We don’t have an antiwar movement in America; what we have is two pro-conflict movements: one that insists Israel must win and one that insists Palestine must win.
A fine wine. Not a found one :(
You are like a find wine. Always good. Richer with age. (Though to me u will always be 35).
When I am jumping out of my skin with grief and anxiety, your considered, careful, stable analysis gives me an anchor of understanding.
It’s a very interesting discourse and probably the only worthwhile one, the polarizing is a dead end. I might suggest that yes it was a justifiable attack on October 7th, call it terrorism if you must but acknowledge it’s Jewish Revolt 65ad Antecedent, Boudicca, Crazy Horse, the Macabees etc etc ad infinitum. And the response also justified, possibly uniquely justified, given the history of Christian anti semitism and the holocaust. It is the vampiric West that is so disturbing and polarizing, with their tradition of Colonial genocides that never had an ounce of the cumulative justification of Israel in Gaza.
Had, for instance, (a Supremacist impossibility,) the West, collectively moved after Balfour that the Jewish people do what large numbers moving into new lands should do: negotiate, make deals and treaties, create platforms to address issues in the future, that would have been a thing. They did not. They took the polarized position, invented their moral proxy and armed them. It is a Western Christian tradition not only to conquer but to stay. To “settle.” Our justification has always been the claim of moral superiority ever attached to a hidden racism.
I agree with your point only it isn’t a simple choice. One is a grown up position, the other, the polarized, is of a culture of children. We could all grow up here but don’t dally waiting for the West to initiate something so alien to their adolescence.
It’s been two thousand years of the rocking cradle vexing to nightmare. Islam and Judaism will have to do it themselves. And they can.
Great piece on peace! Nuance is what is missing from the discussion. Part of that stems from a fundamental principal of human cognition: we are always looking for ways to simplify in order to understand our world. It’s a lot harder to hold multiple thoughts in your head at the same time.
Getting out of this mess comes down to another reality: people need to feel like they are being heard before they can hear someone else’s perspective. (The book Difficult Conversations: How to Talk About What Matters Most offers a great roadmap for this.) Sadly, as you eloquently point out, that is not happening (yet-I use that word with a note of optimism although the pessimist in me is winning the day for now). Thanks for your continued and nuanced coverage.
Very astute and informative, Micah. I’m thinking back to the Vietnam era, when so many saw ourselves as part of the peace movement, the antiwar movement. I was a draft counselor and organizer, an enterprise shaped by Friends to a large extent, with a similar philosophy to Win Without War. But the power behind it was the fact that the US waged war and every young man was compelled to take a stand for or against, with the personal stakes high in both cases. There were as many “US out of Vietnam” slogans as “Ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win.”
It seems to me that the distance between this war and most people’s personal lives makes a lot of room for extremist propaganda to take the place of compassion. I’m not seeing a prior instance without US troops involved that birthed a major peace movement, but perhaps there’s a blind spot in my reading of history. Can you think of one?
Excellent piece!! Thank you for your hard work in putting this together. Now let's do it!
I've helped organize a few protests over the past 50 years, and it's inherently way easier to organize a protest against something than for it. That's why we're seeing protests AGAINST both Hamas murder and Israeli murder. Theoretically there could be protests FOR peace and co-existence, but folks advocating such urgent concepts have no simple roadmap to get from here to there - at least no roadmap with support beyond peace activists who live on the front line.