Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

The giant scab of the Israel-Palestinian conflict

Why do I [in England] take such an interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict? Where does my disproportionate interest come from, considering that other conflicts around the world are equal or worse in their unpleasantness? Why am I not so worked up about Zimbabwe? North Korea? Sudan? Tibet? Burma?

Comments posted on the internet by Israel supporters, and by Palestinian supporters show that there are millions upon millions picking away at this one conflict like it’s a giant scab.

I have many Jewish friends. I do not think of Jews as being foreign. It would be as absurd for me to call my Jewish friends foreign as it would to call my Quaker friends foreign; they are as English as I am. It is a religious category for me and nothing more, and quite rightly so.

Israel’s non-foreign status is amplified by the extraordinary support it enjoys in the corridors of power in Britain. As many as 80% of Tory MPs are members of Conservative Friends of Israel. The same cannot be said for Conservative friends of Thailand or Uzbekistan.

Delving into my deepest heart, I cannot honestly say that I am more hostile to Jews than I am towards Scotsmen and Welshmen. And since normally, far from being hostile, I rather like the Scots, Welsh and Jews that I meet, antisemitism can hardly be the reason for my interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

One reason why Israel is singled out for so much attention is because its supporters are so very vociferous, pushing their agenda at every opportunity. Having been told how heroic and wonderful it was and then to find out that, at the very least, there is a different and more troubling story running in parallel, that affects me emotionally. As a consumer of news, the speed of their responses and their sheer ubiquity inflames my interest and my antipathy. Why do they persist in trying to defend the indefensible?

[Excerpted from The Guardian]


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