THE horror of war has stalked a corner of Europe for five hundred days and counting.

We have seen the bloodshed and cruelty and our hearts bleed for those suffering in Ukraine.

If this was not enough, war has returned to the Holy Land to multiply the grim toll of lives taken.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a place caught between the immeasurable wealth brought by oil and the beating heart of Islam, was on the verge of signing a peace treaty with the world’s only Jewish nation before the Hamas invasion started.

The Zionist movement gathered pace in the late 19th century and early 20th century resulting in the Sykes/Picot Agreement and Balfour Declaration.

The Holocaust, a horror many still deny, gave impetuous to the cause that resulted in the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, which uniquely followed a mandate from both the League of Nations and the United Nations. Upon this neighbouring Arab armies invaded. They wanted to destroy Israel upon her birth.

There was a level of Jewish terrorism against British armed forces who were there as part of the post Ottoman ‘Mandate’ for Palestine. I mention this because I would not wish to suggest that the path was always easy or took a course which the British should always be content with.

Britain did not have a perfect history in the region but it was never part of our Empire. It was a burden carried after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The French had their own ‘Mandate’ and burden which covered Lebanon and Syria both to the north of our mandate which broadly covered Israel, Jordan and much of the wider Middle East. Obviously, I am omitting so many details.

As we know, Israel survived in 1948, 1967 and 1973. If she had lost in any of those conflicts her people, and the dream of return, would have been destroyed for centuries. Israel became home to European Jews as well as those fleeing countries angered at Israel's creation.

Peace had been sought and won.

First Jordan, and then other neighbouring countries signed peace deals with Israel after those old conflicts. Saudi Arabia, now on the verge of signing a peace deal witnessed, as we all did, the horror of a Hamas led but Iranian inspired invasion.

Fourteen-hundred Jews, the most since the Holocaust, were slaughtered on one day.

A woman had her womb ripped open so that her unborn child would be beheaded before her. She was then beheaded as an atrocity amongst so many.

Israel is now at war – a war triggered by the Hamas leadership of Gaza.

I have met with local Jewish and Islamic leaders and we all know that there is so much horror yet to come.