General UK Media

Brendan O’Neill: Why Western liberals bear some responsibility for the violence in Gaza


Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill makes a persuasive argument that Westerners’ obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and with “an infantile reading of it” as Israeli evil vs Palestinian innocence, plays into Hamas’s hands and incites more violence: 

The Israel-Palestine conflict is unique among modern wars.  No, not because Israel is an unnaturally wicked state, as its many critics across the West, and in the Middle East of course, would have us believe. And not because this conflict has been a long one. Or because it is a sometimes asymmetrical one, pitting a well-armed state against protesters armed with catapults and attitude. Many wars have been long and imbalanced.

No, this war is different because of who shapes it. Who impacts on it. Who contributes to it, usually unwittingly. This war is unique because very often its distant observers, those who watch and comment and hand-wring from afar, play a role in intensifying it and making it bloodier than it already is – without even realising they are doing so.

This should be the central lesson of the terrible events at the Gaza-Israel border last week: that much of what happens in the Israel-Palestine conflict is now largely a performance, a piece of bloody theatre, staged for the benefit of outsiders, especially for myopically anti-Israel Western activists and observers.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Hamas pushes Gaza’s people into harm’s way because it knows their suffering will strike a chord across the West. Because it knows images of their hardship will be shared widely, wept over, and held up as proof of the allegedly uniquely barbarous nature of the Jewish State. Hamas knows there is a hunger among the West’s so-called progressives for evidence of Palestinian pain, and by extension of Israeli evil, and it is more than willing to feed this hunger.

Read the rest of the essay at Spiked.

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14 replies »

  1. This should be required reading for every bleeding-heart so willing to fight Israel to the last drop of Palestinian blood. They’re just like druggies and the Guardian supplies their fixes very day.

  2. No, the so-called ‘liberals’ bear a HUGE part of the responsibility – through antisemitism and through rewarding Arab violence,

    • Hamas bares all responsibility for their actions, and Hamas is a Nationalist, right wing organization who is in government for the money.

      Israel, on the other hand, is one of the most liberal countries in the world. They have affordable health care and education and provide abortions when the woman needs and/or wants one.

      Specifics versus bloated self-worth. That’s we got here on these boards.

  3. I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I hug trees and I support Israel. Right wingers, on the other hand, gave us Nazis.

    Maybe if you right wing dipshits can identify those whom you detest as having some kind of shared interest, you wouldn’t come off as goose stepping dingbats.

    It’s safe to say that Brendan O’Neil is a shitton more liberal than any of the right wing lunatics who like to read this blog. So keep that in mind. The Guardian sucks. They do not, however, represent LIberalism.

    Sean Hannity on the other hand is the poster child for stick-up-tbhe-butt Conservative values which just happens to remind most people of hilarious hypocrisy put on the air to satisfy home bound boobs.

    • More unhinged thick ignorant semi-literate crap from alphabet soup.
      The Nazis were of the left.
      So were the Jew-hating rulers of the USSR.
      The so-called ‘Democratic’ party in the USA, and ‘Labour’ in the UK, are sewers of Jew-hatred.
      So is the far far left in the USA and the UK.

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