Monday, June 03, 2024

Libel as Propaganda

The purpose of the genocide libel is really rather simple. It’s not your war, but making one side in this war a violator of international norms gives you a cover for your strange obsession with it, which might otherwise be characterised as antisemitic. (It also obviously geared to undermine the moral case for the formation of Israel after the Holocaust via a cynical appropriation of Jewish history.)

The war is several generations old. One side basically just wants to survive. The other side, the one that started it, is consciously conducting a fight to the death. Whether this necessarily infers a war of extermination is moot.

This conflict should have ended decades ago, in compromise, but one side has ‘eternalised’ its sense of grievance deriving from the war’s origins and initial result. This has been done by decking out the culturally-specific sense of lasting dishonour that defeat engendered as a ‘calamity’ worthy of more universal empathy.

Hobbes said in Leviathan that nobody weeps for an old calamity, but he was English and perhaps never came across an Arab with a grudge. Nor did he ever have to deal with a multinational body like the UN intent on codifying such grudges into perpetual, unresolvable problems. 



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