Hi Etgar, Damian,
Etgar, your answer was quite brilliant and enlightening. I had the same opinion but couldn't exactly put it into words the way you did.
Damian, first of all, no one is complaining about extra attention. Attention is great. People go through all sorts of things only to get some attention. Everybody wants attention, and it is also clear that the issue won't be solved without international involvement so attention is great.
But, I think your South Africa example is a telling one. In South Africa the west knew exactly what it wanted - the whites had no place being there and should leave the country to those who belong there. (You mention the post colonial age, and repenting their own sins.) I am afraid this is the precise analogy to the case of Israel - the only people who know what they want are the ones who want Israel out of there.That Israel shouldn't exist in the middle east. It's not its place and was wrongly put there by the west. These people who want the destruction of Israel know what they want, and they are sadly the only ones in the conflict who know what they want.
To use your metaphor of South Africa, what should the west demand of Israel? Let us say that you are in complete control of the west and can demand whatever you want, what would you demand of Israel to do? Leave Gaza - they left. Leave the west bank - sure. Open the borders of Gaza completely to traffic into Israel - sure. (To Egypt? Gaza has a long border with Egypt if you forget. Do you demand the Egyptians also open it completely?). Destroy the wall - sure. What do you think would be the consequence of this? What wthen ould you do when there are rockets and bombs all over Israel? (It is not an hypothesis this might happen, but a certainty).
You say Israel is the only western state to hold territories under occupation - you must be kidding. Just as examples (from many), what about Catalonia and the Basques in Spain. I don't see the west interfering there and demanding Spain to leave Catalonia though many Catalans demand that. The Basques also have an armed group for liberation - the ETA.