James Joyce reveals his enduring bitterness over being caned by a teacher who, without giving him a chance to defend himself, blamed him for his broken spectacles.

Israel would appreciate it if its critics in Ireland would assume the position of the fairer and more balanced educator -- also described so lovingly by Joyce -- the one who hears both sides, who listens before he canes. I think that my people and my nation have been caned enough in front of the Irish public and deserve at least that some attention be paid to their genuine security concerns.

I say this in view of the prospect that Israel will return to the pre-1967 geographical contours that give her only a nine-mile 'waist' -- the width of the country from the Mediterranean to the borders of a new Palestinian state. No country can defend a nine-mile central strip, one that moreover contains its only international airport, without having a stable demilitarised neighbour.

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