Just don't touch the third rail

Published: Mon, 10/30/23

Any one notice that, although the media has regular reports on ‘Israel’s war on Hamas’ almost no one is actually talking about it ,whether on social media, or in ordinary social conversations?
Even in church over the past two weeks preachers will include a vague hope for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East in the prayers of intercession, and that is it. Think back over the past 7 or 8 years and compare the conversations about Brexit, Covid, BLM, Russia’s limited military operation in the Donbas (or ‘Putin’s totally unprovoked full scale invasion of Europe’ if you prefer) which took place on and off line and the present radio silence concerning Gaza.
Politicians and the legacy media trot out the standard lines about Israel’s right to exist, and her right to defend herself, and apart from that when did anyone say anything that really made any sense?
There is a metaphor which is used to explain this absence of discourse. A metro train system such as the London Underground or the New York subway has a third rail between the ones on which the train wheels run. This third rail is electrified at around 600 volts and from this rail the trains pick up the power they need for their electric motors. If you need to walk across a metro line you can do so quite safely, just so long as you do not touch the ‘third rail’.
American politicians who are willing to discuss the place of Israel in Western politics will describe criticism of Israel as the ‘third rail’ of political discourse. Western politicians can support Israel’s right to exist and her right to defend herself, but any critical comment is probably going to vaporise any political career. Occasionally a popular politician with an even handed attitude to the Middle East, such as Jeremy Corbyn, gets a little too close to actual office. Then we see a concerted effort to ensure that such a person is sidelined as soon as possible. The most effective weapon used is of course charges of ‘antisemitism’, however unfounded such accusations might be. Throughout our lives this same fear of ‘touching the third rail’ has been inculcated into all of us, hence the lack of discussion about what is happening in the Middle East right now.
Perhaps we should be talking about the rapidly developing catastrophe in Gaza. I keep thinking of the line from the ABBA song Mamma Mia, ‘it feels like I win when I lose.’ The people of Gaza, especially the children are suffering appallingly right now and in a sane and compassionate world this would never be happening. In such a world neither would the Palestinians have been driven off their land and herded into an open air prison camp in the first place. What is happening to the Palestinians is terrible. However, you don’t always win by causing death and destruction, and even getting killed doesn’t mean you have necessarily lost the real battle. I wonder if Israel realises how much danger she is in right now.
For some reason the powers that direct the USA, and thus NATO, seem determined to take on three enemies at once. Ukraine was set up to fight a proxy war against Russia. Taiwan is supposed to ‘rebel’ against mainland China. The third member of the current Axis of Evil, as described by Mike Johnson, the the new House Speaker, is Iran. US animosity against Iran is nothing new and goes back to the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favour of the strengthened monarchical rule of the Shah in 1953 and the revolution in 1979. Saddam Husain’s Iraq was supported by the USA while Iraq pursued a bloody war against his neighbour between 1980 and 1988. More recently Iran has been subject to punitive sanctions intended to prevent a nuclear weapons programme which may never have existed anyway. In the last couple of years Iran has been a loyal friend to Russia and had provided much valuable support to Putin in the Ukraine
So, who is in the best position to fight a proxy war with Iran? 40 years ago Iraq was willing to do Washington’s dirty work. Today, with the Muslim/arab world more united than ever before Israel is the only contender who might be pushed into the ring against Iran. Iran has no particular desire to get involved in a full scale shooting war so what might just trigger armed conflict? 2 years ago Russia finally had to act when NATO was about to come right up to its boarders and the Nazi attacks on the Russian speakers of the Donbas became intolerable. How many Palestinian women and children trapped in Gaza will the Israelis need to kill before action is taken to protect the survivors? Evidence is accumulating that the Hamas actions on the 7th of October were allowed, if not orchestrated, to happen, as I suggested in my last post. A good many of the causalities that were blamed on Hamas were actually the result of indiscriminate fire
by Israeli forces. (links below). Now the ground offensive is underway, apparently with direct American involvement. Will a Middle Eastern ‘coalition of the willing’ led by Iran take military action against Israel in support of the people of Gaza?
Actually, I don’t know. Military action by Iran and regional allies would have highly unpredictable results. However, what is predictable is that the more children Israel kills the less effective the pro Israel propaganda becomes. As Catlin Johnstone put it in her post yesterday. ‘There’s only so much propaganda spin you can put on the murder of thousands of children.’ As a father of a child coming up to 4 years old my heart breaks for every child killed in this horrible situation. Yet, every child that dies cuts away support for Israel and the current in the ‘third rail’ loses a few more volts. Eventually no country in the world, maybe not even the USA, will ever elect a politician, who does not fully hold Israel to account. Those helpless Palestinian children dying in their thousands may yet turn out to be the warriors who save our world from itself.
If you are not receiving and reading Catlin Johnstone’s posts why not? https://caitlinjohnstone.com.au/2023/10/30/before-they-launch-missiles-they-launch-propaganda-campaigns/
The Greystone is a reliable source of information, here is their report on what actually happened on the 7th of October https://thegrayzone.com/2023/10/27/israels-military-shelled-burning-tanks-helicopters/
Who really created Israel? Why and How? And the modern Christian heresy which does so much to sustain US support for Israel https://rumble.com/v3pr62s-must-see-the-mystery-of-israel-solved.html
PS Course this Saturday in Tickton, East Yorkshire http://iceandfire.org.uk/tickton041123.html
Graham Butcher
21 Beaver Road
Beverley East Yorkshire HU17 0QN

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