And what are the story games of war, you ask?
War is a story game that requires you and me
to play complimentary roles
You must play the role of My Enemy
In order for it to be meaningful for me to hate you or kill you and hurt you
and You need me to play the part of Your Enemy
In order for it to be meaningful for you to hate me or kill me and hurt me.
We must both ensure that our hating is backed up by enough evidence so it appears plausible and defensible, better still, inevitable, and best of all, honorable
To that end, I need to harvest as much hatred from your past with me
To prove you always hated me-
Ensure any news from your present proves you still hate me
and project in apocalyptic terms your future to show you will always hate me
You need to do the same-
harvest as much hatred from my past
to show I always hated you
Ensure all the news from my present proves I still hate you
and project in apocalyptic terms, my future to show that I will always hate you.
We must both be vigilant lest our ancient hates grow stale, and determine to constantly invent fresh incitements and provocations, true or false matters little,
Should the present be too lacking in drama, or our people come
too close to falling in love with peace,
we must urgently evoke catastrophic scenarios that place us both on the edge.
If there is a strong move to build trust and negotiate,
or play the story games of peace or progress or the Future,
We both need to double down on all the stories
that keep the story game of war alive.
If the question of legitimacy arises, be sure we agree on the plan
that I deligitimise you so that you can more assertively claim your legitimacy
and you deligitimise me so that I can claim my legitimacy as a badge of honor
so that we can both argue the case, if we were not legitimate in the first place,
would they (you) try so hard to deligitimise us
and would we try so hard to deligitimise them (You)?
When it comes to Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, the amazing BDS,
Lets use that to keep the story fiery and controversial, and newly contested
so that you can claim that BDS is anti-semitic and a form of economic apartheid
and we can counter claim that BDS is a legitimate protest against an apartheid regime
That way we have the nice balance of you applying your own BDS movement to boycott our BDS movement and we keep a nice symmetry of mutual attacks and echoing rebuttals, forming a contest to see who can insult each other more.
And while we are at it, lets have fun making ultimatums and threatening walk outs and dissing anyone who gets close to helping us in constructive ways,
And be sure to follow your script that accuses us- “It is YOU who set pre-conditions.
We just want peace,”
so that allows us in turn to respond
“If YOU keep building settlements, how can you be serious about peace?”
and that way, our game can go on and on and on, as it has.
Maybe to mix it up, lets shift the terms in mid stream, We demand a Jewish State and right of return, or you yours a Sharia state and a right of escape,
and maybe renegotiate the negotiations as part of the negotiations that need to be renegotiated.
To make sure we can both benefit from our story games of war,
lets agree that we both need hapless rescuers who take our side and supply us all the sympathy we need to make them feel guilty enough to give us aid,
but let us be sure they are not too helpful lest they recognize our racket,
or realize how naive they are,
and lets re-enforce their moral indignation so that they serve
as an echo chamber of all our lies and intrigues, and are never tempted to think thoughts independent of our agendas or realize how easy they are to manipulate.
Lets be sure that we never let on that the real enemy is not you and me
but any change that would take us off script.
We will agree to keep demanding change from the other side
and keep blaming the other side for not doing what we are not willing to do,
which allows you to call us hypocrites and we can call you terrorists,
and we can keep the world giving us free aid, bribing us to behave
even though we promise we will never behave enough
for them to put away their check books.
Lets agree that that any peace will be a bribe that works fairly for both of us
and never amounts to a serious commitment to end hostilities which would ruin our game.
Our payoff from the racket is that if the rest of the world cares,
the rest of the world pays,
and if the rest of the world gets madder and madder at us
They will care more and pay more. We both win by losing.
Because- lets face it, our poor little nations exist at the edge of nowhere, full of nobodies and anybodies, and our lot is to be swallowed up by swirling powers and empires.
Our story game of war makes us both feel at the center of global politics,
and people affirm us as their excuse to be terrorists and assassins, so
“We must matter!”
All this makes it imperative that we keep up our theater of threats and counter threats,
and occupation and betrayal to keep the world on edge.
For us, the alternative to war is not peace but being forgotten,
even worse, becoming nobodies, and worst of all, exposed as shysters,
Where else would a Secretary of State spend two years solid, begging us to keep talking
and offering us incentives, or a Pope plan a huge visit, or UN resolutions that go on for days. These prove our story game of war is working for us, and is the incentive to keep inventing newer versions called Oslo III or Camp David Redux or Road Maps to Nowhere.
Our biggest fear, as trusted enemies that we are, is that once we make peace, We will both have made nations at the cost of having fallen off the map. We would both rather risk being despised than being forgotten and negotiators never get that.