What is the best way to engage with ideological opponents online?

I tweet about Palestine 95% of the time. The more passionate I tend to get about the subject, the more encounters I seem to have with ardent Zionists. Sometimes I can’t help but respond to their tweets; other times they seek me out of their own accord. In two specific instances, these encounters are worth highlighting because I am certain they speak to fundamental questions about our cause.

In one instance, this Zionist harped very strongly on two points. The first was that the agreement signed at the San Remo conference unequivocally gave all of Palestine to the Jews. That means there is no occupation and settlement construction isn’t illegal. While many of you have probably heard this argument before, it was new to me. It caused me to seek out the truth, and in doing so I learned just how wrong this person was. I was even compelled to write about what I’d found. The second point had to do with Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. This person alleged that Pappe’s book had been utterly discredited. What unsettled me so much about this accusation wasn’t that I automatically took this Zionist’s word for it, but rather that I hadn’t taken the time to appraise Pappe’s scholarship before taking him at his word –something that is very important when it comes to this issue, because there is such a proliferation of nonsense on the subject. Because I wanted to agree with Pappe, I didn’t do my due diligence in checking him out. Needless to say, I did this as soon as the argument ended. Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah was extremely helpful and even took the time to answer one of my emails on the subject, which I really appreciated.

In this way, the conversation was instrumental to improving my understanding of the conflict, and when someone raises such issues again, I will be more than ready to respond fully.

In another instance, a deranged Zionist made a ridiculous assertion, one so ridiculous that it isn’t even worth repeating, and one I could only respond to by laughing. She proceeded to insult me, call me a liar and a moron and then tell all of her followers that I’d attacked her character. Who knew a “haha” and a “:)” (my only responses to her, in full) were personal attacks and calling someone a “moron” wasn’t? 

I responded to her last assertion with another “:)” but the more I thought about it, the more dissatisfied with myself I became. I wondered, was that the right thing to do? What else could I have said?

And that’s what I’m really getting at…how should we engage ardent Zionists on Twitter? Should they even be engaged at all? And I believe the answer to that question lies in something deeper. We can’t craft a strategy for engaging Zionists online if we don’t know the purpose of our engagement. So what is the purpose of talking to them on Twitter? Is there one?  To an even further extent, what are we doing on Twitter at all?

I know that it is important that the Zionist narrative be adequately countered. Someone needs to be telling the truth, someone needs to speak for the oppressed, even if no one else is there to listen. Our mere existence on social networking sites, in blogs and forums, is important if only as a counterweight to the previously unchallenged Israeli propaganda machine. When people want to know the truth, they need to have somewhere to look. But is there more to it than that?

When it comes to engaging these Zionists, should one take their assertions head on? Are they worth arguing with? Or should we simply go on tweeting vigorously about our own sources, not taking the time to reply to theirs? At times I’m compelled to dismiss them with sarcasm. In one instance a Zionist accused me of propagating a “PLO version of history” to which I replied, “Yeah I hang out with the PLO a lot. Sometimes the US, UN, EU and ICJ come too. You should come! Bring the Hummus,” (the conversation was again about the illegality of settlement construction). A few people had a good laugh about that, but did it actually accomplish anything?

To summarize, what is our purpose? Are we trying to change their minds? Is the conversation for the benefit of those witnessing it rather than participating? I’d really like to know what everyone thinks about this. And if you’d really like to delve into the issue, is there anything unique about Twitter’s platform that requires a separate strategy from other social media channels, such as Facebook?

You can find maggie’s work at http://www.resistingoccupation.com or follow her on Twitter @maggiesager.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 60 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Oscar says:

    I often think that direct conversations with irrational Zionists are a waste of time. How much time has been squandered on Mondoweiss responding to Witty’s ramblings. (Though condolences to him on the recent loss of the family dog.).

    Real change comes from a collective community like Mondo, which becomes a searchable archive of the daily outrages happening in Palestine. For example, your posting will be Google-able, but social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can be colossal wastes of time.

    That said, following the tweets of Ali Abunimah (avinunu), twiddleeastnews and antonym loewenstein, among others, can be highly productive. It’s also a source of amusement when you see avinunu take on CiFWatch in a twitter battle!

    But trying to change hearts and minds one at a time? Never a productive endeavour. It’s about convincing the uninitiated, really.

    • so you view sites like fb and twitter simply as a way to exchange information between like-mind people? and that things like mondo, with more permanent search archives, are what’s valuable for informing those who aren’t already ideologically cemented?

      i’ve been thinking about this a bit. hypothetically, if i were “uninitiated” as you say, and wandered onto twitter and then found the account of someone seriously committed to the zionist cause tweeting lots of misinformation, i would immediately be susceptible, no? psychologists say that what we encounter first we implicitly regard as more true.

      now imagine that there is another person on twitter, someone committed to truth and justice and exposing that other twitterer’s misinformation. the zionist publicly encounters this person, and it’s evident in their timeline (arguments back and forth). would that not be a signal to me, as someone who knows nothing about this or as someone who hasn’t made up my mind yet, that there are potential issues with the zionist’s ideas?

      it might incline me to seek out the tweets of that other person, and thus be exposed to the truth. isn’t that valuable? if there is no discussion between the two camps, should those working for a free palestine just hope that other twitterers will stumble onto their accounts first? then again this could work both ways.

      trust me, i’d rather not have to deal with these people. they exhaust me. but to be honest, it isn’t really about me or what i find convenient. it’s about what’s most effective for the cause. your thoughts?

      • Oscar says:

        I think chat room debates are useless — footprints in the sand. People committed to one side or the other have their talking points and they won’t change their minds. As you say, dealing with your opponents is exhausting. So, write up more posts — submit them to Electronic Intifada, Mondo, Huffington Post etc. They become archival, permanently searchable. YouTube videos also can take on a life of their own.

        Engaging the other side, as you say, is likely to be futile, unless done before a large audience. Again, I point to the Witty example on this site, where the tapioca-bland hasbara is intended to obscure the “facts on the ground” of ethnic cleansing and land theft.

        • “Intended to obscure”?

          I contest the pro-Palestinian narrative as if it were the exclusive one.

          I question why the Palestinian solidarity movements have not articulated a unified vision of their goal, so that negotiation is possible (maybe that is why they haven’t).

          BDS hides behind the ambiguity (a deception) of whether it is a movement to eliminate Israel from the map, as Islamic Jihad and Hamas confirmed yesterday in their joint demonstration in Gaza, and as Hezbollah and Iran have confirmed often.

          The BDS movement has not clarified this, and with the precedent of gruesome violence against Israelis to scare them away (terror), those of us that bear sympathy with Palestinian aspirations for self-governance AND sympathy for Israeli self-governance, cannot join in in good conscience.

          Ambiguity among Israelis whether they mean for Israel to take over all of the land, AND ambiguity among Palestinians and solidarity whether they mean for Palestine to take over all of the land?

        • Mooser says:

          “pro-Palestinian narrative”

          And when you say that, you’ve said a mouthful. And gosh, it stings when you swallow it back down.

          Not the pro-justice narrative, not the pro-legality narrative, not the humanitarian narrative, not the UN narrative, not the Israel’s founding promises and obligations narrative, nope, none of those, but the “pro-Palestinian narrative”.

          You just hug that ol’ equivalency hasbara canard hard at night, Witty. Looks like that marriage is for keeps.

  2. Seham says:

    I feel like 99% of the time online Zionist trolls are trying to shift our focus so that it’s one less post or tweet about Palestine. So, it’s usually best to pretend like they don’t exist.

    • agreed. i was in an argument with a zionist who objected to the story i posted (that was on here just yesterday) about the 2 year old girl who died because of lack of treatment. she picked out one line in the article that suggested that the rift between hamas and fatah was to blame for her death because of how ramallah handles giving out medicines, etc. i explained to her that that rift was instigated by the US/israel’s arming of fatah in preparation for the failed coup, and further that israeli policy necessitates the bureaucracy the article speaks of.

      she of course told me that all of my sources were biased. i said that the international red cross has a statistic which indicates that 110 essential medicines, including those for chemotherapy, are unavailable in gaza because of the blockade. seems like pretty damning, unbiased information no?

      her response: the red cross says hamas wont let them see gilad shalit.

      …and stupidly, i was dragged into a conversation in which i had to talk about prisoners rights, and defend the fact that i’m not a racist. i shouldn’t have taken the bait. talk about a derailed conversation.

      • annie says:

        her response: the red cross says hamas wont let them see gilad shalit.

        at which time you could have thanked her for confirming the red cross is an unbiased source of information and redirected back to the topic asking her why she supports collective punishment. but in general not engaging

        she of course told me that all of my sources were biased

        truth is biased against oppressors. exposure and truth are israel’s worse enemies/deligitimizers.

  3. Rule #1)

    Do not label your ideological opponents as trolls

    Rule #2)

    Do your best to come up with cogent arguments that can actually refute their points. If you cannot, admit you are wrong and move on

    Rule #3)

    Attacking people with jokes does not equal moral superiority

    Rule #4)

    Try to always resolve the conflicting themes that a) you are humanist liberals and b) your goal is the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people from our land

    Good luck!

    Max

    • Chu says:

      a guide list from a troll, on how to dialogue with a troll. What fun…

    • MarkF says:

      Don’t forget to add:

      Rule #5 – Resolve the conflicting hypocrisy of neoconservatism supporting welfare for foreign nations while pushing to cut off welfare to one’s fellow citizens. and providing security for foreign nations paid for by excessive taxation.

      Good luck!

  4. eljay says:

    >> Do your best to come up with cogent arguments that can actually refute their points. If you cannot, admit you are wrong and move on

    Coming from a high-powered troller who repeatedly makes unsupported claims, ignores well-supported facts and refuses to “admit he is wrong and move on”, that’s a pretty rich comment. RW has taught you well.

    • In fact, reading the above post the person she ran into was definitely on the right track.

      The San Remo agreement argument is airtight. So the Jewish people have the international law aspect covered as far as our rights to Hebron and other areas in Israel.

      At the same time, debunking pappe, based on genetic evidence and other factors is far easier, yet still represents a challenge as the saying goes that history is “His Story” in this case Pappe’s.

      If you really really, want to do your research and try to come up with good arguments I can point you to the volumes that proves our rights.

      Max

      • eljay says:

        >> mN: The San Remo agreement argument is airtight.

        You wasted no time ignoring your very own Rule #2. Well done.

      • MarkF says:

        ” our rights to Hebron”.

        So I have rights to Hebron as an American according to international law? Both H1 and H2?

        And if San Remo is airtight, how is it that there was a Mandate for Palestine that followed it.

        In my opinion, it’s like claiming something as law based on the Federalist Papers when what followed was the Constitution.

        So I would argue that the San Remo Conference was not law, but more like a framework that was to be used at a later time, which was the Mandate.

        Am I wrong? (Hanging curveball here…)

      • it’s absolutely not airtight. i thoroughly analyzed it here:

        link to resistingoccupation.com

        how do you justify discrediting pappe with “genetic evidence” when his entire work is about political/military operations? what are you talking about?

        • Chu says:

          link to resistingoccupation.com

          from your link, I never realized how the Balfour declaration was another effort at lobbying a foreign government to bring this state into existence. All from Rothchild.

        • Chu says:

          this was the moment of realization: we can carve out our own history by lobbying other nations.

        • what did you think it was?

        • tree says:

          how do you justify discrediting pappe with “genetic evidence” when his entire work is about political/military operations? what are you talking about?

          Max is mixing his Israeli “anti-semites” up. He probably thinks that Pappe is Sands. He’s entirely ignorant and simply regurgitates what he is fed. Sometimes the regurgitation gets a little confused.

        • Bumblebye says:

          Simon Winchester relates a fascinating anecdote about the genesis of the Balfour Declaration.

          CP Snow regularly took lunch with people he found interesting. One day his guest was Chaim Weizmann, who told him he had come up with a new way to manufacture acetone. Shortly after, Snow dined with David Lloyd George, who bemoaned the lack of cordite which was preventing the navy from sinking German subs. Snow brought up Weizmann’s claim, and he was set up in a former gin distillery to make the acetone from conkers, which British children around the country were charged with collecting that autumn. German subs could be sunk again, Weizmann was offered honours, but asked instead for what became the Balfour Declaration.

          In the last 10 minutes of the programme:

          link to bbc.co.uk

        • Antidote says:

          bumble – Barbara Tuchman discussed this in her 1956 “Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour”, which emphasizes the influence of Christian Zionism next to national/imperialist British interests (Lloyd George and Balfour knew the history of the kings of Israel better than that of the kings of England). Her conclusion:

          “Lloyd George’s afterthoughts on the motivation of the War Cabinet in issuing the Balfour Declaration have bewitched and bewildered all subsequent accounts of this episode. Unquestionably he doctored the picture. Why he did so is a matter of opinion. My own feeling is that he knew that his own
          motivation, as well as Balfour’s, was in large part a sentimental (that is, a Biblical) one, but he could not admit it. Hew as writing his Memoirs in the 1930’s when the Palestine trouble was acute, and he could hardly confess to nostalgia for the Old Testament or to a Christian guilty conscience toward the Jews as reasons for an action that had committed Britain to the painful, expensive, and seemingly insoluble problem of the Mandate. So he made
          himself believe that the Declaration had been really a reward for Weizmann’s acetone process or alternatively, a propagandist gesture to influence American and Bolshevik Jews—an essentially conflicting explanation, neither so simple nor so reasonable as the truth.”

        • Mooser says:

          So wait a minute, Zionism is born of the Biblical geography of the 19th Century British Public School? Quick, my jodphurs!

      • Shingo says:

        “The San Remo agreement argument is airtight.”

        You clearly have never read the San Remo agreement because it says nothign about giving Palestine to Israel.

        “So the Jewish people have the international law aspect covered as far as our rights to Hebron and other areas in Israel.”

        False. There is no article of international law that grants Israel rights to Hebron.

        “At the same time, debunking pappe”

        You have not debunked Pappe.

        “based on genetic evidence and other factors is far easier”

        Genetic evidence proves that the Palestinians are the real descendants of the Judeans.

        “If you really really, want to do your research and try to come up with good arguments I can point you to the volumes that proves our rights.”

        Sorry, but the Bible is fiction.

      • talknic says:

        maximalistNarrativ

        The San Remo agreement argument is airtight

        1st READ it! Article 7.

        2nd Read the first line of the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel

        If you really really, want to do your research and try to come up with good arguments I can point you to the volumes that proves our rights

        Like Article 7 in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine? Or the first line of the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel?

    • marc b. says:

      lj, maxarritive must have just gone through a trolling refresher course, now signing off its comments with the chummy ‘max’, and utilizing the newest in reassuring phraseology. yeah, that san remo argument sure is ‘airtight’. i’m glad we’ve finally resolved this zionism issue thingy. now i can get back to my boxed set of ‘the simpsons’ without any feelings of guilt.

  5. kapok says:

    Hard to say. For me, the tipping point came when I heard the hawk complain that the pigeon was being mean to him.

    There’s really no such thing as Jewish solidarity; most Zionists are dead to me.

    I shake my head and walk away Little Milton

    • “For me, the tipping point came when I heard the hawk complain that the pigeon was being mean to him.”

      don’t know if you’re speaking about zionist trolls or zionists in general, but what i find most rich about the whole experience of arguing with these people is that whenever you prove them wrong they allege that it’s “impossible to engage in real discussion with you people! you’re so close-minded! you just attack us!” oh PLEASE.

    • I don’t understand why you would say that there is no such thing as Jewish Solidarity. And what do you mean “Dead”?

      • kapok says:

        What you don’t understand is a sargasso sea. A churning gyre of flotsam.
        Dead in this context means, beyond the pale, un-assailable, un-appeasible, un-touchable, un-teachable.

  6. Taxi says:

    Only fools would want to argue with madmen.

  7. pabelmont says:

    I get lost in all this chit-chat, BUT ONE POINT STANDS OUT:

    If there are arguments that are made more than once to THE GREAT UNDECIDED (if any) and you have something useful to say about it, say it in an ORGANIZED way so that others can find your argument and refer others to it., THERE IS TOO MUCH WHEEL-SPINNING HERE.

    As to San Remo, if UNSC 465 and ICJ (7-2004) refer to “occupied territories” and “illegal settlements”, then it is fair to say that whatever San Remo may ever have been, it isn’t I/L today.

  8. yourstruly says:

    Punish or ignore, the two ways of responding to a Zionist’s bad* behavior. Punish as in reminding Israel’s supporters that the settler-state’s oppression of Palestinians endangers our troops in Afghanistan/Iraq/Pakistan/Yemn/Somalia/Indonesia, not to mention it’s a national security risk**

    *bad, because it not only occupies the Palestinian homeland, almost every day it’s killing, imprisoning and otherwise humiliating said homeland’s indigenous people.

    **as per General David Petreaus, Vice President Joe Biden, among others. .

  9. The antisemitic moderators on this hate-site don’t want you to know, but I can refute every charge you make against our legal right to the Land of Israel.

    • Shingo says:

      “The antisemitic moderators on this hate-site don’t want you to know, but I can refute every charge you make against our legal right to the Land of Israel.”

      Actually you’ve tried and you’ve failed repeatedly.

      1. You have cited the Bible, which is a work of fiction
      2. You have cited the San Remo agreement, which you clearly haven;t read, because it does not support your argument
      3. You have cited concepts like “moral law” which does not exist

      There’s nothign anti semitic about blocking your racist posts. Clearly, you violated the rules of this forum.

      Deal with it.

  10. eljay says:

    >> The antisemitic moderators on this hate-site don’t want you to know, but I can refute every charge you make against our legal right to the Land of Israel.

    Name calling and making unsupported claims. You really didn’t read your own rules, did you?

    • tree says:

      They are rules for everyone else. Max is exceptional and doesn’t have to follow rules. That’s the core of his argument.

      • The moderators of this website are antisemites.

        You seek the expulsion of the Jewish people from our lands.

        Any argument that goes against your narrative is brutally censored.

        The Nation institute is directly responsible for the antisemitism on this website.

        • eljay says:

          >> The moderators of this website are antisemites …

          What, no more cheerfulness? No more chummy signing off as “Max”? You didn’t get to have it your way so now it’s all petulance and footstamping and name-calling? Point taken.

        • Shingo says:

          “The moderators of this website are antisemites.”

          Please refrain from defaming and name calling other participants on this forum Max. It’s against the rules. You’re comment should have been moderated and blocked.

          The moderators of this website are being far to lenient on you.

        • MarkF says:

          Aren’t the moderaotrs Jewish? I would argue calling a Jew antisemitic is, well, antisemitic.

          No one seeks expulsion of Jews from their lands. Last I checked, no one here is seeking to remove me from my land where I live, my homeland.

          But let’s look at facts. Israelis are carrying out expulsions of people from their homes and then giving the homes to Israelis. They are achieving their goals of expelling non-Jews.

          Jews live in various parts of the world, and not all of them consider Israel to be their homeland, otherwise they would make aliyah and move there. In fact, I would argue it’s hypocritical to call it “our” land unless you live there, which I will assume you don’t, yet you claim land you’ve never seen or stepped foot on.

        • potsherd says:

          MarkF – you assume that this poster is not just a clown, here to troll the site making ridiculous remarks to hijack discussion. Which, according to the site’s comment policy, is cause for banning, but that is something the site’s moderators fail to do.

        • Oscar says:

          This entire thread justifies my original point. MaxNarr goes postal on Mondo, calls the moderators “anti-semites.” What the hell does that mean anymore? It’s been Chicken Littled to a state of being a meaningless canard.

          Who exactly seeks the expulsion of the Jewish people from Israel? Another intellectually dishonest canard. No one brings that up on this site — although there is great concern about the systematic expulsion of Palestinians from their land.

          “Our land?” Wow. Show us your deed, kimosabe.

        • Antidote says:

          MN: “You seek the expulsion of the Jewish people from our lands.”

          Everybody else: “Nobody seeks the expulsion of the Jewish people from their land”

          What is “the land of the Jewish people”?

          hedgehog 1: Greater Israel
          hedgehog 2: Israel within 67 borders

          comment #3
          link to mondoweiss.net

        • MarkF says:

          Yeah, I know. My character flaw big time.

        • Mooser says:

          Me I think ridicule does a whole lot more to interfere with Max Narr’s ziocaine high than facts or moral arguments ever will. Because that’s what he gets out of it, he’s the brave Jewish knight wielding his sword (and using a bially for a shield, I shouldn’t wonder) in Zionism’s defense, and before you know it, those ol’ ductless glands let loose and he’s flying! (Warning! PEP pills are the gateway drug to ziocaine in those predisposed to the habit.)

  11. RoHa says:

    “So what is the purpose of talking to them on Twitter? Is there one? ”

    Is there a point in talking to anyone on Twitter?

    ” To an even further extent, what are we doing on Twitter at all?”

    Wasting time. What else is Twitter for?

  12. Max is a well documented impstor ..His attempts at deception are recorded and have been followed and discussed..He first pretended being on “our side” calling on us to moderate our language otherwise we’d be harming “our” cause..His position wasn’t tenable in the long run and started to reveal the real nature of his “thoughts” and when he was confronted, he pretended that he met “new friends” and “wow!” he “saw the light, wow!”…it all happened overnight, mind you!! He then started copying and pasting (as is!) from the hasbara manual Israel project, changing his pseudo in the process from the deceptive BSD now to UNIX, to MaximalistNarrative, to Maximalistnarrative, to maximalistNarrative (notice the placement of the caps!)..The dude smells off on all accounts..Ignorance, naivety (fake?) , provocation, and sometimes outright MADNESS! I’ve rarely seen anything as time wasting as this repulsive fellow..

    • MRW says:

      TGIA, I enjoy writing anything I can to get him swinging and frothing from the chandelier, including turning his own statements around to make them as anti-semitic as his are. He’s obviously some old coot with too much time on his hands; he thinks screaming ‘anti-semite’ still works, he doesn’t read, he has out-dated information, and he’s not interested in learning anything..

      • Mooser says:

        some old coot”

        Old? He sure doesn’t seem old to me. More like a young person who is taking instruction from the old or fanatically committed, but without enough general contact outside the set to know how ridiculous he sounds to regular people.
        As Witty might say “he only listens to the padres and the cadres”
        Might say? Hell, he did say it, it’s in quotes!

        Anyway, I vote young nut, but not far from the old tree. And oh, how the ziocaine sings Hatikvah in his veins after a couple of comments here.

      • potsherd says:

        It disrupts the site and derails discussion, which is just what he wants.

  13. Twitter is the Devil’s workshop. It’s that “hot” of a medium (to borrow from Marshall McLuhan).

  14. talknic says:

    Maggie , you will never sway an ardent Zionist, they’re not interested.

    They know their BS is just BS which is why they will never admit anything, ever. One loose end it will unravel completely (and there are so many loose ends)

    Best diss their twaddle with factual material other folk can use should they decide to engage.

    In answer to the San Remo spiel — A) Read Article 7 of the Mandate B) Read the first line of the Declaration for the establishment of the State of Israel.

    That means there is no occupation and settlement construction isn’t illegal — Read UNSC Res 1860

    “i’d rather not have to deal with these people. they exhaust me.

    It can be fun and a good way of refining and honing letters to your Government representatives.

  15. The San Remo agreement was an agreement between Great Britain and France. It did NOT represent a permanent binding promise between the world and Jews, and certainly did not articulate the river to sea promised.

    The assertion of the Balfour Declaration and a couple paranthetical clauses in the San Remo agreement, has already been fulfilled. There is a Jewish state.

  16. jonah says:

    Maggie – You have exposed the fragility of your anti-Zionist position at the latest when you have shown us what is the main source of support in your house of cards: electronic intifada. You could not choose better evidence to show how biased and subject to propaganda influences is your pro-Palestinian fervor.

    I suggest you a more differentiate and balanced approach to the Middle East-conflict. Read the whole complete history, not just the selected and tailored for anti-Israel and anti-Zionist mainstream. You – as the most here – are on the wrong track.

  17. MHughes976 says:

    If we are to engage in good faith with each other in a way that amounts to more than bandying words it’s necessary to find common ground. For my part I would be interested to discuss the general principles (if it’s agreed that there are any) on which sovereignty is assigned and legitimated. Maybe there’s some common ground there, maybe there isn’t.
    It’s often assumed that both sides have a reasonable case, so that there’s no difficulty in principle in holding discussions in the utmost good faith, and that both sides are plagued by unreasonable minorities. There’s a British television spy drama called Spooks which dealt with the ME in a recent episode where Israeli and Palestinian delegations were led by wise old men who looked as if they could make friends in five minutes. The good old Brit spies had merely to neutralise the Islamic extremists with their all but supernatural assassination skills and the Israel fanatic who had turned herself into a walking bomb. In this sort of fiction conversation marked by the utmost good faith and good will is always just around the corner but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that corner turned in the real world.