The first 2 in brief are
- Their view of the world is very simple: What we do is heroic, what the Israelis do is the epitome of criminal...
- Then there are the deniers of time. These are people who look at the present and assume that whatever they see must be self-explanatory. If there's an Israeli blockade of Gaza, there must have always been an Israeli blockade of Gaza. If the blockade doesn't go back all the way to 1967 (some of them say it does), then only because Israel periodically replaces one form of persecution with another; the constant being that Israel always does its worst against the Palestinians...
Then there is the third category:
Finally, in an entire different category, there are the well intentioned rationally-minded observers. These tend to be liberal in the American meaning, or left-leaning in the European political vocabulary. Their problem is not a deficiency of moral thinking, nor a disability to apply it to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their problem is the inability to accept the degree to which people can be immoral. They cannot accept that some people are so different from them as to be unrecognizable. The implication being, that if only everyone seeks hard enough it will be possible to resolve most differences. As a number of them have said to me in recent days: if your pessimism were to be justified, Yaacov, then there's no hope. There needs to be a resolution to the conflict. There must be a resolution to the conflict. If you're not seeing it it's because you're not truly seeking it – and this laziness is unacceptable; ultimately, it’s a moral weakness, since you're willing to remain in a state of war when it's possible to leave it.This description reminds me of George Will, on a Sunday morning news show years ago. In describing the issue of peace in the Middle East, Will said something along the lines of:
There is no problem of peace in the Middle East. Problem implies there is a solution. What the Middle East is, is a mess.That may very well be the most accurate and practical of the situation we have been facing in the Middle East these many years.
It does not guide us towards a solution, it is true.
But by the same token, using George Wills' perspective may very well keep us from taking paths that will only get us further entangled in that mess.
Hat tip: DG
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