I don't know how this Israel-Hamas conflict will play out. But I was struck today by the truth of the title of Steve Marriott's piece in The Times today: 'You Don't Need to Share Your Views on Gaza'.

The bald fact is that Israel has been fighting for its existence for 70+ years. And the Arabs have never at any time accepted its existence. Weeks - in fact decades - of commentary about negotiated 'solutions' etc etc is (and has always been just politico and media blah blah). Yes, the Israelis have handled some things better than other things but whatever they did (or did not) do - nor whoever was in government or not - would have altered that fundamental (and intractable) impasse.

The awful truth is that, for Western publics and commentariats who don't have to actually fight them, wars have long since become another grim part of the media entertainment industry....like gripping horror movies and with the same insatiable audience appetite.

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Shadi: You took the words out of my mouth; the last three WoC podcast episodes (and Damir's epic take on "revolutionary legitimacy") have more than fulfilled the project's promise. I have a pad full of notes and reactions, but these are far less important than my deepened perspective. It's a great idea to package these features and I hope they get the audience they deserve. TB

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