It happened today - November 29, 2015

On November 29 1947 the United Nations voted to partition Palestine and create a Jewish homeland. And you know what happened next, don’t you?

Exactly. The partition was a compromise deeply unsatisfactory to Jews and Arabs alike. But the Jews decided to swallow hard and make the best of it and hope for peace with their neighbours. The Arabs rejected it angrily and, at the first opportunity, sought to exterminate not just Israel but the Israelis.

They failed, and Israel got bigger. And it happened again, and again, and again. Compromise after compromise was put on the table, always deeply unsatisfactory to both sides. And each time the Jews swallowed hard and made the best of it and hoped for peace, and the Arabs rejected it angrily and plotted wars they then lost badly.

We’re still there now, of course. And the irony is that the original checkerboard Israel was almost certainly not viable. By accepting it, Arab leaders could have destroyed it. But they didn’t, and now it’s too late.

Not that they aren’t keen to repeat the pattern indefinitely, of course.