— Magpie V (@i_magpie) July 24, 2014
Goldblog wonders why the media is paying so much attention to Gaza and so little to Syria, when the implications of the latter conflict are, in his view, much broader (and the death toll much higher):
[T]he Arab Spring (or Awakening, or whatever word you choose) has given lie to the idea—shorthanded as “linkage”—that the key to American success in the broader Middle East is dependent on finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This idea, that all roads run through Jerusalem, has traditionally motivated a great deal of journalistic and foreign policy expert interest in this conflict. Finding a solution to this conflict is very important to the future of Israelis and Palestinians, of course, but not nearly so much to Americans. A peaceful resolution to this conflict would do little to bring about good governance in Arab states, or an end to Islamist extremism in the greater Middle East. Which brings me back to Syria. The war in Syria (and Iraq, since it is more or less a single war now) is of greater national security importance to the United States than the war in Gaza, and it should be covered in a way that reflects this reality.
It’s a familiar, ancient device for Israel apologists: there are worse massacres elsewhere; solving Israel-Palestine won’t help us much in foreign policy anyway; so lets move right along, shall we? And don’t mention the settlements, except in asides that are designed to credentialize the writer as someone who naturally opposes them – even as he also opposes any serious pressure on Israel to stop the provocations. He attributes the discrepancy to the Western world’s weird obsession with criticizing Israel, which is subtler version of the accusation of anti-Semitism.
One reason, of course, which Goldblog mentions, is that the US is partly paying for the slaughter in Gaza and for the clean-up afterwards. More to the point, condemnation of Assad is universal in the US (while Netanyahu is lionized and egged on by one political party), and the conflict there is an evenly matched civil war, rather than one more relentless pounding of a weak mini-state under Israeli control with casualties massively lop-sided in one direction. This is not to say that what is going on in Syria isn’t unbelievably awful and worse in many ways than what’s occurring in Gaza. We noted the massacre here that Goldblog says the NYT ignored. It is simply to say that we would be far more involved if we were supplying the weapons that were killing Syrians en masse.
Keating, on the other hand, agrees that the world is paying attention to the wrong events, but thinks the reason has more to do with how we react to short-term vs. long-term conflicts: