It's always an Israeli-Arab conflict that turns everyone back into a warmongering ethno-nationalist in five minutes flat. There are usually a few far-left holdouts, but beyond that the guys and gals calling you a racist fascist bigot for loving your own people and land are on the bandwagon for either Jewish or Palestinian ethnic interests of the blood and soil variety. For many on the right, Israel acts as a proxy for nativist instincts they are required by the postwar liberal consensus to suppress about their own country, and for the left Palestine acts as a flashpoint for de-colonisation and resisting a conquest by settlers.
The connection this war has to New Zealand is insignificant, but in a globalised world everyone makes everything their problem. We have a local far-left activist who fundraised for a Palestinian terrorist organisation. We had a bunch of Israeli spies killed in the Christchruch earthquake that no one ever talks about.
Jewish groups in New Zealand closed their preschools and synagogues in the week after a successful Hamas incursion into Israel. How genuine any risk was we don't know, but our immigration and refugee policies opens us up to an imported blood feud flaring up in our islands. Sydney saw the very refugees it took in take to the streets to chant "gas the Jews".
We have former prime minister Helen Clark who is part of an international group of shadowy figures known as "The Elders" (of Anti-Zion?) and has called for a "final solution of this problem" that is the Israel-Palestine war which has waxed hot and cold for 75 years.
These attempts ring hollow when every facet of this conflict shows the fakeness of the liberal postwar consensus. Ethnic nationalism is at the heart of both sides. It's a forbidden blood and soil conflict that the UN swore to never allow again, but one they remain powerless to stop. Both sides are a repudiation of progressivism and monuments to its hollowness.
Hamas' greatest military success has also been their downfall. The Jewish state now has an open licence for the complete pacification of Gaza—whatever the cost.
International supporters of Hamas (or the "Palestinian cause") are facing purges from institutions. The usual "cancel culture" opponents are thankfully all full-throated Zionists and so are not providing any help to any of our leftist enemies getting fired.
The reason everyone gets so invested in the Israel-Gaza War is because it is a proxy war for the one we don't dare to fight ourselves.
One of the first videos from the Hamas incursion into Israeli territory was of festival goers running for their lives in the desert while someone driving away in a car filmed them running as gunfire rang in the background. We've since learned that these were from a psychedelic rave at which over 260 dead bodies have been recovered.
If you've ever wondered what local leftists mean by "de-colonisation" you now have an answer.
I haven't been able to shake the dreadful irony of that scene. While the other scenes were unsettling, at some level reading about "barbarians" raiding the "civilised" settlements from which their ancestors were displaced, killing the children and elderly in their homes, and making off with the women, feels a lot more… well, understandable.
Those who colonise the desert to make it bloom take on timeless risk and danger. They're reliving the conquest of a land that once belonged to their own ancestors. They're the armies of David fighting against the Philistines. They're settlers fighting a holy war with purpose. Their lost lives are tragic, but not entirely senseless.
Those who party a few miles from a dystopian warzone prison with a population of 2 million don't have such a purpose. Their deaths feel different. A sign of the times more than anything else: a product of liberal world order. The rootless cosmopolitan generation has forgotten that they must follow the path their ancestors carved out for them or they will be the first to die when the world changes.
"Can't we all just live in peace?" they ask. Imagine there's no borders and no war. Imagine there's no heaven and no hell.
Imagine that, right as 123 grains of hot lead fired at 2,400 feet per second from the barrel of an AK-47 manufactured in the basement of a derelict apartment building in a third-generation refugee camp and wielded by a devoutly religious man rips through your torso. The last thing you see is the girl you met in a bar in Tel Aviv two weeks ago dragged away onto the back of a motorbike and driven away to Gaza as a trophy in a hundred year old blood feud that'll run for generations after you're both dead, buried, and forgotten.
In 1956, speaking at the funeral of a young IDF lieutenant killed by Palestinian militants, their commander-in-chief Moshe Dayan said:
Let us not today cast blame on the murderers. Who are we to argue against their potent hatred for us? For eight years they have been sitting in the refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we have been turning the land and villages in which they and their forefathers lived into our own inheritance.
This is a war of belief, and only those with the strongest faith will win