Asaf Bartov (ijon) wrote,
Asaf Bartov

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About The War

I suppose I should say something about the war being waged by Israel in the North. It's hard to write about it: it's depressing, senseless, and full of more lies than a PR statement.

Nevertheless, I shall say a few things, briefly.

First, to understand this war, one needs perspective. It has antecedents and context, and ignoring it helps spread righteous rhetoric without foundation.

Second, to understand Israel, one needs to really look the facts in the face, probably in disbelief; specifically, one must forget what one expects of a "Western" democracy -- Israel scores poorly on that test, except perhaps in the orderly transfer of titular power following elections, itself only one aspect of a liberal representative democracy.

Third, now that the fighting is on, and the violence on both sides has escalated, few specific deeds can be justified entirely. Both sides should just stop; but both sides won't, being entrenched in their own hollow rhetoric and public opinion skirmishes, unless someone with a bigger stick threatens to whack them into submission. That's too bad.

Ran HaCohen, a former lecturer of mine and an Israeli publicist, wrote well about the background of the recent events, including the quiet coup that seems to have taken place in Israel wherein the army has the government on a leash, and you may read his article to get an idea of my own stance on this conflict. Note that it was written two weeks ago, when the fighting had barely begun, and does not propose practical (as distinct from ideal) ways of resolving the escalated situation.

HaCohen also later wrote about the mainstream Israeli media's treatment of the recent bombing of UN observers in what appears to have been a deliberate Israeli Air Force attack on their post. This one's more bitter, but no less grounded.

Also, while I'm at it, if you read Hebrew, do read ygurvitz's latest column. It's important.
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