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Don’t Shout at the Telly: Gaza, Israel, ISIS & Ukraine


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In WORLDbytes latest ‘on the sofa’ Citizen TV show, volunteers take part in a Q&A with spiked editor Brendan O’Neill on Western anti-Israel protests, the identity politics of ISIS and the unravelling of Ukraine. O’Neill clarifies what’s at stake and the folly of Western intervention. This anti-dote to emotionalism, is a must watch worth sharing.

Related topics: Debates, Global

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Eaman said:

The anti-war, and anti-Israel movements we see taking place today are very complex and disguised of many different layers. There seems to be this pro-war sentiment towards Israel, which leads to further Western Intervention. There is no actual desire or importance given to understanding these complex issues, and we see the result of disproportionate conflicts throughout the world. I agree with O’Neil’s take on the politics of victimhood, and how in the case of Israel and Palestine, victimizing Palestinians has disastrous results. When we victimize these actors in a war, we create room for the West to further intervene, and allow these fantasized and imagined destruction of Western Intervention to take place. A way to address these issues, is for the West to step back, and allow the main actors in conflict to resolve their own issues. These main actors need that incentive, and victimizing the actors is having the opposite effect.
The discussion on Geopolitics was very interesting, in that we see how interrelated all conflicts are. What might seem as coincidences taking place are in fact not, but rather direct consequences from Western Intervention. We are currently seeing this “cowardly colonialism” take place, where Western intervention has created these vacuums in various countries that are then in turn filled up by so called “extremist” or “fundamental groups”. However I think that even these terms need to be redefined and revaluated. I think we need to stop looking at the surface of these issues, and go to the root of it to understand the various elements at play.

ashlie said:

Although, Brandon raised several good points, I do disagree with some of his opinions, such as the Israel vs Palestine issue. I don’t believe that Palestine is playing the victim. I believe that it is very hard for them as the western world seems to be very pro-Israel in comparison to pro-Palestine. But I do believe that the dispute occurring between these two groups of people has been magnified a lot, there are other issues that occur in the world but unfortunately they haven’t got the same amount of media attention. I also disagree about the view that we celebrate multiculturalism too much, in fact I believe we don’t celebrate it enough. Ethnic groups are constantly mocked or looked down upon due to their cultures; instead we should learn about them more and embrace them too so they are not segregated. ‘What it means to be British’ this saying in my opinion should not exist, we are all human beings, by publicising this view we are deferring from our own backgrounds, we should celebrate being different too, being the same is quite boring and too uniform. Though, I do agree that we have to look at similarities in order to unite us because differences push us a part. There should be a balance between multiculturalism and being the same within today’s society. I also believe that the west like to intervene in issues that occur in other countries. I feel that it’s a bad idea as the west creates mess for the occupants of those countries, e.g. Iraq , Afghanistan and Syria. It is these countries which are always in the media for conflicts, which I find very coincidental.

Chidera said:

I have been wondering about the reasons for all the conflits in Gaza, Isreal, ISIS and Ukraine. It seams that the media and many people in the West are biased, they just accept the one view from our government. Many believe that the west need to intervene but is this really what will benefit these countries? I believe that if we really want to help, we should just leave these countries to sort out their own problems rather than telling them what to do and exacerbating their problems.

Josie said:

An interesting discussion and many questions raised especially in relation to the West’s actions. We see ourselves as having responsibility to sort out the Middle East, yet in reality it seems we don’t contribute to anything but devastation. The opposition in Ukraine was exacerbated by Western intervention, if the West really values people’s individual freedoms, why aren’t people left to come up with their own political solutions. Instead tensions between the West and Russia were pressurised further because of the double-standards of the West.

JJ said:

yes I believe the West does always make things worse by intervention but with IS I find it difficult to object to them being targetted as they are so horrific, I can see this took place before the bombing of IS though and can see that the West’s created mess spurred them into exisitence but I would like to know what Mr O’Neill has to say about intervention against them.

Sarah K said:

Excellent discussion and much I had not thought about. I can see that being hysterical about Israel may make matters worse.