In the grandiosely chaotic world we find ourselves existing in, a man finds himself wading through the muck of malignant media every morning. As I, Jackson Beckett – a gay, far-right man – copiously scan through this tireless stream of information today, a headline rivets my glowering gaze – 'Latest Israel-Hamas war news amid Gaza invasion as death tolls rise: Live updates'. Despite feeling saturated by the endless drip of atrocious acts plastered on headlines, I’ve grown particularly disgruntled with this cyclical warfare that continues to blight the Middle East.
My infuriation isn’t only towards the relentless violence that erupts hypocritically in the name of peace, of religion. It doesn’t solely arise from the unforgivable death tolls that desensitize the world to the value of life itself. It’s the outright political manipulation the Israel-Hamas conflict has been reduced to, where nations pick sides as if they’re choosing teams in a schoolyard game, rather than considering the absolute destruction of humanity unfolding before their eyes. I find it perplexing, maddening even.
Let’s face facts here, both Israel and Hamas have far too much blood on their hands to portray either as a paragon of virtue. Israel, for all its cry of self-defence, seems to have a loose definition of proportional response. And Hamas isn’t innocent either, using Palestinians as human shields and launching relentless attacks provoking Israel's retaliation. In their political tug-of-war, the Palestinian and Israeli people are the ones caught in the crossfire, used as pawns in this grotesque game.
Despite my fundamentally conservative bearings, the prospect of both these sides engaged in endless, vicious, fruitless conflicts inside Gaza leaves me aghast. No number of iron domes or militant rockets has expedited peace, but merely instilled fear etched deep within the hearts of children doomed to inherit this on-going turmoil and violence.
The broader international community too, instead of mediating the issue with a balanced focus on peace and preventing individual human rights atrocities, seems to miss the bigger canvas. Their actions tend to be dictated by the sway of political and economic interests instead of valuing compromise, dialogue, and genuine focus on long-lasting peaceful solutions.
No, I won’t be waving any flag, screaming support for either Israel or Hamas, neatly swilling the mainstream narratives force-fed by media propaganda. Just as I am a man of dual identity – an unabashedly gay man with conservatively-affixed values, I endorse duality in the understanding of this conflict. There are no saints or sinners here – just unwilling chess pieces played by their strategists, in the bloody game of power and politics.
Reducing the Israel-Hamas conflict to a game of favorites just doesn’t sit neatly within my ideological alignments. I am angry – not just for the lives meaninglessly lost and children orphaned, but because our society views this conflict as partisan motion rather than a humanitarian crisis – a crisis that doesn’t just warrant ‘live updates’, but implores for active, bipartisan dialogue to override this fuelling bloodshed.
So, another bleak dawn heralds more death, more destruction in Gaza. Once again, I find myself incensed yet impotent, as the news reels roll blithely on.