Many years ago, I decided I was on a side, as between Israel and its enemies. I was not a neutral. I was on a side: Israel’s.
“Evenhandedness” was the great watchword when I was young. It still is, I think. But I reasoned, “If Side 1 is trying to destroy Side 2, and Side 2 is trying to coexist with Side 1, and you decide to be evenhanded between the two, you are really tilting toward Side 1: the side that is interested in destroying, not coexisting.”
I regard myself as on the Palestinians’ side too, frankly: because I wish for them a free and decent life, unlike the life they have been saddled with for lo these many decades.
The highest compliments David Pryce-Jones receives are from Arabs who say to him, “Why do you care about us so much, that you are willing to write candidly and truthfully about us?”
From President Obama, I don’t get the sense that he is on Israel’s side. I don’t get it from Secretary of State John Kerry either. I think they are more like neutrals.
Obama may think something like this: “I don’t go as far as my friends Said and Khalidi. And I certainly don’t go as far as the mad-dog Zionists — the ones who need to do some serious self-reflecting. I am right in the sweet and humane spot.”
If Obama and Kerry are not neutrals, but are rather on a side, I believe they should say so. Now would be a good time.
P.S. The heading over Con Coughlin’s latest blogpost is “Gaza conflict: Israel is winning the military campaign, but losing the propaganda war.” That could be the heading most any month, couldn’t it?