SUPPORTERS of the Palestinians identify totally with the narrative that for half a century the Palestinians have been marginalised and mistreated by a ruthless Israel.

There is some truth in their claims. Absent from their analysis, however, is any comprehension of how 2,000 years of persecution of the Jewish nation impacts on the national psyche of modern Israel, resulting in a people who will do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of the homeland they see as a safe haven in a hostile world.

After defeat by Rome in a series of wars in the first century AD, the Jews were scattered across the known world, where, due to their cultural, religious and racial difference they were persecuted, exploited and killed for the next 20 centuries.

The persecution culminated in the attempted genocide of the Nazi extermination camps.

The world had acknowledged for decades that the Jews needed a state of their own, and when the international community dithered after the Second World War, the Jews in Palestine, with the horrors of the Holocaust still so raw, declared the state of Israel in 1948.

Immediately they were attacked by their Arab neighbours but managed to prevail.

Until supporters of the Palestinians realise the cause of the troubles go back two millennia before 1948 and contextualise current problems in the tragic events of Jewish history, their overwrought support for the Palestinians serves only to make the ultimate goal of a two-state solution ever more difficult to achieve.

Stephen Dalby, Mill Farm, Yapham.