Sunday, July 16, 2006

Some clarity amid the smoke

Over here at the Meridian, I've been feeling utter dismay over what is happening now in southern Lebanon and Gaza but have so far decided not to post about it out of fears of both expressing that dismay inadequately and not being able to say something simple and true about that very very complicated and tragic place. Just look at that sentence about NOT wanting to post on the subject.

And then Matthew Yglesias goes and does it for me. To speak such an obvious fact (it's not a claim, not an opinion) is not anti-Israel, least of all anti-Semitic, nor is it anti-Palestinian. It is simply so, independent of past history and who started what and whether a given response is appropriate. It is what we say about that fact that leads to the anti-this, anti-that rhetorical hash-slinging of late. But it is also, as Yglesias points out, the starting place for deciding a real, lasting peace, as opposed to just another cease-fire.

It won't stop today what's going on there. I'm just glad to have read it and happy to link to it here.


Winston said...

This is indeed an interesting and relatively unbiased analysis. The comments thereto are also most interesting and insightful... Combined, the post and its comments provide a more succinct analysis and understanding of the problem than does any major media analysis I have seen.

Thanks for sharing with us...

j.d. said...

The piece is good and the comments are good, with one exception (and Yglesias himself recognizes it, although only briefly) -- he assumes that there is a vast majority of people in the region who want peace with Israel ("Peace would require either concessions Israel doesn't want to make, or a major change in Palestinian public opinion").

A majority it may be, but it is certainly not a vast one. That's what gives rise to the various Arab nations inserting themselves into the conflict to gain power at home -- because the people who do it know it will work.