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The Ugly Trade in Palestinian Pain

Posted by JCOPrss 79 days ago Jewish World News| the ugly trade palestinian pain All
http://www.spiked-online.com — (Spiked - UK) Brendan O'Neill -
The Israel-Palestine conflict is unique because very often its distant observers, those who watch and comment and hand-wring from afar, play a role in intensifying it and making it bloodier than it already is - without even realizing they are doing so.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Hamas pushes Gaza's people into harm's way because it knows their suffering will strike a chord across the West. Hamas knows there is a hunger among the West's so-called progressives for evidence of Palestinian pain, and by extension of Israeli evil, and it is more than willing to feed this hunger.
The clashes at the Gaza border, in which more than 60 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured, cannot be viewed in isolation from Western liberals' peculiar and disproportionate obsession with Israel. After midday prayers, clerics and leaders of Hamas "urged thousands of worshippers to join the protests."
Israel had made clear, including in an airdrop of leaflets, that anyone who sought to dismantle the fence in Gaza, the de facto border between this part of Palestine and Israel, risked coming to harm. And still Hamas encouraged the protesters to strike at the fence. Why would it do this? It knows there is a market for stories of Palestinian pain, and it is happy to flood that market.
Most Western reporters and commentators want a morality tale, in which all complexity is chased out in favor of providing readers with a binary story of good guys and bad guys, and providing themselves with the moral kick of feeling like the exposers of simplistic terrible horrors - all executed by Israel, of course. Western observers' receptiveness to stories of villains and victims encouraged Hamas to keep providing such stories.
What we are witnessing is the development of an almost symbiotic relationship between Westerners' need for stories of Israeli evil and Hamas's "keen" desire to tell and possibly even assist in the creation of such stories. Hating Israel has become a kind of negative moral framework through which many in the West now advertise their virtue. Westerners' obsession with this conflict, and with an infantile reading of it as evil vs. innocence, has helped to warp the conflict itself.
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