I wasn’t sure that I was going to do another post about the politics of Israel, of which I have an increasingly much less confident understanding. But I had a brief moment of illumination listening to an exposition of its history by Amos Schocken, the proprietor of the liberal Ha’aretz newspaper. His grandfather, Salmon Schocken, was the owner of a chain of department stores, patron of Erich Mendelsohn, and moved to Palestine as was in 1934. Schocken emphasised two things, both of which are obvious, but neither of which had I heard before. The first was the interlinking of the foundation of the state of Israel to the experience of the holocaust (and the underlying fear of another holocaust to come). The second was the problem of the settlements and the fact that the ideology of the settlers has been supported by subsequent governments and made a political and diplomatic solution to the occupied territories impossible. Maybe I have oversimplified, but it was a speech made with gravitas.