Israel Halts Electricity Supply To Gaza

Innula Zenovka

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I asked chat GPT a few questions and came up with another useful term for this. "Naïve realism" is how a lot of reasonable, intelligent people make absurd assumptions about this war because of inadequate knowledge of the region. I don't claim to understand the region that well, but at least I admit it. It's a much simpler conflict to people who don't know anything.
I don't think it's a question of how much people know about the conflict, though. To my mind it's a comforting myth that political problems are caused because people have insufficient access to the facts (or aren't bright enough to understand them) and that, if people only had access to sufficient accurate information and could properly understand them, they'd agree on a mutually acceptable solution.

Part of the problem is that we tend to see wars as discrete events with clear outcomes and, ideally, with one side (the one we support) being clearly in the right and the other side being clearly in the wrong.

That just isn't applicable to Israel/Palestine, in which two ethno-religious populations have equally compelling (at least as far as they're concerned) moral cases to occupy the same land, both sides are currently led by ethno-religious fascists who have no interest in any sort of compromise (and, to be fair, neither have most of the populations they represent), and both sides are cynically careless of the lives of the unfortunate Palestinian civilians trapped in Gaza, regarding them as acceptable "collateral damage."

Hamas are equally careless of the lives of Israeli civilians, obviously, and one assumes that would continue if they ever achieved their goal of a Palestinian unitary state, "from the river to the sea".

People don't like complex situations where there's obvious solution and where the leadership of both sides are pretty horrible people who enjoy the support, to a greater or lesser extent, of their respective populations. So they try to simplify it by choosing a side and telling themselves a comforting story that puts one side firmly in the right and the other firmly in the wrong.

I used to be the same way about Northern Ireland, until one day I realised that, whatever the rights and wrongs of partition, and however unpleasant the Orange Orders were, and are, the Ulster Protestants weren't going anywhere and that, however desirable a united Ireland might be in principle, the worst thing that the British could ever to to the Irish would be to pull out of NI and leave the Republic to cope with a large, angry and well-armed Unionist minority who had just been dragooned into a united Ireland against its will.
 

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I don't think it's a question of how much people know about the conflict, though. To my mind it's a comforting myth that political problems are caused because people have insufficient access to the facts (or aren't bright enough to understand them) and that, if people only had access to sufficient accurate information and could properly understand them, they'd agree on a mutually acceptable solution.

Part of the problem is that we tend to see wars as discrete events with clear outcomes and, ideally, with one side (the one we support) being clearly in the right and the other side being clearly in the wrong.

That just isn't applicable to Israel/Palestine, in which two ethno-religious populations have equally compelling (at least as far as they're concerned) moral cases to occupy the same land, both sides are currently led by ethno-religious fascists who have no interest in any sort of compromise (and, to be fair, neither have most of the populations they represent), and both sides are cynically careless of the lives of the unfortunate Palestinian civilians trapped in Gaza, regarding them as acceptable "collateral damage."

Hamas are equally careless of the lives of Israeli civilians, obviously, and one assumes that would continue if they ever achieved their goal of a Palestinian unitary state, "from the river to the sea".

People don't like complex situations where there's obvious solution and where the leadership of both sides are pretty horrible people who enjoy the support, to a greater or lesser extent, of their respective populations. So they try to simplify it by choosing a side and telling themselves a comforting story that puts one side firmly in the right and the other firmly in the wrong.

I used to be the same way about Northern Ireland, until one day I realised that, whatever the rights and wrongs of partition, and however unpleasant the Orange Orders were, and are, the Ulster Protestants weren't going anywhere and that, however desirable a united Ireland might be in principle, the worst thing that the British could ever to to the Irish would be to pull out of NI and leave the Republic to cope with a large, angry and well-armed Unionist minority who had just been dragooned into a united Ireland against its will.
Everyone I know who has tried to understand the conflict very deeply has come to mostly the same conclusions you've laid out. Israel/Palestine sounds like an unsolvable mess. But I know a lot of people who do seem to see it as a simple good vs evil conflict and they definitely do seem to lack much of an understanding of the region. For example, a young friend of a friend had no idea about the October 7th attack by Hamas and had no idea Hamas was the one who broke the cease fire.... facts like that matter a lot for how people will view the situation.

I'm not saying understanding the region makes this seem solvable or simpler, I'm saying the exact opposite.

I do agree that many people just WANT the conflict to be skimpier than it is, but the background knowledge requires effort to dig up and many can't be bothered or think they know enough thanks to the Dunning-Krueger effect.
 

Innula Zenovka

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You're misunderstanding my statement. Everyone I know who has tried to understand the conflict very deeply has come to mostly the same conclusions you've laid out. Israel/Palestine sounds like an unsolvable mess. But I know a lot of people who do seem to see it as a simple good vs evil conflict and they definitely do seem to lack much of an understanding of the region.

I'm not saying understanding the region makes this seem solvable or simpler, I'm saying the exact opposite.
And I'm suggesting that they see it as a simple good vs evil conflict not because they can't understand its complexities but because they're unwilling to. It's a lot simpler just to pick a side and support it.
 

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And I'm suggesting that they see it as a simple good vs evil conflict not because they can't understand its complexities but because they're unwilling to.
I edited my above post for some clarity after you responded.

I do agree with that to an extent. Maybe some of both... I think there is a lot of sincere ignorance too. I've known young "Free Palestine!" supporters who were genuinely shocked to learn certain things about Hamas... I think the Dunning-Kruger effect makes many people feel they know enough when they really don't at all. The information is always available, but many people don't know what they don't know, so they don't think to look it up in the right ways.

I agree many just WANT this to be a simpler conflict than it is. Many on the left want to root for the underdog and don't want information that will make this complicated. But as I've said, I've also had the experience that some people who see this as simple are really shocked to learn certain facts that nobody is teaching them.

... And I think what I said about the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to many other subjects too. People don't think to look it up because they feel like they already know it.
 
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When this war broke out I was quite ignorant about its causes but thanks to VVO and other sources I am better educated about it. I think probably most other people in this country are not going to delve into reading about it to this extent unfortunately.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I got something of a crash refresher course in the Middle East because of all the problems we in the British Labour Party had with the then party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and antisemitism.

I won't bore people with the background but, while Corbyn and his supporters swore that their criticisms of Israel were based on their principled anti-Zionism, and that accusations of antisemitism were made in bad faith, whether by Zionists to discredit their critics or by Conservatives and Corbyn's opponents in the Labour Party to discredit him personally and the left of the Labour Party in general, it became clear that many Jewish people, including Jewish members of the Labour Party, did find a lot of his and his supporters' criticism of Israel and support for the BDS movement profoundly antisemitic.

Since I've always taken the view that, when Black people complain of racism, or women complain of sexism, or Muslims of Islamophobia, or gay people of homophobia, it's appropriate to listen to them and to try to learn from it, I thought it only right to apply the same principle to Jews complaining about antisemitism, so I did a lot of reading, primarily of works by Jews on the British Left, about antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and that opened my eyes quite a bit.
 

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I got something of a crash refresher course in the Middle East because of all the problems we in the British Labour Party had with the then party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and antisemitism.

I won't bore people with the background but, while Corbyn and his supporters swore that their criticisms of Israel were based on their principled anti-Zionism, and that accusations of antisemitism were made in bad faith, whether by Zionists to discredit their critics or by Conservatives and Corbyn's opponents in the Labour Party to discredit him personally and the left of the Labour Party in general, it became clear that many Jewish people, including Jewish members of the Labour Party, did find a lot of his and his supporters' criticism of Israel and support for the BDS movement profoundly antisemitic.

Since I've always taken the view that, when Black people complain of racism, or women complain of sexism, or Muslims of Islamophobia, or gay people of homophobia, it's appropriate to listen to them and to try to learn from it, I thought it only right to apply the same principle to Jews complaining about antisemitism, so I did a lot of reading, primarily of works by Jews on the British Left, about antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and that opened my eyes quite a bit.
Any specifics you would like to share? My eyes are constantly needing to be opened.
 

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When this war broke out I was quite ignorant about its causes but thanks to VVO and other sources I am better educated about it. I think probably most other people in this country are not going to delve into reading about it to this extent unfortunately.
I'm the same way with Brexit. No one's dying, and there are (or should be) adults on both sides. And if that is not the case then the voters who elected these fools need to live with the consequences until they understand how and why they allowed themselves to be played (and/or politicians learn to draft agreements that ameliorate the consequences of creating a disenfranchised electorate).
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Any specifics you would like to share? My eyes are constantly needing to be opened.
I found The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism by Dave Rich very helpful on the history of the anti-Zionist movement on the British left from the 1960s onwards (though I'm not sure how interesting the minutiae of English left-wing politics is to non-Brits, even though they came to have a very large influence on the left and beyond, largely through the Stop The War movement), and also the rather older What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way: How the Left Lost its Way by Nick Cohen. I disagree with Cohen about Iraq, but I do take his point about how the Western left, because it's used to seeing the world from an anti-imperialist, anti-US and anti-NATO perspective, is very unwilling to see any faults in Middle-Eastern dictators who, if they were from any other part of the world, the left would have no difficulty in recognising as fascists.

There's also Antony Julius' magisterial (and expensive) Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. That has a very acute and helpful section of when and how justifiable criticism of Israel turns into antisemitism. Julia Neuberger's Antisemitism: What It Is. What It Isn't. Why It Matters is also very useful and considerably more affordable.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Just £3.92 + £10.00 shipping for a used paperback from Amazon.co.uk to US.
I was looking at the ebook price, which is 10 times that. I got a second hand paperback copy, too, though I think it cost rather more than £3.92. It's very readable, though, and covers a wealth of material, including a consideration of how England produced two of the greatest antisemitic portaits in world literature, in the form of Shylock and Fagin.
 
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I'm sure this ordeal is a big disaster for Israel's economy and it will take years to sort out just how much. Hard to blame the farm workers for not thinking it's worth it and the boycotts have also got to hurt.
Reading that article broke my heart - Hamas killing innocent farm workers like that is another horrifying example of their inhumanity. I don't care what their motivations are, what Israel has or has not done, etc.. Hamas disgusts me and I hope they are destroyed. Palestinians deserve peace and freedom,. as does Israel. The human toll on all sides is unspeakable.
 

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The messiah cometh to Israel tomorrow, or so. Actually it is Elon Musk who will visit Israel, talk to Israel's president Isaac Herzog and families with hostages held in Gaza. Musk also wants to meet Netanyahu, but so far such a meeting was not confirmed yet.

People speculaae about the real reaosns why Musk visits Israel, some think it might be about the potential military use of Starlink.

 
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Israel has come to an agreement with Elon Musk. Starlink will be only activated for the Gaza strip with Israel's approval from now on.

First of all, this is an obvious PR stunt meant to counter the impact of Musk's recent Nazi tweets.

But I doubt Hamas is using Starlink, and the Palestinian civilians need food and water, not internet memes.

The only people who're going to be impacted by this are the journalists who're still reporting from Gaza.

So in order to polish his public image and appear less like a fascist, he's engaging in censorship.

What a dumbass.
 
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