About Israel and Gaza, at first, when the fighting starts, there’s a lot to say. My initial attempts to get a handle on things had to do with “perspective” and “sympathy.” But the more and more anyone follows this story, the more one gets sucked into the empty language of “enmity” and “solidarity,” which means…nothing, no perspective, no sympathy, nothing really to say.
It could be that the speed at which this happens has a lot to do with offline and online media. The information moves so quickly, the rhetorical positions get staked out instantaneously, and then you’re just left with a sick feeling in your stomach, with nothing intelligent or useful to say.
The more and more you get sucked into this “event,” the more you try to talk about it, there’s less and less space to think and to breathe. It’s profound dumbness, both the situation itself and the discourse about it from both sides of the political fence, as well as from the perspective of those who try to straddle the fence. There will be either a cease fire or an escalation, and then a cease fire, and then, sometime in the future another round and so on and so on, a new set of “logics” imposed on the situation, and then more empty enmity and more empty solidarity.
I might stop posting about Israel and Gaza, which means that I might stop posting at JPP for a while, since, unfortunately, I can think of nothing else these days. It just may well be that for perspective, I think it’s time for the United States and Egypt to impose, what, a ceasefire, a long term truce, a comprehensive agreement that might end the occupation and secure a “decent” peace, if not a “perfect” one.
I’m thinking one thing, though. “Sympathy” for either side of this conflict is probably the vainest thing of all. Watch how dried out the sympathy gets in the next round. On this side of the ocean, already you get the sense that most people don’t really care at all anymore.