The latest Israeli Defence Force assault on Gaza, in addition to its targeted assassinations against political as well as military opponents, is horrifying and disturbing. It threatens to escalate into yet another cycle of violence and war-making that does nothing for the security of Jews or Arabs, Israelis or Palestinians. It merely reaps death, destruction, hatred and mistrust.
Missionaries in Palestine during the period from the First World War until the Israeli declaration of the state and the connected Palestinian Nakba of 1948 were determined, they continually argued, to stay out of the controversy and not take sides, Dr Michael Marten reminds us. But what do concepts of 'neutrality', 'fairness' and 'respect' mean in the midst of conflict, in complex lesions of history and in its writing? Tidiness may be convenient but damaging to both truthfulness and the search for justice.