The 'both-sides-are-awful' dismissal of Gaza ignores the key role of the US governmentThe temptation to wash one's hands of the whole conflict is understandable, but US support of Israel is a central force driving it all
Nov. 21, 2012
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Everything about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict follows the same pattern over and over, including the reaction of Americans. In the first couple of days after a new round of violence breaks out, there is intense interest and passion, which is quickly replaced by weariness, irritation, and even anger that one has to be bothered by this never-ending, always-ugly and seemingly irresolvable conflict. These sentiments then morph into an attempt to separate oneself from the entire matter by declaring both sides to be equally horrendous and thus washing one's hands from any responsibility for thinking further about it ("I'm sick of both sides"), followed by recriminations against anyone who actually has an opinion that is more supportive of one side than the other.
Esquire's Charles Pierce, one of the nation's best political writers, provided a classic case of this mindset yesterday in his post entitled "There Is No Side Worth Taking In Gaza". The crux: "I would like to have an opinion on this continual bloodletting that didn't sound banal but, goddammit, I'm out of them. I am thoroughly sick of both sides here." One encounters a version of this mentality with increasing frequency each day that the violence escalates.