|DAVE PELLOCT 24
People often ask me how I can consume so much bad news and not suffer from a paralyzing depression. The answer is pretty simple: I use my coverage of the news to deflect the associated emotions. It’s a defense mechanism. My job isn’t to feel something about the news, it’s to make you feel something about it. But in the days after October 7, the strategy is not working. I’m the son of two Holocaust survivors. I have family in Israel. That’s most of my worry, of course, but there’s more.
While it’s entirely unsurprising, I’ve been saddened by the antisemitism and regional naivete by many of my fellow Americans who seem incapable of understanding that Hamas is an anti-peace terrorist organization intent on killing Jews and martyring Palestinians, even as they’re carrying out those goals in real time.
I’m a proponent of the policy of wiping Hamas from the face of the Earth, but I’m dubious about the current Israeli government’s ability to execute that goal given its unthinkable intelligence failure and general unpreparedness to achieve much beyond propping up Netanyahu. Yes, people need to be punished for Oct 7, but so far, I’m seeing a lot of the wrong people being punished; the same innocent Palestinians that have been victims of Israeli policies, Hamas leadership, and an entire region that treats them as negotiating and messaging pawns.
Even as I lie awake worried about the more than 200 hostages held in Gaza, I also mourn for the Palestinians caught, once again, in history’s crossfire. I see countries, including America’s adversaries, choosing sides and I’m worried about this crisis spilling over into a much wider war, which, with one party turned into a bizarre un-governing cult, America is particularly ill-equipped to manage.
My usual news-deflecting strategy isn’t working this time because I agree with so much of what Ned Lazarus wrote today. Lazarus has spent much of his “professional life to seeking peaceful change in this conflict, trying to listen to and understand Israelis and Palestinians and find ways to work toward peace or justice or coexistence or mutual understanding or anything better than what there is now.” But he doesn’t see a good or even decent way out of this mess.
The Atlantic (Gift Article): I Don’t See a Better Way Out. “There are those who see a nonviolent way forward in Gaza right now: A cease-fire, an exchange of prisoners for hostages, a UN protectorate. I envy them, whatever clear answer they might have to how Israel should respond to the massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis and the kidnapping of more than 200 others by a fundamentalist terrorist organization that rules over and hides among an impoverished civilian population of 2 million people. I envy those who know exactly how Hamas can be stopped without any more killing, any more suffering, for any more people in Israel and Gaza. Because I don’t.” And that’s why my old defense mechanisms aren’t working this time.
Because I don’t either.
+ “This government’s inability to give answers and actions that serve the people is what we were protesting against. In the last nine months, we’ve been building all kinds of civil organizations with very good logistical and execution abilities. It was natural we would fill the vacuum left by the government.” WaPo: Israel’s massive democracy movement is ready for war.