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Hamas attack on Israel and military response spark childish ‘culture war’ debate

So many people have been tying themselves in knots in response to the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel – and Israel’s ongoing response to those attacks – that petty point scoring is often distracting from the bigger picture.

With depressing inevitability, much discussion of events has descended into the usual nonsense around the so-called culture war. So we have, on one side, the radical, left-wing supposed academics - with no common sense - who try to intellectualise justification for the wanton slaughter of young people attending a music festival.

While a real-life conflict continues in the Middle East, much debate in this country has descended to a juvenile level.Library picture: iStock
While a real-life conflict continues in the Middle East, much debate in this country has descended to a juvenile level.Library picture: iStock

Joining them are the tiresome keyboard warriors and ‘activists’ who have lived so long in their pro-Palestine echo chamber that causal anti-Semitism and open celebration of Israeli deaths have become second nature. To these people, everyone but Hamas is to blame for the current situation.

Others can’t bring themselves to condemn outright a shocking terrorist atrocity because it involves Israel and it’s therefore ‘complex’ – as if a majority terrorist attacks don’t also have a convoluted background.

On the other hand, some are directing their anger at the BBC for its failure to refer directly to Hamas as terrorists, despite BBC journalists showing incredible bravery in bringing their actions to such a wide audience in the first place. The reporters also make it abundantly clear that Hamas is designated as a terrorist group, just in case viewers can’t work it out themselves from the appalling massacre of civilians. Some journalists let themselves down this week by jumping to conclusions but that’s a separate matter.

The terminology used by our national broadcaster is a debatable point, of course, but probably not to the point it’s still being debated.

The BBC also had an excellent report on the dubious language being used by some at pro-Palestinian rallies and whether this may breach anti-terrorism legislation. One of the speakers was your classic middle-class Citizen Smith-type, dressed in his obligatory revolutionary chic and terribly excited at the prospect of getting arrested or even sent to prison, no doubt imagining all the boring stories he could tell his socially conscious friends at their next dinner party.

The FA became a target for much criticism over its failure to specifically acknowledge the deaths in Israel at last weekend’s England game, instead issuing a bland corporate statement which tried to appease everyone and angered pretty much everyone. Again, the FA is not the enemy here but let’s hope this undignified mess puts an end to football’s need to endlessly trumpet its political and social ‘values’. When the England football manager is being asked questions about the situation in the Middle East at a pre-match press conference, it’s probably time to take a step back and spare us the game’s clumsy attempts at moralising.

While the real conflict continues in the Middle East, we can no doubt expect a lot more juvenile squabbling in this country. But if recent events have taught us anything, it’s that rabid tribalism rarely leads anywhere good.

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