US President Barack Obama has consistently stated that he imagines a two state solution in the Middle East, with viable Jewish and Palestinian nations alongside each other. Israel, in a clear sign of who runs the show, announced last week that it intended to continue building colonies in the West Bank, in direct violation of international law and US wishes. The White House expressed "regret". The Israelis know how to stall for time; they’ve been doing it for decades.

This is one reason why a leading global figure such as writer and activist Naomi Klein is now calling for a boycott of the Israeli state. She told an interviewer recently it was vital for the world to counter propaganda that "promotes the image of a normal, happy country, rather than an aggressive occupying power".