I have just returned from a trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank to gather material for my next book, ‘Headlines from the Holy Land.’ In the last few days, of course, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has reached an intensity and violence unseen for more than 18 months.
This morning, I have published a piece on the website of The Conversation looking at the situaton in the region. I will publish a version of it, together with some more photographs from my recent trip, on this site tomorrow. In the meantime, you can read it here.
As the conflict has flared up, so the coverage has increased. The challenge for journalists is to try go give as complete a picture as possible, while accepting that — whatever they write or say — they will inevitably by found wanting by some members of their audience. The other difficulty, as with the reporting of all armed conflict, is to try to judge what the consequences might be. This Israeli operation — like similar large scale ones in Gaza in 2009 and 2012 — will not bring a resolution of the conflict any nearer. Nor is there any clear prospect for diplomatic progress. As Barak Ravid points out in the Israeli daily Haaretz this morning, there is no obvious broker to assist in the agreeing of a ceasfire.