Flawless organisation, super-professional technology and Gulf-style hospitality, these are some of the characteristics of the annual Manama Dialogues, for 10 years organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Add a dozen or so ministers and a few hundred diplomats, security professionals and academics, mostly from the Gulf, Western Europe and the US.

Returning always brings strong impressions: of the dynamic and exciting Tel Aviv, the solemn and chaotic Jerusalem and even a Gaza that somehow survives against the odds. And the dominating topic for discussion is always the same: the occupation, or “the situation” as many Israelis refer to it.