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Paul Kirkley: Only an idiot would pick a side in this tragedy





Even by the pitifully low standards of recent years, the past month has been a terrible one for life on planet Earth, with the news bringing us fresh horrors from the Middle East on what seems like an hourly basis.

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Picture: Ariel Schalit/AP/PA
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Picture: Ariel Schalit/AP/PA

Closer to home, it’s been depressing to see so many people rallying to one flag or the other, as if the Israel-Palestine situation offers a simple, binary choice between right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark. Because if there’s any conflict on Earth where we shouldn’t be picking a side, it’s surely this one.

After all, do we not, to quote Walt Whitman, contain multitudes? Are we not capable of recognising that two very different things can be true? That the world is not black and white, but composed of infinite shades of grey? Or does the age of shouty culture wars no longer allow for such nuance?



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