In today's Sunday Telegraph Tim Montgomerie examines whether Britain will back the Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood at the United Nations. Michael Gove, how Education Secretary, is unable to make public comment on the issue but this piece in The Times from 2001 offers many relevant thoughts.
That we in the West have failed to heed our own history is apparent in the approach we take to the Middle East. Observing the escalation of violence in Israel, with seven dead in the latest suicide bombings, the instinctive prayer is for peace. As it was in the Thirties. And hope therefore fixes on the prospect of "talks". As it did in the Thirties.
So determined are we to see "talks" as the solution, that they are held as the one inviolable good in a wilderness of tears. The prevailing media narrative therefore has "renewed violence threatening the talks", as though they were mutually exclusive antagonists, violence the indivisible evil and talks the quintessential good of this drama.
But the truth about "talks" is that they are the product of violence, not its solvent. Munich was a reward for terror. Indeed the more "successful" talks are, the greater the legitimation for further violence. Once Sudetenland fell, who stood up for Prague?