Israelis need to confront a truth that too often is ignored: they too have their zealots, and their murderers. They too have spokesmen who glorify mass murder. When they recoil in horror from the triumphalism of some Palestinian groups, they need to remember - just occasionally - to look in the mirror... the sad truth is that Israelis have grown far too confident that their overwhelming firepower - and the continued support of the US Congress - makes them invincible. It does not.
Earlier this year, Gaza endured a horrific military assault targeted at Palestinian civilians, many of whom are Durham University current and former students. As a result of continuous shelling, the death toll exceeded 2200, with thousands more Palestinians being heavily injured and struggling to restore their lives in the besieged and occupied homeland...
Out of the 300 million odd people living in the region, I understand my small sample of friends cannot be taken as a final representation of the Middle East. Nor do I want to gloss over the fact that thousands have been killed and millions have been made homeless. This we cannot forget and maybe, quite rightly, the media aren't letting us.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
Smiling at me from across his dining table, Emile Cohen serves the most important reason for understanding the Jewish Iraqi experience. Last summer's Gaza war and the ongoing situation with ISIS in Iraq/Syria- means we are in a period of profound regional transformation, some of which, threatens the existence of minorities in the Middle East.
It is significant that the Labour leadership backs the motion in Parliament on Monday. Hopefully many Conservative politicians will join them so that the motion is passed with the handsome majority that such a mild measure requires. If the British Parliament votes in favour it would be highly important symbolically, a strong expression of Parliamentary support for recognition...
The history of Israel-Palestine is undoubtedly complex, but its present is actually far less so. For when you boil all the issues down to their essence, the fact is that the presence of 550,000 Israeli settlers on land that has been internationally recognised as occupied is what drives this conflict. The two-state solution will continue to be a pipe-dream unless and until Israel decides that it's prepared to end the occupation: it's as simple as that... The world knows that this must never be allowed to happen again, and it recognises more clearly than ever that the onus is now on Israel to come to the negotiating table in good faith. The peace process has seen many false dawns, but it's just possible that this time it could be different.