It’s Complicated

POST 1071

It’s All So Complicated

Three religions each claim sole right to own the same little chunk of dirt.* Worse, there are few things as dangerous as a religious zealot, so conflict and violence are baked in. The 3-headed religious zealotry monster is actually a subset of the human need to feel right and powerful and dominant and a holy defender of the faith. It’s chest thumping self-certainty stuff along with the joy of belonging to the self-congratulatory tribe. We’re so right and they’re so wrong! Cheers for our team!

In addition, there’s a proud and vibrant hatred of Jews that goes back somewhere between 3,500 and 6,000 years. It’s the world’s oldest bigotry and hatred. Jews are just so blame-able, absurdly, for everything. Always. So, really, who cares about the atrocities committed by Hamas on Israelis on October 7? Those victims were just Jews.

Palestinians are suffering and dying and are getting no relief from anywhere, including from their Arab and Muslim brothers, but that’s always been true. They are the world’s longest standing refugees and their Arab brothers make sure they stay that way. Various fiefdoms need them to be victims for various reasons, chief among those being that they need Israel to be seen as the victimizing devil.

Anyone with even a scintilla of empathy sees the agony of Gazans and is beset by anguish for their suffering. It seems to be both random and inevitable and screams for redress.

This is the milieu of Israel and Gaza now and our 18 – 22 year old college students have plenty to say about all that. Unfortunately, they missed the part about this situation being hideously complicated, so they demand immediate and simple solutions to this very complex problem. Worse, they’ve been fed a grossly imbalanced diet of news, so they are semi-ignorant, even in their heartfelt certainty.

That brings us to today’s .  .  .

Must Reads

That’s “must” as in “required” if you want to understand at least some what is happening and what’s driving it.

First, read my friend David Houle’s essay explaining the gross hypocrisy driving college campus demonstrations and general public opinion, Blame Mainstream Media for the Demonstrations on College Campuses. You know what death and destruction in Gaza looks like because it’s shown to you every day, regardless of where you get your news. Your empathy is pulled there as though our mainstream media is supposed to be a propaganda tool for Hamas. How come you’ve never been shown the videos that Hamas terrorists posted online of their savagery, killing, maiming and raping Israelis?

I confess that I had failed to see the grotesque hypocrisy of our media, showing the results of Israeli attacks but refusing to show the Hamas atrocities. And that lopsidedness is driving public opinion and encouraging hatred.

American students have feted their passions in this insanity with their ignorance and uniformed certainties. They have taken to the quads of their elite universities. They brought their tents and they carry signs supporting Palestine and Palestinians. They proudly chant “From the river to the sea,” as though they are Hamas in Gaza calling for the murder of all Jews on Earth and they spew various anti-Semitic slogans. They act just as though the problems were simple and that they actually understood them. Too bad they’re clueless about Hamas infiltrating and igniting their own protests in the U.S. and that these students and agitators are self-identifying with this terrorist group, these murderers.

Art Friedson is a periodic guest writer to this series. Read his take about what’s going on. Be prepared for an even-handed, sensible post that challenges your cherished certainties. And follow his links.

These essays will not give you yet more simple answers to this complex problem. They don’t reply to those demanding an immediate ceasefire. The truth is that there was a formal ceasefire in effect on October 6, 2023, the day before the Hamas pogrom, its invasion and savagery. Since “ceasefire” doesn’t seem to mean the same thing to Hamas as it does to the rest of the world, there’s far less sense to a ceasefire now than there might seem to be.

These posts don’t deal with the certainty that failing to crush Hamas now means that two years from now there will be another Hamas atrocity visited upon Israelis. Then another barbarity will come two years after that. Then another attack two years later. Hamas will hide behind civilians and con the world into demonizing Israel, using the leverage of dead Palestinian bodies. And all the while there will be ongoing rocket attacks on Israeli cities. It takes no clairvoyance to see this future because it will be a repeat of the past and of today.

These posts don’t fully address the annoying fact that there cannot be peace because that would make Hamas obsolete and they can’t have that. Hamas needs war. They don’t touch on the fact that Gazans cannot be made safe, secure and prosperous because so many need Gazans to be victims. Plus, Hamas needs civilians, grannies and children to hide behind.

See what I mean about “complicated”? And this accounting barely scratches the surface of the complications in a place that has vexed smart people searching for peace for a very long time.

Inglorious Bastards

After being Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley distanced herself from him to the point that she ran against him in the 2024 Republican primary. She said the same thing Hillary said in 2016, that he was unfit for office. Haley said Trump was “a disaster,” “too chaotic,” “too unhinged,” “too prone to temper tantrums” and “too old.” Plus, she said she felt “no need to kiss the ring.” Then last Wednesday she caved to her ambition and metaphorically kissed the ring of the grifter. She says she will vote for him.

She is in fine company with Sen. Lindsay Graham, who, following the insurrection, declared, “All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.” Then two weeks later he made a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to grovel and kiss the ring. Now he says he’ll vote for Trump.

Following the insurrection, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, “There is no question – none – that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day [January 6]. No question about it.” Click the link and listen to his full comments damning Trump – then weaseling out. He voted to acquit Trump in the second impeachment. Now he says he’ll vote for Trump this year.

Welcome, Nikki Haley, to this community of cowardice and blatant hypocrisy.

Fun Fact of the Week

Activist priest Frank Pavone said in 2022, “I can tell you that within the pro-life religious circles of pastors that I interact with, across denominational lines the awareness over recent years has greatly increased about how unbiblical contraception is.” His words are resurfacing now, as far right extremists, having now made abortion illegal in so many places, fix their sights on eliminating contraception.

Okay, Father Frank, I concede that the Bible carries no mention of contraception, so your claim that it is “unbiblical” is technically accurate. The Bible also carries no mention of penicillin, airplanes, the Chicago Cubs, the United Nations, the Taj Mahal or radio. Just guessing you think we should do away with all that, too, because all of it is “unbiblical.”

Now .  .  .

.  .  .  go. Read the Must Reads linked above.


* Israel is roughly the same size as Massachusetts.

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2 Responses to It’s Complicated
  1. BHE Reply

    appreciate your writing style and commentary

  2. Jim Altschuler Reply

    I keep thinking (hoping) that some day the world will solve these complicated issues and there will be an end to the war efforts by all parties. This is called dreaming or at least wishful thinking.

    As indicated above, each combatant has a “need” for the continuation of hostilities with one another. It’s a damn shame.