Seeing Israeli action in Gaza through the idea of dyspathy

First reactions: Impossibly complex, impossibly painful to watch from a distance, impossible to comment usefully.

Attempting to ‘make sense’ with tools from EDiCT: Dyspathy is anything that blocks empathy. In conflict transformation, we need to understand the roots and processes of dyspathy. We can re-enable empathy by dismantling dyspathy.

This morning, a tweet from Robert Peston, BBC journalist, led to this article by an Israeli sociologist-

Eva Illouz sets out the many ways in which empathy is blocked and dehumanisation of the other has come about, historically and recently. The interview can be read as an analysis of dyspathy in this conflict. She speaks of how dyspathy has its roots in hundred of years of history and politics, of how recent interventions have built it up, of how it is reinforced on a daily basis. She reveals the dynamics of dyspathy: the feedback and feed forward loops, the vicious circles, the stories told and re-told.

It may still feel hopeless but by clarifying the dyspathy at work in the situation, this analysis may offer starting points for transformation.


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