Beyond taking sides: a call for mutual recognition in Mideast conflict

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/09/beyond-taking-sides-a-call-for-mutual-recognition-in-mideast-conflict.html

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Even my Constitutional Law professor made the point “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Why do we forget this so easily?

To paraphrase Ghandi, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

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The “miracle of Israel’s creation” could not have happened without the mass expulsion of the Palestinians. If she can defend that, she is perhaps not in a position to lecture Palestinians or their supporters about their moral blind spots.

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I believe in CLOWN RADICAL MILITANT NUANCE. Anyone who articulates a clear simple proposed solution to any real-world difficult problem, we hit in the face with a pie.

It is only by training ourselves away from binary extremes that we caSPLAT

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It isn’t, of course.

The people who are trying to collapse this complex issue into a binary “with us or against us” choice, are the ones who don’t want compromise. They’re the ones who only want victory, whose only solution is for them to subjugate the other, until the end of time. Even so, they know that this doesn’t look good to outsiders, so they mask that end state behind a thousand excuses, because deep down, they know that they’re being unreasonable.

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You are not alone on this island. There are many others with you, who recognize the endless pain that arises from endless conflict.

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If it looks like Genocide, I’m against it thanks.

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Disclaimer/Disclosure

I try to recluse myself from arguments in relation to the war after the atrocities of Oct 7th 2023 since I realised that some of the most valued members of the BBS are uncompromising and posting sources and own content I strongly disagree with and would challenge under other circumstances. Right now, I could only walk away from the BBS if I did. Which I do not want. This is one of the few cases where discussion on the BBS is made impossible. This topic by Yoy Luadha changes that. (Thank you for that, Yoy.)

I agree, and at the same time disagree.

I think isn’t exactly a matter of decisions, of what we want. Rather, I think that it is an ability. A concept which springs to mind is ambiguity tolerance.

I think values we share or do not share are very important in this. We may not be able to consciously compromise on core values without endangering our personality, and our self-perception - and even less so in social interaction. But we do, in many circumstances, live with ambiguities. We hold more than one mutually exclusive concepts true in our minds all of the time. Still, we cannot compromise on any of these without being compromised deeply.

Paradoxical situations are fun when discussed in Randall’s What if series. They are interesting when discussed in an academic seminar. But they are also a truly existential imposition.

The author wrote in another piece: “there is not necessarily a right, one-size-fits-all answer, but a spectrum on which thoughtful people can disagree”. Disagreement on how core values are lived and made into politics and policies, however, is really, really hard to bear.

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The Israeli response to that would be that they were expelled from the area first, resulting in the Jewish Diaspora. Of course, that expulsion, unlike the expulsion of the Palestinians, wasn’t a singular event and it wasn’t entirely forced. Some it was, but it also was spread out over about 1000 years. Anyway, my point is, you can’t get into this debate about who started it, because that debate will never end. To me, it’s irrelevant, and it’s just another version of “two wrongs do make a right”. I’m honestly not convinced that the two state solution is going to fix things. Even if the Israelis, the Palestinians, and other Arabic nations agree to it, there will probably be endless arguments about where the borders are. As long as humans are hating other humans because they’re different, this shit is going to keep happening. We need to somehow stop nationalism and xenophobia and Islamophobia and AntiSemitism. And those are all really big problems I don’t think anyone has an answer for.

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Sadly, the response of most people to getting stomped in the head is not to go out and try to make an end to head-stomping. It is to make sure that next time, they are on the stomping side of the transaction.

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It really is in everyone’s best interest to have both Israel and Palestine as sovereign states with normal diplomatic relations between them. It would make people in both countries safer. It would make the region more stable. And it would eliminate a lot of uncertainty that makes the world tremble every time tensions flare.

But both Hamas and Netanyahu need to have an “other” to attack to keep their own power secure, and so millions suffer while a few in power benefit.

And the great irony is that there would be UN peacekeepers on the ground right now if this were happening elsewhere in the world. Not because people care more about elsewhere, but because they care less.

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