I’ve cited (for example only) C J Werleman and Anne-Marie Waters as activist-commentators who undoubtedly “get it” and are undoubdtedly committed to making change for the better for all of us, however flawed their individual approaches. Helping to escape the mess we’re sliding into. And I say that even though both engage in the kind of rhetoric I find counter-productive – too negatively focussed on specific partisan and personal targets – too quick to bigoted accusations of bigotry etc. (Unlike say Maajid Nawaz who gets it AND understands balanced nuance.) When I feel the need to criticise them, they know it, but that’s messy risk-taking politics for you. Somebody has to do it. (The court-jesters have to do it too – the Frankie Boyles, the David Baddiels and the Rod Liddles – but they are less directly concerned with leading and creating solutions.)
Whichever current aspect of “the mess we’re in” takes the current headlines – terrorist-extremism, human-rights, religious-secularism, migration, islamaphobia, ant-semitism, there can be no doubt that Israel’s relationships with its Arab neighbours and the West’s relationships with both are the major factor at the core of the mess. The mess we’re in is the Middle-East problem. Apart from more general international political and strategic issues like access to oil & gas, land and natural resources, Israel would be the specific tangible element we could point to. If we had to focus on one “thing” – Israel would be that thing – as in “Israel is the problem, so let’s solve it.”
This much I’ve said before (DO READ “THE MIDDLE EAST PROBLEM” FIRST before reacting here) and the tangled and flawed history of events and responsibilities that got us to where we are now, are constant topics here. If we wanted to get there we wouldn’t start from here, but here we are and wishful thinking is no solution. It’s complicated, whatever single aspect we name.
Saying Israel is the problem is a million miles from concluding Israel is a mistake so let’s somehow just get rid of it; undo the mistake. Several post-WWI/WWII generations of jews, including those that call Israel home, have human rights (and responsibilities) like the rest of us. It’s “antisemitic” to suggest the current mess is prejudiced on the “fault” of their being Jewish and/or Israeli. It’s not antisemitic to agree that Israel is a problem in need of a solution.
My own main agenda happens to be the intellectual honesty of how we understand and make decisions around such complex problems in the real world – nuance is the friend of truth – but political action requires much more. C J has been publicising his own recent first-hand Israel-Palestine experence. Today Anne-Marie has just announced her “Project for Israel” – getting to the core of first-hand understanding of what really are the current problems. Ho hum, I wonder.
[Post Note – all the above before the UK Labour Antisemitism debacle.]
[Previous link-collection post here.]
[Ha! As if to prove my point in real time, people who passionately get the real underlying problems engage in rhetoric targetted negatively at each other.
@psybertron thanks mate, but I’m not sure Anne Marie Waters “gets it.” She is an Islamophobe and appalling defender of Israeli occupation
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 20, 2016
@psybertron “Islamophobe”, “Israeli occupation”. On that basis alone, I’d argue that only one of us gets it.
— Anne Marie Waters (@AMDWaters) May 21, 2016
Whatever happened to good fences make good neighbours? Another important component of the story – and its solution.]