I Can't Believe The News Today
Part 1 on why I'm struggling to read the news out of Gaza, much less write about it.
I’ll be using this space to write short, more impressionistic posts and to wrestle with the tensions in my own thinking, in real-time. This is the first in a longer series on why I’m struggling to read the news out of Gaza. Please do consider subscribing to receive future posts.
We are more than a hundred days into the war in Gaza, and the Israeli military continues to be in the “retributive” mode that many of us assumed would last just a few weeks. To desire vengeance, and with such brutality, against a group for such a duration of time is not something I would have expected from Israel—and my expectations weren’t particularly high to start with.
An exhaustive Washington Post investigation recently came to the conclusion that Israel’s war in Gaza was one of the most destructive—and possibly the most destructive—of the 21st century so far. Israel has “destroy[ed] more buildings, in far less time, than were destroyed during the Syrian regime’s battle for Aleppo from 2013 to 2016 and the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, in 2017.”
Yes, it’s hard to believe, in large part because what the Syrian regime did in Aleppo was considered, rightly, unspeakable. What makes the comparison even more jarring is what we know about the regime of Bashar al-Assad, if not quite a totalitarian state then close. We expect very little of dictatorships, because they are indifferent to human suffering and even at times seem to take pleasure in it.