Delicate subject, eggshell posting
One thing I've discovered is, and this will be no surprise to anyone, that it is remarkably difficult to find history and especially reporting, that isn't slightly one-sided at best, grotesquely slanted at worst. Within the UK press this slant has tended - for reasons of historic British pro-Arabism? - towards the Palestinian side. However, within the corner of the blogosphere (ghastly word) that I now inhabit and have long haunted, exactly the opposite is true.
My natural inclination is that, as the only functioning democracy in a notoriously dictatorial region, Israel should be extended the benefit of any available doubt, and that much opposition to Israel has its roots in unsavoury soil. On further examination, I will hazard a stronger opinion. That anyone who routinely uses the word 'Zionist' in a derogatory sense does so in an article with which I will disagree.
Israel, in short, now seems to act as an ideal weathervane of opinion. Ask only for someone's opinion on Israel, and their wider views are reflected. I don't know why it should be - but I do know that one of the few things that unites those with whom I identify is the right of Israel to exist, and one of the things that typifies those with whom I disagree is their denial of that right.
Unusually I'm putting a disclaimer on this post. The Middle East is emphatically not an area of expertise. I'm not making any sweeping historical/political points here, merely highlighting something that I feel.