Typing for Israel

It is simply not possible to make any statement, however anodyne, about Israel/Palestine, without drawing the Fighting 101st Quibblers. These are the folks who will contest factual statements to the death, as if admitting that their side has done anything except distribute flowers to orphan children were somehow tantamount to craven and utter surrender. When they have crawled so far out on their limb that it is about to crack beneath them, they will suddenly retreat to the statement that whatever you said was biased and betrays a total lack of understanding of the situation, because you mentioned whatever it was--Israeli cordon of Gaza, Palestinian suicide bomber on a bus--without chronicling whatever incident it was that provoked them.

Here's the thing: everything that happens in Israel/Palestine is believed, by the perpetrator, to be the fully justified response to outrages from the other side. And whoever committed that outrage was undoubtedly 100% convinced that he was simply dealing out righteous retribution for the horrors recently visited on his people. I don't have time, in every post on the subject, to chronicle the entire history of Israel from the destruction of the Second Temple onwards. If it makes you feel better, every time I say anything on the subject, just mentally preface it with this and assume that I am well aware that there is a back story.

Whether or not Israel is justified in cordoning off the Gaza strip and preventing key supplies from moving in and out--and I have not the time, the energy, nor the inhuman patience required to wade into that debate right now--it is an indisputable fact, one publicized by the very government of Israel, that it is preventing supplies from moving in and out of Gaza through a combination of military action and diplomatic pressure. It is also a fact that this is causing big problems for the population of the Gaza strip, problems that are going to get worse if the cordon continues. That Israel feels it was provoked and by G-d can do no other, is also undoubtedly true. But this does not make what I said any less true. I chose my words very carefully to make them a neutral statement about things that had indisputably happened, precisely because I had no intention of being drawn into a debate over whose fault it all is.

This, of course, enrages people who want nothing more than to get into a lovely, long, loud argument about whose fault it all is. Coming from a family with roots in Northern Ireland, having been close to both Jewish and Arab Americans, I'm really rather disinclined to believe that such lovely, long arguments ever go anywhere. You're welcome to them, but for the nonce I intend to keep my thoughts on the subject to myself. You may interpret this as a sign that I secretly agree with you, or that I am a coward who does not dare to flaunt her ridiculous opposition to your obviously correct beliefs. But you will not succeed at drawing me into an argument on the subject.