13 Comments
Apr 2Liked by Tim Dunlop

Always look forward to your articles - they take me on a journey, make me think.

This question of love - reminds me of how we relate to 'snow' as just, well, snow but the Inuit of Canada have dozens of definitions of snow.

Love - what really is it - and how does it apply to Israel-Gaza war?

For mine - love starts with empathy and generosity - it is not about me at all - it is truly about 'wishing' the best for someone else and doing what we can to ensure it comes about. It ain't about being 'nice'. It ain't about being 'in love' - that's just an infatuation where our hormones take over and we are lost in the dreamy state of a sexual relationship.

Re Israel-Palestine conflict - it has to come down to recognition that both sides have suffered greatly, that both sides are simply humans (many holding onto very negative beliefs re the other side), and that the the abuses against each side will continue until enough people stand up and demand a stop to it. There are many that do want it to stop - I see them, on both sides - but fear and self-interest causes too many still to not have 'sufficient' love for our neighbours even though they cause us suffering. Reminds me of parents whose children are killed by dangerous drivers and those same parents come out and forgive the perpetrators. How do they do it? I know I would find it very difficult. And, yet, I would need to otherwise I would destroy my own life and many more - just as is happening in Gaza and the West Bank.

(There are very strong power plays happening with Netenyahu and the Far Right seemingly only interested in holding onto power - no matter what happens - to Palestinians or Israelis.)

For me, sometimes 'love' means to confront the people close to us to stop them from being abusive - the same goes at an international level with Israel - we are not 'friends' if we allow them to continue their genocide.

I feel too many are ignorant about love - that includes me

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Apr 2Liked by Tim Dunlop

Very good post, Tim.

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Thanks Tim. An excellent read.

Fundamentally the western world - in fact most of the world as well as the west- is not very skilled at, nor interested in resourcing making peace, and dealing with all the hard things and complexity and questions that entails. War ( and the death penalty) is much more profitable and much more straightforward .

On the question of why the focus on Palestine rather than Sudan or Tibet or Yemen - it’s because we are so complicit, and so obviously so by design. From the decisions of 1945 to continuing to sell military exports to Israel and sign billion dollar contracts with Elbit systems and send military intelligence from Pine Gap, Australia side by side and in complete unison with the US have Palestinian blood on our hands

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author

Thanks, Janet. Good point about complicity. Being brought home in particular with the death of Lalzawmi Frankcom.

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Excellent

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Apr 2Liked by Tim Dunlop

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that, certainly since the 1940s and perhaps since the 1920s, has been punctuated by the sort of crimes and horrors that inevitably call forth an absolute emotional reaction from those harmed by them and by those affected by them. That is certainly true of the current war in Gaza and the crimes of 7 October 2023 that prompted it.

At the same time, any practical political way forward that begins with an end to the current fighting, and is followed by a negotiated interim settlement that relieves the plight of the Palestinians and provides a basis for progress towards a final status solution, will necessary involve compromises based on an element of political calculation (and, as Tim says, requiring a lot of TLC from outside actors). Absolute emotions seldom lend themselves to compromises.

While I think any kind of just final status solution will be very difficult, I think some form of confederation of two states that would be a hybrid of a two state solution and a binational state solution, as put forward by the A Land For All alliance of Israelis and Palestinians, could be the most promising option.

https://www.alandforall.org/english/

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founding
Apr 3Liked by Tim Dunlop

As a child I frequently met with my Mother's many aunts and great aunts in Scotland - all wonderful people to a small boy. But I was surprised at the way they fought amongst themselves, in a few groups, about statements in the bible - one collection of statements could be shown to disagree with another, and to disagree with any one set was "unchristian". This was probably the initial part of my development as an atheist, for which I am grateful.

Looking at the Middle East, I see two groups of people disagreeing with each other about religions, and making an awful mess of it.

My aunts and great aunts were all great friends, except when the bible was brought up.

In the Middle East we see the idiocy of taking religion seriously, and allowing a person like Netanyahu throw a country into a war he seems to have been planning for something like 50 years.

I don't know what else to say.

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Apr 2Liked by Tim Dunlop

Excellent piece, Tim. It absolutely crystallises my thoughts on Gaza and this horrific history.

(And having had lunch with your beautiful son yesterday, I so understand the pang of distance you feel. What a fine person you and T made.)

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author

Oh, thank you. So glad you were able to catch up with him.

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Thanks Tim. Such a difficult business to tackle, so I admire your courage (or glorious foolhardiness). For me, you've made a very helpful contribution to thinking about ways forward. Really helpful.

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author

I am really glad to hear that. Thanks, Philip.

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founding
Apr 2Liked by Tim Dunlop

As usual, thought provoking article.

The answer to the question, why wide spread protests about Gaza and not other abuses around the world maybe as simple because Gaza is on our TV's and social media every day, so people are engaged.

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It’s a sad fact that some individuals use a highly selective view of history, othering, conflict and wars to attain and consolidate power. In many respects, Putin and Netanyahu require endless war for regime survival.

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