First let it be noted that nothing I say here will have any effect on hostilities in the so-called Holy Land or anywhere else. I have no need here to take any particular line; no reader should assume that I do or do not elsewhere follow any particular line.
I do wish to promote clear thought. I should like to think that my friends and colleagues have a similar wish, especially when they are academics like me. Of course, what counts as clear thought may vary. I am a mathematician, professionally; I work in the mathematics department of a university. Certain modes of thought are therefore habitual with me; they may not be habitual in other departments, not to mention other walks of life. I may adopt my modes of thought at the expense of others.
I feel compelled to say such things, having been shocked to find that what I say here may be at all controversial. Continue reading