Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Without Talking About It


I regularly listen to only a couple of podcasts.  One of these is The Rest is History, hosted by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook.

At the time of my writing this, they are in the middle of a multi-part (at least eight-part) series on Custer’s Last Stand (here is the link to the podcast page; finding the specific podcasts on this topic will be easy enough if you are interested).

Part One was published on May 5.  I do believe they plan their episodes well in advance.  So, perhaps this was planned before October 7, but perhaps it wasn’t.  Seven months in advance seems a long time.

What I have found, while listening to the series, is how clearly, they are offering a parallel narrative to the current situation between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.  They make countless statements in such a way that the connection cannot help but be drawn. 

Now, you might say this is due to their being standard leftists – the white man against the brown man.  But I don’t think that would be a fair description of either of them, at all.  For example, in no way do they idealize the Indians (Native Americans or whatever I am supposed to call them today).  They point out their aggressive and destructive behaviors; they note that they did not live idyllic lives.

Further, if they are doing anything, they paint what happened to the Indians in a light less negative than what is happening to Palestinians today.  They are clear, backed with some evidence, that the military leaders in the US at the time preferred some form of assimilation – although if the Indians didn’t go for that, well then, all bets were off.

In Israel, of course, there is no concept of assimilation.  Just all bets are off.

What the two are doing, whether knowingly or not, is making a very critical statement about what Israel is doing in Gaza.  They never say anything even remotely connecting these two events (albeit, I am only part way through the series; this might change).  It is a story focused solely on the American plains of a century-and-a-half ago, and not at all overtly regarding the Eastern Mediterranean of today.

At least so far, they are talking about it without talking about it. 

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