The FT has called for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Might some leaders listen?

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The FT is not noted for being left-wing. Social radicalism has not been its hallmark. It is an unashamed promoter of the interests of capital. It also provides its journalists with a high degree of editorial freedom. Diverse views appear in its pages as a result. But every now and again the paper itself can deliver a genuine surprise. Today's lead editorial provides such an occasion. It says:

Israel's collective punishment of the 2.3mn people trapped in Gaza — almost half of them children — must stop.

Having calmly considered the evidence on the emerging situation in Gaza it adds:

It is time for a humanitarian ceasefire. That would ease the suffering of Palestinians and cool regional tensions. Hamas must release all hostages.

It goes on, saying:

Israel's allies must press Netanyahu's government to allow more aid into Gaza and to lift its siege. They must also steer Israel towards a more plausible plan to negate the threat posed by Hamas — one that does not drive Israel and the region into the abyss.

And this is their reasoning:

Hamas struck a catastrophic blow against Israel on October 7. Israel must now avoid falling into the trap of enabling the militants — who count every Palestinian victim as a martyr to their cause — to capitalise on that. The greater the suffering of Palestinian civilians, the more likely it is that Israel will lose support in the west, while further enraging the Arab and Muslim worlds.

I hope the FT will forgive me quoting at greater length than they usually think permissible but I think these words are important. They show that an entity noted for its rationality can adopt the position that so many are - who have then been condemned by those on the right (including the Labour leadership) for doing so.

There is an extraordinarily strong rational, as well as emotional and humanitarian, case for a ceasefire in Gaza. I am pleased to see the FT making it. I hope some of our so-called political leaders take note.

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