Tag Archives: Gaza

On Israel

Is-wb-gs-gh_v3To simply report on news about Israel is to enter a minefield. To comment is to invite extreme reactions of a sort experienced in few other issues. This week F&O columnists Chris Wood and Jonathan Manthorpe enter the fray with thoughtful, informed essays:

Israel at the Boundary, by Chris Wood (Free public access)

A friend — I hope I may still call him one — recently chastised me for selectiveness in my criticism on social networks of Israel’s Gaza campaign, and my comparative silence about the horrors occurring in Syria and Iraq. The unspoken implication that there was something particular about Israel that inclined me to single it out, embedded another: that the something particular was Israel’s Jewishness. The suggestions are sufficiently morally impugning, and implicate enough of my personal friendships, that they deserve a thoughtful response. 

Hamas Leads Gaza Down a Dead-end Street, by Jonathan Manthorpe (Subscription)

Not the least of the problems of finding any kind of solution to the plight of the Palestinians is that the Hamas zealots who control Gaza are incompetent terrorists and jihadis. Hamas’ sole strategic objective, the purpose of its jihad, is to overrun Israel and drive its 6.1 million Jewish residents into the sea. This latest month-long conflict shows Hamas has no capacity to do that and has no idea how to go about it.

 

Related reading:

The Cold War 2.0, by Jim McNiven (Free public access)

For 40 years, one big contest played out in the world. It was a kind of arm-wrestling match between the Soviets and the Americans. I use the word ‘Soviets’ to distinguish one contestant from its successor of sorts: today’s Russians. Eventually, the Soviets could not keep their end of the game going and walked away from the table, into history. The last decade of the century was one where there was but one superpower — and it wanted to party. The attacks on America on September 11, 2001, brought that party to a halt. It signified a new game was beginning; not one of two superpowers engaged while the rest of the world largely stayed out of the way, but one where arm-wrestling was replaced by a kind of hide-and-seek.

The Decline in Global Violence, By Andrew Mack (Free public access)

In the new Human Security Report, The Decline in Global Violence: Evidence Explanation and Contestation, global security specialist Andrew Mack examines a critical question: Has the long-term threat of violence — war, terrorism, and homicide —  been decreasing or increasing worldwide? For some, the answer seems clear. Many in the strategic community concur with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said today’s world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.”  But Mack writes that there is little evidence to support them.

 

Jon Stewart Learns What Happens When You Criticize Israel (F&O Blog with video, free)

 

 

 

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Chris Wood on the ‘double standard’ of criticizing Israel

Facts and OpinionsNatural Security columnist Chris Wood reported from the first Palestinian intifada in 1988, for Canada’s Maclean’s magazine. The fierce global debate over Israel’s latest conflict with residents of Gaza prompted him to reflect on the alleged ‘double standard’ of criticizing Israel amid the region’s wider violence. Here is an excerpt of his essay Israel at the Boundary, in F&O’s Loose Leaf column (free public access):

PikiWiki_Israel_30033_Olive_tree

An olive tree, in Israel

I have been privileged (and I don’t use the word lightly) as a reporter to witness a moderately wide range of human sorrows. One of my most vivid memories is of the hospital in Gaza City, so overwhelmed by the injured at the hands of Israeli Defence Force beatings, and so undersupplied, that a reeking yellow stream of blood, urine and puss oozed thickly down a bare concrete hallway.

That was in 1988, before Israeli-Palestinian relations reached their present abyss. Perhaps the experience has affected my judgment in the present. But I find that reality has a way of doing that to me. 

A friend — I hope I may still call him one — recently chastised me for selectiveness in my criticism on social networks of Israel’s Gaza campaign, and my comparative silence about the horrors occurring in Syria and Iraq. The unspoken implication that there was something particular about Israel that inclined me to single it out, embedded another: that the something particular was Israel’s Jewishness.

The suggestions are sufficiently morally impugning, and implicate enough of my personal friendships, that they deserve a thoughtful response … click here to read Israel at the Boundaryby Chris Wood (Free public access).

 

Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O performs journalism for citizens, funded entirely by subscribers and readers who purchase a $1 site day pass. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes. Sign up here for email notices of new work with the subscribe form on Frontlines, where we also post small stories.

 

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