Random Thoughts on the Israel-Hamas War

Alwyn Lau
2 min readOct 19, 2023

In no particular order:

  • Opinions and narratives are not only over-rated, they’re often part of the problem
  • Of course it’s fine to “pick a side”, but is there a way beyond being “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestine” which helps both move towards peace?
  • “Hamas does not represent Palestine” sounds like too easy a way out
  • I didn’t realise condemning cold-blooded slaughter, rape, beheading, and abduction of women and children were a complicated matter
  • “Collateral damage” in the form of thousands dead sounds a lot more acceptable when it isn’t our own people dying
  • No, the war isn’t over simply because you’ve successfully refuted your opponent
  • What the war is about, who’s “right” or “wrong”, what solutions must be implemented — my opinion is 99.999% irrelevant
Photo credits: Telegraph UK
  • When the news breaks that 500 people died in a hospital, if the first thing I focus on is who to blame (as opposed to the victims and their families) maybe I’m part of the problem
  • If the other side commits the war crime, CONDEMN; if it’s our team acts like savages, “CONTEXTUALISE”
  • We don’t need to “stand with Israel”, we only need to stand against the targeting of innocent civilians; we don’t need to “stand with Palestine”, we only need to stand against the deaths of thousands
  • If we can still worry about traffic, our salary, inflation and the quality of the next movie we’re watching, perhaps we’re not really that concerned about the war after all?
  • There are Arabs who want the Palestinians to stop playing victims and there are Jews who want to “free Palestine”; they should chat
  • Maybe Popperian falsification should be applied i.e. what can possibly persuade us our narrative is wrong? If the answer is nothing, then how is this not blind prejudice?
  • Today it’s easier to change our gender than our politics
Photo credits: Wall Street Journal
  • “Hate isn’t a conversation” — Dan Ariely
  • Media is always suspect, propaganda is always problematic, it’s all lies — unless our side is being victimised
  • The war has already taken many lives; don’t let it destroy our friendships
  • 99% of cartoons and satire on the conflict get one side wrong
  • How would my mind change if my family and/or friends are on the ground in Gaza or Southern Israel? (This is what skin-in-the-game is all about)
  • My heart and mind tells me it’s stupid to argue with people over a conflict that has practically nothing to do with either of us; my ego disagrees
  • Ephesians 6:12 has got to be relevant somehow

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Alwyn Lau

Edu-trainer, Žižek studies, amateur theologian, columnist.