Video Game Journalists Versus Israel

Israel deserves criticism for its military's overreaction and callous disregard of human life, but let's not pretend that Hamas is innocent in all of this either.

Photo by Konevi from Pexels

According to this very long piece by Patrick Klepek at Vice’s Waypoint blog, everyone at IGN is seething mad after management decided to take down a statement of support for the suffering of the Palestinian people during the ongoing clash between Hamas and the IDF.

I get why staffers might be upset by management forcing them to take down a post that they believe was in the spirit of helping people in need. I also understand why management might not want to alienate large swaths of readership who might view this post as needlessly one-sided. The Palestinian people are absolutely suffering and I completely support charities that help civilians in need.

But it’s no walk in the park to have rockets fired at you by Hamas, either. Israeli civilians are also suffering in this conflict, though clearly not to the same degree.

Then again, Hamas is comprised of extremist assholes who knew perfectly well that their actions would lead to the deaths of women and children—the very people they’re supposed to care for. They did it anyways not because they thought their rockets would do anything to harm the Israeli state, but to gain points on the geopolitical stage. In this sense, their actions have been an enormous success, while Israel’s overreaction has been a PR nightmare.

My point: Hamas is vile and should be condemned. Israel’s overreaction is way over-the-top and shows a callous disregard for human life and should also be condemned. Yes, dear lord in heaven, both sides are acting like murderous bastards. You can hand-wave that away by saying I’m engaging in “both-side-isms” but it’s true. The conclusion I keep coming to every time the words “Israel Palestinian conflict” are uttered is that the hardliners in both camps are stubborn and cruel to a fault, and will gladly spill blood even though they know nothing will change, nothing will improve.

In any case, I made a video about how video game journalists and websites keep entering this fray in support of Palestine while leaving out any historical context, without even mentioning Hamas. I think this is unhelpful and dishonest, and I say that not as some fervent supporter of Israel—I have publicly condemned Zionist settlers many times—but because I don’t think this approach is helpful to the cause of peace and understanding.

Some readers have lashed out at me for this, but I assure you I am no Ben Shapiro, I am no neoconservative or hawk. I am and have been anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and pro-peace. But I also recognize that this is a complicated conflict that can’t simply be boiled down into simple slogans or memes. It’s so damn complicated and the sides are so entrenched, that I honestly don’t think we’ll see any sort of lasting peace in our lifetimes, which is depressing—and realistic. You have to be realistic about these things.

Frankly, I think we should get out of the Middle East and never look back.