Saturday, October 17, 2015

Depression part one

The violence in Israel has sparked the usual depressing flood of memes on social media, accompanied by the standard opinion pieces and accusations of media bias. They all are the much the same, whichever side they come from. Either they are totally one-sided, in that they don't mention the actions of the other side at all, or they play a game of justification by saying that one side is solely reacting to the violence of the other. The first is obviously propaganda, whilst the second has the veneer of fair comment it ignores a crucial factor. It is not enough to say that any action is simply a reaction to another. The nature of the reaction is a choice. 

That choice has two dimensions. The moral one is most often commented on, but the other dimension is political. A pattern of co-ordinated violence is never arbitrary. It is not only chosen to intimidate its target, but to impress its own side and consolidate the power of its organisers. Violence is a tactic to counter the narrative of peace, which in this conflict means compromise, acceptance and mutual recognition. It is deliberate. It is the tactic of those who want to fight until they achieve whatever they deem to be a victory, to live in a bloody comfort zone of antagonism and hatred, rather than make the sacrifices and meet the profound challenges of finding an agreement.

I don't want to play these games of blame and recrimination. I want moral clarity and to stand for peace in desperate times.

1 comment:

Anton Deque said...

"A pattern of co-ordinated violence is never arbitrary."

Have the Palestinians (and the Iranian paymaster) decided that Syria's civil war has eclipsed them?