Today was pretty Gaza-dominated on the site again. Over in the forums, Gaza-related threads are getting very long and heated. Just asn an example, Iron Mike posted this one on Hamas being the blame for the war, and it now has 110 replies. I think that Avi Shlaim's devastating history of Israel's post-1947 treatment of Palestinians should be read by all those in that thread. It is very powerful to hear this story told by "someone who served loyally in the
Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of
the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders."
We published on the economy too. Godfrey Hodgson celebrates the return of the economically powerful state, while Simon Zadek sees the hope for real accountability in capital allocation mechanisms. Simon links the solution of the financial crisis and the environmental crisis: both are failures to hold the powerful to account for all the consequences of their actions. I hope Simon is right. I feel that the solutions may be less technocratic than he seems to suggest---redesigning incentive systems is unlikely without a firm purpose, and that needs a strong, positive vision to take hold. On that, we could do better.
There is a very moving story of vision in Jane Gabriel's interview of legend film-maker Theo Angelopoulos. He is interesting on the riots ... but also on the optimism of his own generation:
I belong to an older generation, a generation that believed that
change was possible, that it was possible to change the world, that it
was possible to open up a new path. My generation believed that it was
possible not only to dream of a new world, but also to turn dreams into
realities. It didn't happen. I think we are all carrying the shadow of
disappointment and failure. "
But read to the end. It is brimming with hope.
We have a huge amount of good material coming in. That's one thing crises do -- send thinking people to write. We don't have the capacity to transform all of it into publishable material. Hat tip to the volunteers in the publishing network without whom output would slow to a trickle!
Oh ... and yesterday's intruder on the Gaza box. He's now written suggesting some writers we might like to commission. That's an improvement in method :)