Divided we stand

I’ve not written much about the Israel-Gaza conflict, my excuse being that it’s a complicated matter. But that is really an excuse – the real reason is that unlike most of the other components of the Omnicrisis, this issue has divided people along rather different fault-lines, and it has been confusing to see people whose opinions one generally trusts taking diametrically opposite tacks from each other. I find this uniqueness significant.

The phenomenon is exemplified on the Daily Sceptic website. Usually there, if there are discussions of woke issues, COVID, US politics, Ukraine or climate change, the vast majority of comments and upticks go the same way, apart from individuals who become noted for taking a contrary line on particular issues, or trolls. The disagreements are healthy, but the agreements show that, rightly or wrongly (you’ll appreciate that my answer is “rightly”) red-pilled people tend to see the same coalition of forces at work behind the disparate crises. There is a sceptical consensus that “all our institutions have been captured,” and that the capturers are shadowy and well-hidden, but include deep-state actors and oligarchs for whom even crazy confusions like gender or secret UFO files have a bottom line for power and wealth.

But on the question of Israel, those labelling the massacre of October 7th as a Mossad-IDF hoax get almost as many upticks as those equally vehemently condemning Islamism as the major threat to society. Many of the YouTubers whose wisdom on the conflict in Ukraine has been vindicated by the correctness of their predictions seem totally unrealistic about, even indifferent to, the dilemma faced by Israel, or are even frankly antisemitic.

Now as far as the general public goes, it is understandable that people are swayed by whatever propaganda they are most exposed to, and unlike the media’s unremitting lies about Ukraine the media picture on this has been mixed. If they see constant images of bombed buildings and crying or dead children on TV, most people’s gut-reaction is to side with the victims. The same would be true for the victims of Hamas rocket attacks in Israel, were they shown, or for the October 7th footage, which can’t be shown in public as it is too horrific. At the same time, there is much residual respect for Israel and the Jewish people among ordinary Britons, especially those with long memories of Palestinan Terrorism dating back to the Munich Olympics of 1972, of the 1967 War, or even of the liberation of the death camps and the foundation of Israel in 1947.

There has been a steady narrative-transition over the years from Israel as a democracy standing alone amongst enemies committed by their religion to Jewish genocide, to Israel as the Apartheid State committed (for pragmatic reasons) to Palestinian genocide, so public polarisation is probably inevitable.

But the people I’m concerned with most are those well-used to seeing behind the mainstream media to consider nasty geopolitical realities, and it is these folks who seem deeply divided, and I’d like to suggest a few partial reasons.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that the current divide is, to a great extent, along the lines of the old politics of right and left. One of the interesting things about the world now is how honest brokers of widely divergent political persuasions have united in their realisation that dark forces are at work which transcend not only party-politics, but even the ideological divide between the socialist left wing, and the most vehemently small-state right. Neither side (when genuinely motivated by concern for humanity) is impressed by corporate giants, unaccountable spy organisations, and corrupt politicians re-creating the world in their own interests.

But it appears that where Israel is concerned, old political reflexes kick in, and they’re not always obvious. Some are, though. Israel perceived as a democratic land of pioneers has always appealed to conservatives, despite the socialist roots of Zionism as evidenced in the Kibbutz movement. Neither can we underplay the tendency for conservatives to embrace a Christianity recognising the ongoing uniqueness of Israel as God’s historical people (not to mention the Davidic kingship of a thoroughly Jewish Jesus), even when that does not cross over into overt Christian Zionism. Negatively, this can blind conservatives to political evils arising in Israel.

The sentiments of the historical left, by contrast, even when aware of the weaponisation of victimhood in post-modern discourse, are instinctively with those perceived as oppressed. Israel is rich, well-armed and in some degree both an ethnically and religiously exclusive nation… as is Gaza, of course. Towards the far-left, we must also remember the coalition that arose in the 1960s between the New Leftists espousing terrorism and the Palestinian terrorists training with them, and adopting some of their methodology and ideology. That seems the best explanation for Progressives seeing Hamas or Boko Haram as freedom-fighters rather than as the bigoted indiscriminate murderers they are. Islam’s foundational anti-semitism (matching its anti-Christianity) seems to be ignored or even adopted as Muslims, and even Islamists, are accepted as honorary socialists.

But a major factor (in my view), which I’ve not seen adequately explored, is that the confusion between Jewishness and Zionism occurs within Israel as well as amongst Westerners, just as the distinction between ordinary citizens and the Deep State is blurred in the US or Europe. Much antisemitism is actually anti-Zionism. And vice versa.

As I read the history of the region, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire it was very reasonable to re-organise the impoverished and underdeveloped Levant along ethnic and religious lines. An Arab state, (Trans)Jordan was the first to be formed, taking the bulk of the territory. But for tribal reasons Jordan has never granted a home to Arabs in the rest of the region, even waging war against the PLO in 1970-1. Consequently, the formation of Israel as a Jewish State was accompanied by bloodshed compounded by religious and ethnic differences. Inter-Arab violence had, remember, occurred at the formation of Jordan when rulers from further south took charge over local tribes, so how much more when ancestral enemies were involved.

And so Israel became surrounded not only by stateless permanent refugees constituting a nebulous new entity “Palestine”, but by Arab states, all determined that the nation should be eradicated, which they demonstrated both in a series of wars and by progressively expelling their longstanding Jewish minorities.

My point in this historical review is to explain why political forces in a beleaguered Israel would be keen to form alliances with the powerful West. Over time it is pretty clear that those alliances have become poisoned by the same evils that we have all begun to see in the West, and we don’t need to envisage a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to see why. After all, here in the UK a free democratic nation has become the lap-dog of a corrupt US Deep State, and I’ve no doubt people in the Gnesset are playing the same game as our own Uniparty politicians. Our GCHQ and MI6 are implicated, with the US three-letter agencies, in a series of dirty games around the world, and by all accounts Mossad is no better, if not worse. Ordinary Jews are no more a party to this than Brits are to their own manipulation by the Blob.

If comparisons with the West are anything to go by, then, these agencies’ commitment to Israel is inextricably interwoven with, or even subordinate to, commitment to the globalist agendas we all know and love. And that makes it at least plausible that dark forces in Israel would plan, or co-operate with, false-flag events to precipitate a regional war as deleterious to Israel itself, and its decent citizens, as the one in Europe is to Ukraine.

So should we read the (somewhat half-hearted) support from Western governments for the Israeli side of the conflict as legitimate help for an ally, or as a dirty geopolitical game with Syria, Russia, China or just money as the real goal? I suspect it’s probably both, thus explaining the mixed messaging and the divergence of sceptical opinion.

But the release of the UN’s investigation of October 7 – five months late and sadly not prominent in our media – leans me towards the simpler notion that Hamas has committed dreadful atrocities that must be punished by its eradication. (Though I wouldn’t put it past the usual dark forces to have somehow put Hamas up to it for their own nasty reasons).

Does that, though, justify genocide in Gaza? No, but then I don’t see that there is genocide in Gaza, but only urban warfare with civilian casualties increased by using them as human shields. There are many calls, when Hamas is not exonerated entirely, to target Hamas but not civilians, which is Israel’s official position anyway, even if that is as loosely observed as in any war. One can no more regard the civilian population as “innocent” than we did the German people in the Second World War. Palestinians voted Hamas in, and if they immediately cancelled elections, so did Hitler, yet we targeted Germany, not just the Nazi leadership, knowing that the latter still had widespread popular support. If young men are forced to fight for Hamas, then young Germans were also conscripted to fight for the Nazi Party, and young civilians betrayed their Jewish neighbours.

Yet there are bound to be disagreements amongst observers if there is a high civilian toll, whether “collateral” or deliberate. A ceasefire would, of course, stop the killing – but in my view it would also spare the killers to re-group and pursue their clear long-term aim of destroying Israel with its people, and their even longer-term aim of destroying the Jews and the Christians until the whole world is Muslim. Understanding that agenda explains why there are Muslims, as well as Christians and Jews, serving in the IDF.

There’s that spiritual dimension again, which I think is unavoidable in this particular conflict, if it weren’t already obvious in the mass-deception and darkness of the Omnicrisis. For I can’t help feeling that whatever political, geographical, ethnic or religious reasons one can find for the divided response to October 7, underlying it all is a dark spiritual power that hates mankind, and hates Jews and Christians most of all. The good news is that he’s already been defeated, bar the shouting, on a cross in Jerusalem long ago.

Avatar photo

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in History, Politics and sociology, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Divided we stand

  1. Peter Hickman says:

    Excellent post, Jon. Thanks for writing about this topic which I have found, like Covid, polarises my relatives and friends; few conduct any research and few hold nuanced views. I confess to reading Melanie Phillips’ reports from Jerusalem; as a Jewess she clearly has personal interests at stake. As usual, it’s difficult to find independent analyses; I try to.

    Last year I read ‘Can “The Whole World” Be Wrong?: Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism, and Global Jihad’ (2022) by Richard Landes.

    The Amazon summary describes the book as documenting ‘how a radical
    inability of Westerners to understand the medieval mentality that drove Global
    Jihad prompted a series of disastrous misinterpretations and misguided
    reactions that have shaped our so-far unhappy century. These misinterpretations
    in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2005, contributed fundamentally to the ever-worsening moral and empirical disorientations of our information elites (journalists,
    academics, pundits). So while journalists reported Palestinian war propaganda
    as news (lethal journalism), they were also reporting Jihadi war propaganda as
    news (own-goal war journalism). These radical disorientations have
    created our current dilemma of pervasive information distrust, deep splits
    within the voting public in most democracies, the politicization of science,
    and the inability of Western elites to defend their civilization, and instead,
    to stand down before an invasion.’
    A customer review reports, ‘Throughout the book, Landes shows the importance of the growing attacks on Israel. Support for Palestinian “freedom fighters” and condemnation of Israelis has become a requirement for anyone on the left; it applies in particular to Jews, who must revile Israel in order to be accepted. He argues that this trend, which most strikingly affected reporting on the 2000 Intifada, has boosted the blindness of the West as to the real enemy.’

    I can’t say better than that. 523 pages (paperback), and, I think, a thoroughly worthy and educational work.

  2. Colin Chambers says:

    Thanks for interesting article. I noticed the same thing, that sceptics that I respected polarised roughly equally distributed on both sides. I think it is difficult to determine how much support Hamas has in the Gaza population. Hamas is running a totalitarian regime, with severe penalties for independent thought or action, like Iran. Elections are not particularly meaningful. If Israel says move out of location X because they are about to bomb it I think people are not actually free to do that. It’s hard to see how to overcome such a regime by force without causing undesirable harm. Not overcoming such a regime also causes harm, of course.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Agreed, Colin. As in Ukraine, people who say “Israel/Russia shouldn’t have invaded, of course – however they were pushed beyond the limit,” never suggest an alternative that solves the problem. Armchair moralising, it seems to me. It’s easy to be a pacifist when you’re not facing death and/or rape.

      For example, one of my usual “go-tos,” Alexander Mercouris on The Duran suggested that Israel should have immediately after Oct 7 taken their evidence to the UN, who would have declared Hamas a terrorist group and authorised a military response. Yet five months went by before the UN eventually reported on the atrocities last week, and there’s no sign of any resolution other than Israel ceasing fire. There is a blindness to the reality of Arab/Islamic solidarity, which I’ve no doubt is covered in the book Peter recommends.

      A similar situation obtains regarding Islamist terrorism elsewhere, such as in the West. A piece yesterday rightly stated that the vast majority of Muslims in the UK are peace-loving and well-integrated, which my own GP experience confirms.

      But the failure of British Islam to publicly condemn jihadist acts outright, preferring to condemn “Islamophobia” than to break Muslim solidarity against unbelievers, negates that. It’s fully understandable that peace-loving people fear retaliation from extremists in their community, but that’s exactly what allows evil regimes to take power (or indeed, for institutions like academia to become corrupted).

      • Colin Chambers says:

        I think a significant cause of the Jihadist acts in the UK and West generally is the actions of UK and Western nations in distant Islamic countries. The UK etc. In my opinion have very little respect for legalities in their prosecution of military action in these countries. We have the attitude that the targets of our actions are evil and therefore it is ok to kill them, without going through the usual legal process (courts, evidence, defence lawyers, well-defined laws). Needless to say this state-level taking of justice into our own hands produces state-level injustices, which is to say significant atrocities. This is noticed by people in those countries, and their co-religionists in our country. Some of the latter then decide to give the UK a taste of its own medicine. I have read carefully the statements of a number of the people who have committed these atrocities in the West and they nearly always justify their acts as a response to the actions of the Western country in some distant Islamic country. Nowadays the Western governments make it difficult or impossible to read these statements. I don’t see how we can expect people to respect the law in our country if we don’t respect the law in their country. To a first approximation nobody in the UK recognises or accepts this. I have attempted to make this point on supposedly sceptic websites, to universal condemnation. (All of this is an explanation of terrorist acts locally, not a justification – two wrongs don’t make a right.)

        • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

          Colin, that’s certainly a significant part of the mix, especially if one credits the reports that the worst Islamist groups were set up and/or encouraged by the CIA etc in order to promote short-sighted political ends like regime change, opposition to Russia, etc.

          So let’s root out the unaccountable agencies at home as well as the terrorists!

          When the whole truth is revealed (I’m thinking eschatologically here, rather than in terms of academic historiography!) we’re going to find a lot of complexities that account for man’s inhumanity in the present world. But of course the same is true for the rise of, say, Naziism, which looks more understandable the more one looks at the political, financial and moral mess that was left in Germany after the First World War. Yet, as you suggest, that does not justify its genocide.

          Similarly we might find reasons for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, but nevertheless it still finds its roots in the same teachings in its fundamental texts that also justified the repressions of Islamic empires that preceded it: it was not the CIA that caused the Armenian and associated genocides under the Ottomans.

          The problem (as the irreligionists recognise) is that once evil becomes based on an infallible religious text, pragmatic political solutions become very difficult. Broadly (it seems to me) either common humanity (disillusion with evil) trumps the text, or conversions trump the text (as in Iran, if reports are to be believed), or weapons trump the text – though weapons in the hands of an equally evil ideology are destined to fail.

Leave a Reply