Gaza: Don’t Take Sides! – especially Liberals.
Polarisation is as ever killing ordinary people. Neither side will relent.
Israel isn’t going to stop settling Palestinian “territory” because that would be to “reward” Hamas for its acts of violence. And it certainly isn’t going to discuss a the formation of a Palestinian state with Palestinian terrorists. Instead, ISrael says it will continue this offensive until Hamas’ rockets are used up and the tunnel through which they are replenished are destroyed.
In the process, as the Palestinian death toll advances relentlessly from one thousand upwards, so too does the number of newly radicalised Hamas supporters.
Hamas has no choice but to attack Israel because it doesn’t have any other ideas as to how it could further its aims. In normal times, Hamas’ aims don’t align with those of the Gaza population, as Hamas would like to obliterate Israel from the map. Whereas Gazans like most Israelis, would like to live in peace.
Furthermore, with Gaza being a small, well-populated strip, there’s not really too many places from which to attack Israel without being near to where civilians live. And the exact same is true for Israeli retaliation to these attacks.
But what really doesn’t help – and in my opinion is inexcusable – is how people safe in the West are taking sides. The level of thinking is sadly low.
Western media – as ever, fuel the ignorance and prejudice on which this is based. As Hamas don’t offer press officers to the media after incidents, the media interrogate Israeli spin doctors, and make stories from their necessarily limited statements. A war is characterised by nobody knowing anything, and the truth being fatally warped by nationalism.
This happens in every war. Hence the expression “Truth is the first casualty of war”.
I can understand the way nationalists tend to a republican, right wing, conservative approach. In this case such thinking swings more towards supporting Israel’s right to defend its borders. But the essence of this line of thinking is its narrow focus, xenophobia and the drawing of simplistic parallels.
By contrast, the liberal tendency is characterised by thinking more widely than nationalistic considerations, encompassing humanitarian and other factors. Logically this should condemn Hamas for its ethnic hatred of Israel and desire to obliterate it, and for its current continuation to fire very many more rockets into Israel than Israel is firing back.
Liberals should equally condemn Israel for its reliance on military intelligence and targeting to prevent the sorts of atrocities we’ve seen recently. But this should also be ameliorated by the understanding that when wars reach this level of violence, it becomes inevitable that innocents will be killed.
This is not to condone war, but to understand its true and utter horror.
It’s not good enough to enjoy living in a peaceful country, while using that freedom to think so superficially. Like the hypocrisy of “champagne socialists”, born into privilege only to reject its responsibilities in later life – having benefitted from all the advantages. Liberals and right-wingers alike…