Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A Generational Conflict

One thing is clear: the defenders of Hamas don't want to talk about what Hamas is, what Hamas did.

Instead they'd much rather lock you into a seemingly self-contained side debate about the human costs associated with eliminating Hamas for good where, even if they are losing the intellectual argument, they can lay permanent claim to the moral high ground, falsely. 

At the very least they will attempt to contextualise something which ought never to be contextualised.

If I learned something from my parents' generation it is this: When faced with the need to put a proper end to a geopolitical cancer, the time for recriminations over whether one is responding 'proportionally' and indeed whether the human cost, to the enemy's own civilians in particular, is usually after the malignant growth has been removed.

Those who fought in WWII for the Allies, in a war started by enemies that had few visible red lines, did not subsequently carry around a large share of the burden of blame for the slaughters in places like Dresden or Hiroshima.

For it is self-evident that just because one supports the goal of one's own survival and the long-term removal of a systemic threat, one does not become morally complicit with every instance of callousness in the manner in which the conflict ultimately progresses.

War can be both absolutely horrible and yet necessary. Oppenheimer made the bomb, Truman ordered it to be dropped, twice. The Japanese were largely to blame, and in a very real sense, collectively. 
This is a profoundly uncomfortable truth, but it seems true to me today nonetheless, even though I long struggled with it as a younger person.

If you fall for Hamas's rhetorical counter-strikes with mortality statistics, it's possibly because you don't appreciate the existential danger or because you think it's someone else's problem, someone you may not care about all that much.

You are probably deluding yourself however. Fascism knows few natural boundaries. To my parents' generation the opportunity costs could not have been clearer. 

Israel has been obliged to wage a definitive war it had ducked for over a decade in order to eliminate an antagonist it can no longer afford to rub up against, a loud and proud nihilistic nemesis which has promised to repeat the atrocity of October 7 at every available opportunity.

This may not seem to be your fight just now, but do everyone a favour and think before you sit in judgment on those given little alternative but to fight it.

Civilians are dying, in their thousands. This is probably at least partially down to Israelis not caring (just like my parents' generation stopped caring in analogous circumstances), but it is also a consequence of Hamas caring, but in entirely the wrong way.

Still, there is no reason to believe that this war is any more monstrous than others, unless of course you have become convinced that all Jews are innately monstrous. Then you are part of the pathology.



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