The authoritarian mindset it takes to sit down and write an article that boils down to “Obey or get hit” is amazing. I bet that cop is sitting at home right now thinking “I really helped some people!”
This is the guy who was supposed to be investigating whether police were abusing their power. And his basic mantra is “Don’t challenge me. I am the law.”
So yeah, cops are your friends.
What are your thoughts on Shlaim? I always pictured him somewhere between Shavit and Pappe, with a little more liberal Zionist leanings.
I honestly have only read The Iron Wall by him, so I can’t say too much about his politics. Historically, I thought it was an interesting work that tapers off in the last quarter of the book. Pappe is someone I’m much more interested in. You can chart his growing disillusionment with Zionism over the past 15 or so years by the works he’s published.
The most annoying (and among the most common) analyses of the recent massacre in Palestine are the ones that start by saying “Who is to blame for the recent flare-up in the region?” They’re almost always analyses that have a timeframe of a few months and don’t understand that there is an entire history that must be understood to even begin approaching why Hamas operates the way it does or why Palestinians might support violent resistance to Israel even when it will lead to disproportionate reprisal.
Here are questions that might help frame the discussion:
Why is Gaza one of the most densely populated areas in the world?
Where can Palestinians in Gaza go when Israel orders them to flee their houses?
Why might Palestinians be reluctant to leave Gaza (assuming they receive permission to leave the area)? What historical events have made Palestinians think that holding onto their land is important?
What was the situation in which Hamas emerged and when was it most popular?
Why did Israel and the US become strong allies in the 1960s?
Basically, most mainstream analyses I’ve seen suffer from a lack of understanding of how the Israel Palestine situation developed. Instead, they treat it as a given conflict based in trans-historical conflicts. Maybe if they read The Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim and The Iron Cage by Rashid Khalidi they might have something more interesting to say.
Sam Harris is an awful Islamophobe whose presence in our current popular discourse illustrates just exactly how screwed we all are.
How do you make that error?