What’s missing from the Gaza debates

Trying to keep my attention going as I was recently reading what was, in theory, an interesting and well-written piece about the conflict in Gaza, I realised what was making it seem so bland for all its merits.

It’s a more general point about most of what’s written, or indeed said, by people with a clear sympathy with one side or the other. People are full of lists of what the other side should do and how if only the other side would complete the list first, then peace is possible.

What’s lacking are the serious debates about what people think their own side should do too, as if the route to peace is simply all dependent on someone else doing quite a few things something. Yet in amongst all the complexities of the Middle East over many decades (if not centuries), one pattern is consistent – long lists of preconditions are not the way to achieve peace.

What’s needed is much more discussion from supporters of each side as to what their side should be willing to do in parallel with what they wish others to do. If you want peace, you have to be willing to act.

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