As an antidote to the Obamaphoria sweeping the world, I had a look at Melanie Phillips: November 5th: "Millions of Americans ... find themselves today abandoned, horrified, deeply apprehensive for the future of their country and the free world. No longer the land of the free and the home of the brave; they must now look elsewhere". (Where's that, Melanie? Planet Phillips?)
And then I find this from last Saturday: "Over the past seven years, the media has created the Big Lie that America is the biggest rogue state in the world, with Israel its proxy. Now it is ensuring that a man who will act on that very premise to crush America and destroy Israel will be placed in the White House to do so. It is not just that the west’s Big Media can no longer be trusted. It has become the most important weapon in the arsenal of the enemies of the free world."
Set this against a random clipping from Schnews: "a special report from Palestine gives reports a situation rarely brought to light in western media - that it's the Palestinian Authority who are doing Israel's job of crushing dissent..."
The gap between the perceptions of Right and Left (or in this case, Melanie Phillips and anarchists) on everything, but specifically here on Israel/Palestine, is a bit of a worry. I suppose 'twas ever thus, but it brings to mind the task we have in psychiatry, of dealing with delusional beliefs. Straightforward contradiction is counterproductive. It is better to try to find ways of acting that will make the situation better.
The basic problem is in the language of crush. While the Palestinians want to "crush" the Israelis, and the Israelis want to "crush" the Palestinians, misery will continue.
Absolutist talk of "crushing" is the problem, not the solution.
The real problem in the Middle East is not a question of which party gets "crushed", but how to find a way for people to live in what is not so much a Promised land as a distinctly Unpromising land. Chiefly because of its arid nature. Every skuleboy kno that the Jordan has been reduced to a polluted trickle.
The real task therefore for both sides is to embark on a massive project to secure their water supplies. Every drop of rain falling from a roof must be harvested and stored. There is a market opportunity here for recyled plastic guttering and water tanks.
The WC must give way to the composting toilet or earth closet.
And the whole area must be reforested, since : (go forests act as aerial aquifers.
This economic project, an instance of the Green New Deal which is creeping into common discussion, will have the effect of diverting energy away from conflict towards co-operation. At the same time, political negotiations must continue, and statesmen on both sides will start to make confidence building measures.
In short, the work of real politicians is to identify the positive, healing actions that must be done, and not to debate with people who are beyond the reach of reason.