Beware the jerking knee

A week or so ago I was all set to sound off about Prime Minister David Cameron’s apparently foolish opposition to the choice of Jean-Claude Juncker as boss of the European Commission.

Cameron’s argument was that the appointment was flawed in principle – Juncker had not been elected by the people’s representatives – and he was the wrong man for the job. He’s too much of a federalist for Cameron.

Now that Juncker’s been given the nod it seems that Cameron might’ve been right and that the new President’s powers might be curbed.

Which leaves me feeling relieved that I didn’t respond to my own knee-jerk reaction to what I now see is a more complex situation than I’d thought.

I wish the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would also be wary of his jerking knee.

His claim that “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay” for the deaths of three hitch-hicking Israeli teenagers seems rash in the extreme, especially when there is no proof of who killed the boys.

In much the same way that Cameron’s fire-brand denunciation of Juncker’s appointment – “This is a bad day for Europe” – may be proved ill-judged, Netanyahu’s violent condemnation of Hamas may also turn out to be the wrong reaction.

In both cases, I hope sense prevails; that Britain stays in the European Union and that peace comes to Palestine.


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