Fighting fire with fire

When Palestinians and Israelis fight fire with fire it’s easy to get drawn in.

Resist contributing to the hatred. For those of us who are lucky enough not to be directly at risk, it’s far more constructive to hunt out and surface smart alternatives to war from people who want to understand the region and hope for peace in the region. What ideas are coming from the political opposition in Israel? What are Palestinian secularist progressives saying? What are the views of international relations and conflict resolution specialists? We may need to wait a while for the most insightful commentary – it’s the extra thinking and research time that makes it insightful. Meanwhile there are some commentators who want to get to the bottom of things including Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian sets out alternative readings of the recent escalation, Janine Zacharia in Slate makes the case for diplomacy in Israel’s interests.

Remembering the aftermath of Cast Lead, British Jews are braced for the spike in Jew-baiting and antisemitic behaviour which attends Israel’s conflicts. Here’s Steve Bell depicting a Jewish puppet master of other countries’ leaders as if – writes Dave Rich from the CST – he “…reached for the ‘puppeteer’ trope to explain that fact that William Hague’s statement on the conflict was presumably not critical enough of Israel for his liking, as if this is the most plausible explanation for Hague’s view.”

Steve Bell’s response isn’t really doing it for me. I think it might be something to do with his affronted tone. And what he says. As if being accused of antisemitism is worse than antisemitism.  Anyway, if Netanyahu is so powerful why are Israel’s citizens scurrying for their bomb shelters tonight?

Behind a Ha’aretz paywall, Abeer Ayyoub writes from Gaza and Israel Green Movement’s Gershon Baskin’s twitter feed is very well worth following for its links out to Palestinian and Israeli commentary. Unlike the Alqassam Brigade’s which coldly counts off the missiles it has launched at Israeli civilians, and  signals its intent towards the Israeli state by referring to Tel Aviv in inverted commas.

Update: don’t forget to look at the sources on our blogroll.

3 thoughts on “Fighting fire with fire

  1. Isca Stieglitz

    Right on point again Mira. One only has to look at the contorted faces, the content of the chants and timbre of many protesters in London to feel the hate and venom. I get angry at both Hamas and the Israeli government, but venom and hate never made peace.

    I love that you go out of your way to seek out the ‘good’ and elevate them above the melee; their voices must be heard.

    These voices are conveniently discarded by people bent on spewing hate speech and annihilation.

  2. Mr Wilson

    Yes, but you are part of a party that clearly hates jews with a vengeance. Albeit the reactionary ‘vengeance’ of the cosseted middle classes. It’s beyond me why you bother with them

    1. Mira Vogel Post author

      Hates Jews with a vengeance? What an exaggeration. The affected Greens think of themselves as impeccable anti-racists. You leave yourself little room to describe conscious let alone physical antisemites.


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