Why am I dismayed when I see American friends get emotionally involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Because discussion among outsiders of this conflict is a part of a two-sided propaganda war driven by the simple fact that neither side can ever possibly hope to win unless it succeeds in mobilizing moral support outside the conflict, and to some extent both sides know this (it is characteristic of the state-actor in these sorts of conflicts to falsely believe it can prevail by military means alone, and for the non-state actor to falsely believe it can prevail by winning popularity contests by masochistically orchestrating atrocities against itself). But neither side can hope to win this propaganda war either. That makes outside sympathy a form of enabling. Matters become hopeful only when both sides lose all hope. When I was a child, I remember thinking (being a rather strange child) that two things will last forever: the Berlin Wall, and fighting in Northern Ireland. I think people would benefit from looking very closely at why I along with much of the rest of the world was wrong about those two things, as there are generalizable lessons to be learned from both of them. And the lesson is not “nuke Moscow” or “kill every Catholic in Northern Ireland.” I think we should probably look at both of these stories because in a sense, both are relevant.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s