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The conflicts I refer to are the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts that have been active effectively since the 1930s, and the American-led global war on terror that started in the late 1990s against Al-Qaeda, and has lasted a quarter of a century against a widening circle of terrorist groups.So the attack in Tel Aviv Wednesday clearly was an act of terror against civilians that cannot be justified, and must be clearly and unambiguously condemned.The area that is ambiguous, however, and does require profound and continuous discussions concerns two related matters: the wider context of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation in which this terror attack occurred, and the nature of the Israeli and prestate Zionist responses that have sought for three quarters of a century to punish these sorts of attacks and prevent them from recurring – but always spectacularly unsuccessfully.A total of 28 Israelis have been killed since October; in the same period Israelis have killed 205 Palestinians, including Palestinians who attacked Israelis.The situation between Israelis and Palestinians is very similar. This week's Tel Aviv attack absolutely should be condemned as an unacceptable act of terror – but that would likely turn out to be another isolated moral act in a geographical and temporal vacuum, if it is detached from the wider and older war that continues to rage between Arabism and Zionism, and between Palestinians and Israelis.
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