The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the Battle for Context

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As Glenn Greenwald wrote in 2012: “Few things are more depressing than paying attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” In addition to the never-ending killing and the dishonest search for peace, there is a new dimension of depression to the latest round of the conflict: the dishearteningly small Venn diagram overlap between people united against Great Reset fascism and people who understand what is arguably the single most important conflict of our time.

In the last week alone, billions of words have been spewed about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, so saying something that hasn’t already been said, or saying something in a way you might not have seen before, is a tall order. If I can pull it off, it will be thanks to a retch-inducing article in The Daily Sceptic which I will comment on in the last section of this piece. It’s an absolute skunk. When you walk past a turd, holding your nose and quickening your pace is usually sufficient, but this time it was so large that I felt compelled to stop and place safety cones around it as a civic service to fellow passers-by.

Those observing the conflict from the comfort and safety of our laptop screens can broadly be divided into two camps: 1) a pro-Palestinian rights camp who are inclined to understand how the Palestinians came to be dispossessed and whose position is therefore rooted in context, and 2) an Israel-has-a-right-to-defend-itself camp for whom it is imperative to promote decontextualization. There are extremists on either side of these camps, but I argue that the latter camp is inherently extremist because it does not seek a peaceful resolution but, instead, supports the cycle of violence.

Conflicts cannot be resolved unless the parties directly involved are willing to take meaningful steps towards resolution. However, Israel’s position is entrenched – its goal is to eliminate any possibility of Palestinians reclaiming the homes and land they lost during the violent formation of the state of Israel in 1948. What makes the Palestinian position seem hopeless is that Israel continues to enjoy the full support of a morally bankrupt political establishment in the West which has reflexively blocked any meaningful progress in the Palestinians’ struggle for justice. David Lammy, a Labour Party opposition front-bencher, epitomises the moral bankruptcy of our lawmakers. Here we have a so-called social justice warrior, turned Bilderberg groupee, whose publicly stated concern in expressing an opinion on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is career advancement.

Any realistic hope for change rests on an educated public, confident in its understanding of the history and context behind the conflict as well as the forces working against it – the power of and motivation for decontextualization.


Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ is arguably one of the most effective propaganda tropes ever deployed by the US empire, along with its much-vaunted claim to ‘promoting democracy and human rights’ around the globe, using the benevolent and democratic tools of regime change, military terror and economic sanctions. The ‘right-to-defend-itself’ trope implies that Israel is ‘at war’, but it isn’t. It’s an occupying power that has illegally conquered land. As a direct consequence of breaking international law by being an occupying power, it is brutally oppressing resistance to an illegal occupation. It is not defending itself. This is, and always has been, a conflict over land – land conquered in 1948 and more land occupied in 1967 by Israel during a war with neighbouring Arab countries and which it refuses to withdraw from, in flagrant breach of international law.

The word ‘resistance’ was used in the above paragraph and, at the outset, I will quote Yanis Varoufakis to make a distinction between resistance and war crimes insofar as Palestinian resistance is concerned:

“Breaking out of the illegal fence, and battling with the Israeli army that is caging Palestinians in, was not an atrocity. Killing civilians (old or young) was a repugnant atrocity. Like in every war, war crimes are indefensible.”

Israel cannot be said to be at war with a people who depend on it for their survival and for whom the state of Israel has a responsibility. Israel is not ‘at war’ with the people it failed to ethnically cleanse in 1948. The 2.1 million people of Gaza, half of whom are children, are literally living in a concentration camp 5 miles wide and 25 miles long, fenced in and prevented from leaving by Israel’s army. Leaving is called ‘breaking out’, a breach of their prisoner status. Subsisting on the edge of starvation, they live in abject poverty. Israel decides how much and whether they eat, how much electricity they use, how much water they drink.

Israel’s defence budget is estimated to be $23.6 billion in 2023, inclusive of the $3.8 billion in defence aid it gets annually from the US. Since World War II, Israel has received a total of $264 billion in military aid from the US, more than any other country in the world. While there is certainly a conflict between the state of Israel and the inmates of the open-air Gaza prison, the gross power imbalance cannot be characterised as a war.

Needless to say, Gazans did not volunteer to live under these conditions. So how did this happen?

What follows is a summary of the context provided by Norman Finkelstein, an expert Jewish scholar on the Palestinian conflict. It does not start with the 1948 birth of Israel by the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their villages and homes, euphemistically referred to as Israel’s ‘war of independence’, but I will return to that because it is integral to the context behind the conflict.

In the course of the June 1967 war between Israel on the one side and Egypt, Syria and Jordan on the other, Israel conquered several territories – the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. U.N. Resolution 242, which was passed by the UN Security Council unanimously in the wake of that war, made clear two things:

·         it is inadmissible to conquer territory by war and Israel was obliged under international law to withdraw from the territories it had conquered in the course of the war;

·         the Arab states had to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a state in the region, in conformity with the principles of the U.N. Charter.

It was clear that any diplomatic efforts to get both sides to agree to these terms would, as far as the Arab side of the equation was concerned, have to focus on Egypt, which at that time was the most formidable power in the region. In the event, Egypt agreed not only to recognize Israel, but to sign a formal peace treaty with Israel. Israel rejected Sadat’s offer in 1971, stating that “Israel will not withdraw to the pre-June 1967 lines.”

Having rejected the terms of a settlement, Israel then proceeded to expand its settlements in the Sinai Peninsula, which was Egyptian territory. Contrary to the notion that the ensuing war in 1973 came as “a surprise”, Israel’s intransigence in abiding by international law and its doubling down by expanding settlements made the October 1973 war an inevitability. In Norman Finkelstein’s view, “no war in history has been launched with as much advanced publicity as the surprise attack in October 1973.”  The reason for Israel’s complacency was expressed by Yitzhak Rabin who said at the time, “there is no need to mobilize our forces whenever we hear Arab threats,” meaning the threats by Sadat. “The Arabs have little capacity for coordinating their military and political action.” The foreign minister at the time, Abba Eban, commented in his memoir that “the atmosphere of manifest destiny, which regards the neighbouring people as lesser breeds, has begun to spread in the national discourse.” [emphasis added] An Israeli military historian commented that the nickname given to Egyptian soldiers was “monkeys.”

70 percent of Gaza’s population comprises refugees from the 1948 war and their descendants. That is, 70 percent of Gaza’s population comprises people who were expelled from their homeland in 1948 and their descendants. Half the 2.1 million population of Gaza consists of children. Gaza is among the most densely populated places on Earth. Inhabiting an area more densely populated than Tokyo, Gazans are confined to a strip of land five miles wide and 25 miles long.

Half the working age population of Gaza is currently unemployed. About half the population is classified by relief agencies as suffering from severe food insecurity. Barring the rarest of exceptions, no one can go into Gaza and no one can get out of Gaza. Baruch Kimmerling, who was one of Israel’s leading sociologists before his premature death, described Gaza as far back as 2003, before Israel ratcheted up the blockade of Gaza, as “the largest concentration camp ever to exist.”

How did Gaza go from being a denotation on a map to an object of ceaseless death and destruction?

In the early 1970s, the representative Palestinian organization at the time, the Palestine Liberation Organization, agreed to the two-state settlement. For Israel, this was a source of panic, because if the Palestinians accepted a resolution of the conflict in accordance with 242, then Israel was going to be put on the spot. Israeli historian Avner Yaniv characterised the Israeli response as a strategy to stop the Palestinian peace offensive. Hence the launch of its attack on Lebanon in June 1982. At the time, the PLO was headquartered in Lebanon, and in the course of that war, Israel killed an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinians and Lebaneseoverwhelmingly civilians.

Following that invasion of Lebanon, the Palestinian struggle looked so severely dented that it prompted US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to sadistically quip, “Bye-bye P.L.O”.

In 1987, the Palestinians in the occupied territories launched what came to be called the Intifada, an overwhelmingly nonviolent civil revolt against the Israeli occupation of those territories. The Israelis responded with a brutal repression of that revolt. Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Rabin did not mince his words in explaining at the time that “we’re going to inflict force, might, and beatings” on the Palestinian civilians to get them to surrender. That first Palestinian Intifada, a civil revolt, was defeated. The climax of that defeat came in 1993 with the Oslo Accord. Professor Edward Said, a key spokesperson for the Palestinians at the time, called it a “Palestinian surrender.”

The PLO, at that time desperate and also already very corrupt, became Israel’s subcontractor to maintain the Israeli occupation. Israel’s strategy was to create a class of collaborators who would do all of their dirty work in exchange for the perquisites of power. And so the Palestinian Authority, the successor to the PLO, was born.

In 2000, another attempt was made under President Clinton to seal an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians at Camp David. While both sides initially accepted the terms of the Camp David agreement, albeit with reservation, it subsequently proved abortive when the Israeli prime minister at the time, Ehud Barak, cut off the negotiations.

The second Palestinian Intifada was launched in August of 2000. The Palestinians again went into civil revolt against the Israeli occupation. That second Intifada began in the same civil manner as the first. Within the first few days of the second Intifada, Israel fired more than a million bullets at the Palestinians protesting non-violently. Predictably, the violence spiralled out of control, and in the final analysis some 2,400 Palestinians and 800 Israelis were killed, the vast majority civilians.

In 2005, Israel redeployed its forces from within Gaza to its perimeter. Its settlers were removed from Gaza, but Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza. As Human Rights Watch reported, whether the Israeli army is inside Gaza or redeployed along its periphery, it remains in control.

Finkelstein goes on to qualify the term ‘occupying power’ in relation to Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which have now de facto all been incorporated as part of Israel. He explains that:

“What is happening now is not a war in the sense of a conflict between two states. It’s internal. And it can best be regarded [as] either a slave rebellion reminiscent of the slave rebellions in my own country, the United States, or it should be regarded as Israel [having] established a Gulag archipelago… the slave labour camps that were established under the Soviet Union in the Stalin-era… Israel has established a Gulag archipelago, but within its own country. It’s not a war, as is now being said, between Israel and a foreign state. At minimum, at minimum, Israel remains an occupying power, but in my opinion… it’s dealing with a civil revolt from a slave population.”

In January 2006, there were parliamentary elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which Hamas won. Jimmy Carter, former US president, was in Gaza at the time of the elections, and characterised them as “completely honest and fair elections.” Too honest and too fair for Senator Hillary Clinton, who said at the time, “we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”              

One of the UN leading figures in Gaza at the time wrote later that “a political solution was within reach on the Hamas side, but only if the active interference of the United States, and the passivity of the European Union had not sabotaged this experiment in government.” Israel’s blockade of Gaza began when it was dissatisfied with the results of that Palestinian election.

Israel’s next assault on Gaza in 2008 followed an unsuccessful coup attempt in 2007 by Israel and its allies to overthrow the Hamas government. Operation Cast Lead, which Amnesty International called “the 22 Days of Death and Destruction”, extinguished 1,400 Gazan lives, four-fifths of them civilians, including 300 Gazan children. On the Israeli side, 10 combatants and three civilians were killed. Israel also massively targeted the infrastructure of Gaza and flattened 6,000 homes.

In 2014, Israel launched another intensive assault, Operation Protective Edge, on Gaza. After visiting the war zone, the head of the Red Cross said he had never seen such massive destruction. 2000 Palestinians died, including more than 500 children, and 18,000 homes were destroyed.

The last desperate attempt by the people of Gaza to break out of their concentration camp came in 2018 in “the Great March of Return”, where Palestinians overwhelmingly and non-violently tried to breach the blockade. The most exhaustive and authoritative human rights report concluded that Israel had deliberately targeted children, medical personnel, journalists, and people with disabilities.

An extract from the report:

“Israeli forces injured a schoolgirl with bullet fragmentation. As she lay on the ground, four men attempted to evacuate her. The forces shot three of them, killing Marwan Qudieh (45) from Khuzaa village and injuring a potato seller and another man in the legs. One of the rescuers had to have a leg amputated… Maryam, a schoolgirl from Rafah, was shot in the leg by Israeli forces as she stood with a small group of girls waving Palestinian flags, approximately 50 m from the separation fence…Alaa, a member of the Palestinian cycling team, was shot by Israeli forces in the leg as he stood holding his bicycle, wearing his cycling kit, watching the demonstrations, approximately 300 m from the separation fence. His right leg had to be amputated, ending his cycling career…Israeli security forces wounded demonstrators as far as a kilometre away from the separation fence…In one case, they shot a 21-year-old student in both legs minutes after he arrived at the Bureij demonstration site…Overall, at the demonstrations held on 30 March, Israeli forces killed 18 people and wounded 703 people with live ammunition; another 62 people were wounded by bullet fragmentation or shrapnel. The youngest casualty was a two-year-old, wounded in the head; the oldest, a 71-year-old woman shot in the legs.”

Since its conquest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 1967, Israel has extensively appropriated land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to expand Israeli settlements, in direct contravention of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In the course of this land theft, Israeli soldiers routinely unlawfully kill and injure Palestinian civilians in the OPT, including during protests against the confiscation of land and the construction of settlements. Violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers aimed at intimidating Palestinian populations is normal and goes unpunished.

So this is some context. The history begins earlier than that, but Finkelstein begins in 1967 in order to firmly establish the illegality of Israel’s actions and its role as an occupier, a role which has taken on an even more morally repugnant character with the depredations and humiliations meted out to Palestinians and which are not sufficiently captured by the term ‘occupying power’.

Of course we need to go back further than 1967 to the founding of the Zionist movement at the end of the 19th century. That movement gained its first major victory in 1917 when Britain conquered Palestine. In that same year, Britain promised the Zionist movement support for a Jewish national home in Palestine under the Balfour Declaration at a time when Jews constituted around 10% of the total population in Palestine. However, between 1915 and 1916, the British had made contradictory representations to the Arabs agreeing to grant them independence in exchange for launching the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman empire.

Jewish mass immigration followed the Balfour declaration of 1917, taking the Jewish population in Palestine to around 500,000 or 30%, still a minority. Violent confrontations between Jewish immigrants and Palestinians ensued, culminating in the dispossession of some 700,000 Arab Palestinians of their land and homes at the hands of Jewish terror militias in 1948.

Context shows that there is a jackboot on someone’s neck. That jackboot has an Israeli flag on it and it has been firmly on the neck of Palestinians since 1948. Context shows that the jackboot is on the neck of 1 million Gazan children. Fenced in, living in poverty, and steeped in violence.

Context does not excuse Hamas for killing children and civilians. Context cries out for no more children, Palestinian or Israeli, to be killed. But it does invite reflection on Nelson Mandela’s observation about the power dynamic between the oppressed and the oppressor:

“You started violence—our violence is a defence. The methods of political action that oppressed people use are determined by the oppressor.”

Context exposes the dishonesty of bothsidesing that decontextualization relies on to whitewash the truth.


The video embedded in this tweet by Inversionism demonstrates powerfully how the Israeli propaganda machine works. It explains Israel’s documented PR strategy and brings it to life in clips revealing the disciplined delivery of the script by mainstream media and Israeli government spokespeople. The starting point, devoid of context, is Hamas rockets “raining down” on Israeli citizens, followed by the question, “What would you do?”

The aim of this decontextualization is to begin the conversation with Hamas violence and to end it with righteous Israeli vengeance. As I pointed out at the start, there are extremists in both camps – the pro-Palestinians cheering Hamas atrocities and the pro-Israelis cheering the slaughter of Palestinians in retaliation. They need each other to justify their positions, and it’s easy to condemn both because their bloodlust is open and honest.

The decontextualiser who has some knowledge of context but uses the Israel-has-a-right-to-defend-itself trope is a dishonest savage because he knows that this trope is code for “Israel has a right to slaughter innocent civilians in retaliation for Hamas terror attacks”. This is what they are supporting – 4200 people killed and over one million displaced in just 10 days. It shouldn’t be difficult to understand that if you believe in this trope, then you should also believe that Hamas has a right to exact similar revenge for all the crimes against innocent Palestinians going back to 1948. Which leaves the notion of a civilised Western world in tatters. That notion of a civilised Western world has of course always been just that – a notion – but let’s not perpetuate the pretence with lies like Israel’s ‘right to self-defence’.

So, decontextualisers are trying to whitewash Israeli crimes against humanity. Knowing this is indefensible, they attempt to smear contextualizers with their own bloodlust by counterclaiming that that the contextualizers are whitewashing Hamas’s crimes against humanity. Not true. To seek context is to seek the root cause of the problem with a view to a lasting solution and an end to all violence.

And the root cause of the violence is the violent dispossession of Palestinians in 1948. The state of Israel and the Zionist ambition was achieved mainly in response to the horrors of World War II and The Holocaust. The 1948 Nakba marks the point at which Palestinians were made to pay the price for The Holocaust. What makes this laundering of European guilt through the suffering of Palestinians all the more disgusting is the contempt in which the European and US ruling class must have held Palestinians in order to regard them as so dispensable.

When you trace this conflict back to its 1917 and 1948 roots, one must face an awful truth – that decontextualisation is an attempt to run from the truth that racism was heaped upon racism when Palestinians were offered up as a sacrifice for Nazi sins. But the further we run from that truth, in both time and context, the uglier things get. We are now as close as we have ever been since 1948 to another Nakba – a second massive ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people in less than 100 years.

A few days after this latest round of violence began, I sensed this time it was different; that the Israeli response would have a much grander objective. I speculated that Israel would now attempt to complete the ethnic cleansing of Gaza by making life so unbearable that a refugee corridor would open up into Egypt and then close once Gaza had been cleared. Whether Egypt would cooperate is neither here nor there; it may not have a choice. I am not alone in this thinking.

Such a hideous crime would not solve Israel’s problem. It would only make it worse. Context reveals very clearly that this is a conflict over land – a conflict between Palestinians who had occupied the land for centuries and Zionist settlers arriving in the early 20th century attempting to exercise a spurious Biblical right of return 2000 years after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. We cannot return to pre-1948, and everyone understands that would only involve heaping more misery on an already tragic story. Under the circumstances, equitable land distribution is the solution. That’s the solution the decontextualisers can’t and won’t face.

The apartheid state of Israel

To illustrate decontextualization in the alt-media space, I will focus on a piece that appeared in The Daily Sceptic. It illustrates the hideousness of defending the indefensible. Reading it was like watching an elephant trying to look graceful in stilettos.

The Daily Sceptic, citing an article in Spikedthrew stones at Yanis Varoufakis for representing “parts of the Left” that they thought “couldn’t sink any lower in their response to Hamas’s brutal assault on Israel”. Varoufakis’ sin was to add context by pointing out that Israel is an apartheid state. To defend Israel against this accusation, Spiked, with The Daily Sceptic in agreement, evoked wretch-inducing fake sympathy for the “sacrifices of South Africa’s black masses”, which they claimed Varoufakis had maligned by suggesting that Israel could be ranked side-by-side with former apartheid South Africa.

What this amounts to is using the plight of black South Africans under apartheid to defend Israel’s crimes against humanity and, for that reason, it’s filth masquerading as moral edification. It’s hard to stomach, and ranks as one of the severest tests of the limits of free speech I have personally yet to encounter.

How might we get some sort of inkling as to how black South Africans would view Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians? The Jerusalem Post in 2014 recorded South African Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s verdict that Israel was guilty of apartheid.

When asked by David Frost how he would compare Israeli apartheid to South African apartheid, Bishop Tutu said that Israeli apartheid was:

Well, in many instances worse. It’s actually quite distressing. For one thing we [i.e. South Africa] didn’t have a wall. A wall that encroaches so very seriously on the territory of other people. And having homes demolished. Israeli politicians are aware that they can get away with almost anything.” [emphasis added]

And what about the rest of South Africa? Again, the Jerusalem Post noted in 2014 that “observers in South Africa are preparing to mark “Israeli Apartheid Week” on Monday” and that Israeli Apartheid Week is endorsed in South Africa by more than 85 organizations, trade unions, political parties and other groups.

In a scholarly but succinct examination of how to identify apartheid, Ran Greenstein wrote in 2013 that “the key question is the identification of a regime that practices systematic oppression and domination by one group over another.” How do such practices manifest?:

·         “The Israeli regime is based on an ethnic/religious distinction between Jewish insiders and Palestinian outsiders. It expands citizenship beyond its territory, potentially to all Jews regardless of their links to the country, and contracts citizenship within it: Palestinians in the occupied territories and refugees outside have no citizenship and cannot become Israeli citizens.”

·         “The regime combines different modes of rule: civilian authority with democratic institutions within the Green Line (pre-67 boundaries), and military authority beyond it. In times of crisis, the military mode of rule spills over the Line to apply to Palestinian citizens in Israel. At all times, the civilian mode of rule spills over the Line to apply to Jewish settlers. Israel as a ‘Jewish democratic state’ is ‘democratic’ for Jews and ‘Jewish’ for Arabs.” [emphasis added]

·         “These conditions are particularly visible in the occupied territories: Jewish settlers live in exclusive communities, from which all Palestinian locals are barred (except, occasionally, as ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’). They drive on Israeli-only roads, enjoy Israeli military protection and access to all the privileges and services that come with citizenship rights, including voting for the Israeli parliament. Palestinian subjects are denied access to any of the above, and have no say in the way they are governed”.

Greenstein then asks: “How should we call a regime that leaves millions of its subjects with no political rights, that practices segregation in all walks of life and that denies them the basic right to determine their future?” The answer to that question is contained in the title of his piece: “If this isn’t apartheid, then what is it?”

In September 2023, The Guardian reported that a former Israeli Mossad Chief, Tamir Pardo, declared that Israel is imposing a form of apartheid on the Palestinians. The rationale for his conclusion was uncomplicated, uncontroversial and in accordance with Ran Greenstein’s reasoning:

“There is an apartheid state here. In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state.” 

He is by no means the first high-ranking Israeli public servant to admit this. The Guardian article rattled off some additional names and pointed out that “the former speaker of the Israeli parliament, Avraham Burg, and the renowned Israeli historian, Benny Morris, are among more than 2,000 Israeli and American public figures who have signed a recent public statement declaring that “Palestinians live under a regime of apartheid”.

Amnesty International, along with Human Rights Watch and the Israeli rights group B’Tselem, also finds that Israel is indeed an apartheid state. In a 278-page report, Amnesty traces Israel’s apartheid roots back to the establishment of Israel in 1948, when around 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled during the violent creation of the Israeli state. They accounted for some 80% of the Palestinian population in what is now Israel. Israel barred the refugees from returning in order to maintain its Jewish majority.

In March 2019, Netanyahu as prime minister declared, “Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” but rather “the nation-state of the Jewish people and only them.” [emphasis added]

It seems that South Africans themselves, human rights organisations inside and outside Israel, and a fair number of prominent Israelis, including its Prime Minister, all know that Israel is an apartheid state. But Spiked and The Daily Sceptic haven’t yet received the memo.

So, in reference to Spiked and Daily Sceptic’s use of black South Africans to defend Israeli apartheid, the only thing that would “malign the sacrifices of South Africa’s black masses” is seeing those words crafted by Spiked to defend Israel, a nation whose laws, practices and raison d’etre are rooted in racist ethno-religious nationalism. That’s what The Daily Sceptic did when it offered up the Spiked article that attacked Varoufakis. And it endorsed that article as “worth reading in full”. I submit that it would be worth flushing down the toilet in full were it not for the fact that I would not want to soil my sewer pipes with it.

This is an example of decontextualization that lies not only by omission but with explicit falsehoods. And they still found space to insult a group of people who have been the recent victims of apartheid by using them to uphold apartheid in Israel. It is quite a feat.

Context explains why Israel is an apartheid state. Decontextualization condones it. If you are able to read and have access to the internet, there is little excuse for not knowing any of the context. At the very least, you’d have to wonder how it is that a country came into existence with two distinct populations living within its borders, each living under two very different conditions and different sets of rules, with one group being citizens and one group being non-citizens. You’d have to wonder about that wouldn’t you? And if you were curious, you’d have to go in search of answers. You might start with this 358-word explainer for beginners.

Whatever happens in the weeks and months to come – and it will be awful – do not let the decontextualisers unmoor you. In context lies truth and in truth lies justice. It’s hard to believe that justice can prevail after 75 years, but the decontextualisers are making a grave mistake in choosing death, destruction, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

10 thoughts on “The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the Battle for Context

  1. Good summary, thank you, and decontextualization is also a good way to understand (assuming I can ever understand) covid mania & pro-Ukrainian propaganda–both based in large part on ahistorical propaganda. I think I’ll spare myself the daily skeptic/spiked read.

  2. It is neither an accident nor a coincidence that literal white nationalists like Richard Spencer and David Duke routinely participate in pro Israel rallies and demonstrations. That’s your first clue, Sherlock!

    Context is just as important to understanding Ukraina, vaccination and germ theory as it is to understanding the plight of the Palestinians. Decontextualization is the common thread running through every part of the Great Reset juggernaut.

    1. Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Yardley, also falls into the pro Zionism white nationalist category. Hope more of the UK freedom movement have now realised his true colours (if you’ll excuse the pun)!

  3. Gutted Rusere – always love your posts, love your understanding and impartiality – gutted that in this case, you can’t see further than very recent history and apparently have no conception of the miraculous historical reality that is ……the continued existence of the Jews – despite continual, continuing hatred (not without reason I freely admit) they’re still here – and back in Their homeland.

  4. Spot on Article. What could’ve been the establishment of a plural democracy has turned into an ethno-fascist state. Shame the idolatry of Israel in the UK media and government is so vomit inducing, as the respite given by the COVID nonsense had me aligned and enjoying the commentary from the so called ‘right’ commentators like Toby Young etc. Now I remember why I found them so repugnant.

  5. Another exceptionally good article, with so much juicy info, carefully constructed analysis and some judiciuously placed links. I think, Rusere, that you have to be my favourite writer across all the various crises of the past three-and-a-half years.

    And having been a regular recipient of the Daily Sceptic’s newsletter since it was first launched (as Lockdown Sceptics) back in 2020, I, too, have been disgusted by its myopic and brainless propaganda concerning the ongoing situation in Palestine. It’s almost as though they *know* they are wrong: they don’t feature this issue in any of their leading articles, but their bile then consistently populates all of the ‘next best’ slots under the ‘News Round-Up’ section.

    Anyway, I couldn’t take it any more, so unsubscribed yesterday. What a blessed relief!

  6. Mark & Steve,

    Isn’t it ironic that this very site (Real Left) was formerly Left Lockdown Sceptics, which in turn was an off-shoot of Lockdown Sceptics, now rebranded the Daily Sceptic, which was an oasis of sanity in hard times and illustrated the disappearance of the Left/Right paradigm, to be replaced by the Libertarian/Authoritarian paradigm?

    This lead me to embrace GB News for it’s interesting range of views, especially regarding Covid, climate change, freedom of speech and the march of “wokery” – all the important issues for people like us. The October 7 Gaza uprising changed all that. I couldn’t bear to watch any longer. It’s vile coverage might as well be being directed by the Israeli Embassy! The paper review show Headliners, in particular, has hosted the worst bigots I’ve ever seen on British television in my 60 years on this planet. Their most interesting and articulate host, Neil Oliver, tellingly, seems to be either about to jump or be pushed.

    So it’s a big unsubscribe for The Daily Sceptic and a big switch off for GB News for me. That’ll give me back a few hours a day to spend on something more constructive. Thank heavens for Al Jazeera!

  7. Brilliant! Has beautifully articulated things I have been wrestling with over the last few weeks – and similarly sickened by The Daily Sceptic and disappointed with UK Column too – so also seem to have bought the “bothsidesism” narrative. Anyway well done. Will be sharing widely.

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