These last few days, I have been reading with horror about Israel/Lebanon. I read the front page of the Independent this morning with disappointment if not surprise – it gives a verbatim record of a casual conversation between George Bush and Tony Blair at the G8 Summit. Ought we not to expect better of our leaders than half formed and half-informed conversation laced with vulgarity?

In just war terms, the only possible response to Israel’s actions is surely to say that they are ‘disproportionate’.  Israel must have by far the strongest military resources in the region – but its mindset is perpetually that of insecurity and vulnerability.  It is a mystery why those – whether Israeli’s or Ulster Protestants – who should feel secure act as if they were a vulnerable and oppressed group.