The incoherence of a ‘middle road’

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Annexations


Fig. 1. Photograph by author, November 25, 2020.

Ryan Deto, “Wilkinsburg annexation failure reflects merger hurdles for Pa.’s 2,560 municipalities,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 10, 2024, https://triblive.com/local/regional/wilkinsburg-annexation-failure-reflects-merger-hurdles-for-pa-s-2560-municipalities/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine

07_09:10:47-2
Fig. 2. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

This is what you call “middle ground,” hailed by so many who are convinced that policy should be formed not from any logic or evidence but rather follow a mythological “middle road.”

“It reeks of cowardice — an unwillingness to state the obvious,” said one Democratic lawmaker, who, like several people interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer a frank assessment of the report [on Israel Defense Forces war crimes in Gaza]. The lawmaker said the Biden administration’s position “appears to defy the facts.”[2]

“Middle ground” is reliably incoherent. It does not in fact exist. Appeals to it are a desperate lie meant to preserve the status quo, as in this case.

Rollie Atkinson, “Campus protest redux,” Moral Dilemmas: First Drafts and Commentaries, May 3, 2024, https://rollieatkinson.substack.com/p/campus-protest-redux

Gabriel Debenedetti, “It’s Not 1968 to Joe Biden,” New York, May 3, 2024, https://apple.news/Am-BcQkVNQ86yBoySWEPzOw

Times of Israel, “Hamas indicates it may agree to deal; Israeli official insists truce won’t end the war,” May 4, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-indicates-it-may-agree-to-deal-israeli-official-insists-truce-wont-end-the-war/

Kareem Fahim and Adela Suliman, “Israel shuts down Al Jazeera’s operations, raids Jerusalem office,” Washington Post, May 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/05/05/al-jazeera-israel-shut-down-gaza/

Barak Ravid, “U.S. put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel,” Axios, May 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/05/israel-us-ammunition-shipment-hold

Stephen Zunes, “Don’t Buy the Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign on ‘From the River to the Sea,’” Truthout, May 5, 2024, https://truthout.org/articles/dont-buy-the-right-wing-disinformation-campaign-on-from-the-river-to-the-sea/

Emanuel Fabian, “IDF tells 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah ahead of planned offensive,” Times of Israel, May 6, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-calls-on-palestinians-to-evacuate-eastern-rafah-ahead-of-planned-offensive/

Harold Meyerson, “Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict?” American Prospect, May 6, 2024, https://prospect.org/world/2024-05-06-who-created-israel-palestine-conflict/

Abeer Salman et al., “Israel says Rafah operations will go ahead as Hamas deal remains ‘far’ from meeting its demands,” Cable News Network, May 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/06/middleeast/hamas-agrees-ceasefire-proposal-israel-gaza-latam-intl/index.html

Thomas J. Sugrue, “College Presidents Behaving Badly,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 6, 2024, https://www.chronicle.com/article/college-presidents-behaving-badly

Ishaan Tharoor, “What lies beneath Gaza’s rubble and ruin,” Washington Post, May 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/06/gaza-destruction-rubble-calamity/

Alexander Ward, Lara Seligman, and Erin Banco, “US fears Israel speeding up Rafah invasion timeline after deadly Hamas attack,” Politico, May 6, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/05/06/us-israel-rafah-invasion-hamas-attack-00156256

John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/

Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA

Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/

Barak Ravid, “Blinken report expected to criticize Israel, but say it isn’t breaking weapons terms,” Axios, May 9, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/05/10/israel-gaza-us-weapons-congress-report-blinken

Ishaan Tharoor, “Israel puts Rafah in the eye of the storm,” Washington Post, May 9, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2024/05/09/rafah-gaza-city-palestine-history/

John Hudson, “U.S. says Israel may have violated humanitarian law using American weapons,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/10/biden-israel-gaza-us-weapons/

Toluse Olorunnipa and Jacqueline Alemany, “Biden’s isolation grows as Gaza report both criticizes and clears Israel,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/10/biden-israel-human-rights-report/

Times of Israel, “Report: State Department set to confirm Israel not breaking international law in Gaza,” May 10, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/report-state-department-set-to-confirm-israel-not-breaking-international-law-in-gaza/

United Nations News, “UN General Assembly presses Security Council to give ‘favourable consideration’ to full Palestinian membership,” May 10, 2024, https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/05/1149596

Brett Wilkins, “Biden ‘Moving the Goal Post’ With Threat to Withhold Bombs from Israel,” Inter Press Service, May 10, 2024, https://www.ipsnews.net/2024/05/biden-moving-goal-post-threat-withhold-bombs-israel/


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Finances


Fig. 3. Trump International Hotel, Las Vegas, undated image credited to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glynlowe/ [bad link], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

Paul Kiel and Russ Buettner, “IRS Audit of Trump Could Cost Former President More Than $100 Million,” ProPublica, May 11, 2024, https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-irs-audit-chicago-hotel-taxes


  1. [1]Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” September 12, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/20-years-after-its-opening-destroyed-gaza-airport-embodies-grounded-peace-hopes/
  2. [2]Toluse Olorunnipa and Jacqueline Alemany, “Biden’s isolation grows as Gaza report both criticizes and clears Israel,” Washington Post, May 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/10/biden-israel-human-rights-report/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.