What Josh Says (About the Middle East)

Josh, at Thoughts from Kansas, has a superb explanation of why the blogospheric left has largely remained silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

Matt Yglesias has been pondering why the left half of the blogosphere doesn’t write more about Israel. My answer is simple: Everyone involved sucks.
The Palestinians were terrorists for decades, and killing children and other non-combatants is never, ever acceptable. Accidents happen, and we forgive accidents. But targeting non-combatants just isn’t OK. So they suck.
But they have fair complaints: their situation is horrific and something or other needs to be done.
…Neither side enjoys any moral edge at this point. The only person involved who seemed at all to recognize the problem – that someone had to stop being an asshole long enough for everyone to talk about things – was Yitzhak Rabin, and he was assassinated by an Israeli!
In short, the whole thing is a mess. Hezbollah and Hamas shouldn’t kidnap anyone, and shouldn’t launch missiles into Israel. And Israel shouldn’t attack civilian airports and infrastructure in retaliation for those acts. Everyone’s wrong.

I would add one thing. Like it or not, I think many on the left think there are more important issues than this conflict (this does not mean that the issue is unimportant, however). We’re tired of engaging in the circular firing squad, and at least, on the left, this is a divisive issue–and it might be divisive because, as Josh puts it, “Everyone involved sucks.” There are no white hats here.
My read is that most of the sparse discussion on the left is of the ‘pox on all their houses‘ variety (like Josh). Perhaps that’s a sign of maturity in addressing what is basically a regional cold war that has no immediate solution.

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3 Responses to What Josh Says (About the Middle East)

  1. Roman Werpachowski says:

    Perhaps that’s a sign of maturity in addressing what is basically a regional cold war that has no immediate solution.
    Why, a few nukes would bring an immediate solution.

    Just kidding. Look at it this way: this conflict consumes a few thousand lives per year – at most. This is how many lives were lost during WW II in Europe *daily*.
    Do we really have to care that much?

  2. VJB says:

    I keep fantasizing about ‘what-if’ the Jewish homeland had been located in Uganda, as proposed by Britain in 1903. The great zionist Theodor Herzl considered it aceptable but the idea was ultimately rejected a couple years later, and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 made Palestine the location that Britain would support. In retrospect, Uganda might have been a better choice. I wish somebody would write an alternate history epic based on this. Would be fun.

  3. Roman Werpachowski says:

    Hmm… did you ask the Ugandans?

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