Former Age editor Michael Gawenda speaks out
I will listen to the podcast in due course. However I must say that the dreadful events of the past couple of days have made me despair of a just, democratic and peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict being achieved in my lifetime.
My personal views on the Israel-Palestine conflict fall within the "moderate pro-Palestinian" box in the typology developed by Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth in their book "Boycotting Israel is Wrong: The progressive path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis". That said, I know of no remotely progressive, democratic or humane political ideology that could possibly regard participants in a dance festival as a legitimate military target. Hamas must be called out on this and other atrocities it has committed in the past couple of days, and on the religious fundamentalist, ultra-nationalist, fascist-adjacent ideology that drives Hamas to commit such crimes. Unfortunately, too many of my friends - decent, good-hearted people of the Left - have responded to the recent events by rallying to what they think of as the "Palestinian cause". They could do worse than to read this statement by a UK Trotskyist group.
re Penny Wong neither you nor Michael said so I will. I understand her partner is Palestinian so it would not surprise me she feels conflicted over the Israel-Palestine situation and ends up by resorting to mouthing the same-old, but rather threadbare platitudes
The attacks on innocent people in Israel is appalling. I condemn them in the strongest terms. The state of Israel must protect its People from these vile abuses.
The attack is totally unacceptable. That we would think dismissing the circumstance that led to such an attack is okay is also unacceptable. Recognising the abuses against the Palestinians and their ongoing suffering is crucial - without it we will continue to make the same mistakes with even worse consequences. Right now our hearts must be with the people of Israel and to do what we can to protect them. In time, we must be informed by the context that has allowed / caused such terrible abuses - so as to direct our efforts to bring an end to this vicious circle of violence.
Seems to me some people easily go to extremes of opinion - driven by what I'm not sure - but most likely fundamental human characteristics like fear and wanting to belong. But these extremes cause the truth to be distorted (creating lies) and in so doing we lose our way and fail fairness, fail humanity - and thus continue to fuel abuses.
For mine this talk of being a Jew or being part of some other group has little to do with the fundamental issues - just as the situation in Ukraine is not about people being Ukrainian or of some other group.
We must recognise the truth in each situation and ensure people are treated fairly and with dignity - otherwise we invite abuse and suffering
Great discussion. I can't wait to read Michael Gawenda's book. Thank you