Last night I wrote a story for the Daily Dot on a crowdsourcing experiment by the S. Daniel Abraham Center called Is Peace Possible. My editor elected to take out most of the section in which I register, quite forcefully, my opinion on the nature of online discourse surrounding the Israel-Palestine problem. I think that was the right route to go in terms of calming the post down from high dudgeon. But I do feel strongly about what I said, so I’m posting it here, on my personal blog.
Goldman noted that the tenor of the comments on Jodi Rudoren’s Facebook page, where the New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief posted a link to the map, were contentious. One might say, more baldly, that they instantaneously fell lock-step into the same tedious script recited whenever any aspect of the Israel-Palestine issue is mentioned online.
This is a topic which is fraught at the best of times, but at the worst is regarded as a convenient stage for posturing and chest-thumping by people with no more investment in either the state of Israel or the future of the Palestinians than in the Kentucky Derby or a furry convention.
The conceptual laziness, self-aggrandizing puffery, abstraction and self-absorption which flow from the hate-porn which indulgent intellects create from even the most anodyne experiments in solving this awful and persistent conflict are enough to make anyone on even a nodding acquaintance with intellectual honesty hit flush on the whole disgusting mess.
And that’s, perhaps literally, a Goddamned shame.