It’s the moral equivalence which is so devastating. When Egypt this week proposed its ceasefire in Gaza, a BBC presenter asked whether both sides would now conclude there was no point carrying on with the war. From the start, restraint has been urged on both sides — as if more than 1100 rocket attacks on Israel in three weeks had the same weight as trying to stop this onslaught once and for all.
Israel has been bombing Gaza solely to stop Hamas and its associates from trying to kill Israeli citizens. But for many in the west, the driving necessity is not to stop Hamas but to stop Israel.
Moral equivalence morphs instantly into moral bankruptcy. People have looked at the casualty count — around 200 Palestinians killed at time of writing while only a handful of Israelis have been injured or killed — and decided that this proves Israel is a monstrous aggressor.