Thank You, Amy

Democracy Now! opens today’s headlines with the 25 [1] Palestinians killed, and over a thousand wounded, by Israeli bullets yesterday.  The Palestinians are protesting the U.S. Embassy being moved to Jerusalem, on the day Ivanka and Jared land in Israel for a ceremony opening the new embassy.   Jared will get right back to work on Middle East peace, one of several important tasks he’s been given by President America’s Got A Complete  Asshole.  The protesters are massing by the highly fortified border between Gaza and Israel, where they are also contending with tear gas, dropped from Israeli drones over Gaza.   Meanwhile, right wing fanatics applaud the Israeli violence as moral and just, or at the very least, necessary.

We are used to this America RIGHT OR WRONG stance from years of black-and-white thinkers defending atrocities.  “If we committed atrocities– and I say IF, because we are basically good and our enemies are evil— they WERE FOR A VERY GOOD FUCKING REASON!   Look how evil those fucks we ‘tortured’, threw out of helicopters, burned, slammed against walls, deprived of sleep, shoved feeding tubes up their assholes— only evil can fight evil.   Like you never had a fucking evil thought, you self-righteous piece of shit!  Go live in Roosha, boy, if you hate our freedom so much”

As I walked into a concert for peace the other night, Arab and Jewish Israelis, Arab and Jewish Palestinians, showing how to make beautiful music across bitter and deadly historic disagreements, there was a small knot of protesters outside the venue.    They were chanting that the synagogue where the concert was being held was anti-Semitic.  They chanted some catchy little rhyme about hate.  

I walked over to them, and learned that they feel that since one of the groups sponsoring the concert, New Israel Fund, is apparently against the proposed U.S. law that would make it a felony to support BDS, Boycott, Divest, Sanction and that, therefore, the concert was propaganda for haters of Israel, self-hating Jews, etc..   There was really no talking to them about the issues involved.   Arab lives simply don’t matter to these zealots, anyone questioning Israel’s right to enact any policies whatsoever are the moral equivalent of Nazis.

Those who hate Israel are able to make certain apt comparisons between Israel’s state policies under Netanyahu and those of the NSDAP in Germany, the group history remembers as the Nazis.  There is collective punishment.  One member of your village takes a shot at one of us and we raze all the houses on the block.   There is a casualness about deadly violence directed at the people being occupied.   Settlers and occupying soldiers have a right to shoot Arabs who hate them in a provocative way.  It’s like here, the way racists think of angry blacks.  They’re scary and who can blame you if you flinch sometimes and shoot one?   They want to kill you, so go ahead and shoot them before they do. 

I don’t hate Israel, not at all.  As an idea, as an ideal, as a reality, Israel is very important to me as a Jew, particularly in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise, along with all kinds of racism.  That said, the current governing coalition in Israel, with its long tactic of the Iron Fist, the abandonment of Jewish morality about helping the weak, feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, etc. (notably not about protecting Jews at the expense of everyone else) is the Israeli equivalent of Trump’s America.  There is the same level of nuance, of empathy, of vision of the future.

Israel, right or wrong.  USA!   USA!!!!   It cannot be, though it very often is, that creatures with such simplistic views carry the day.  These things are complicated, you will say, there are millions of Palestinians, in camps, generation on generation of hopeless rage.   You solve the problem by being strong, making sure your iron fist can crush whatever comes, at whatever cost is necessary.   This is a recipe for a self-perpetuating eternal war.  It’s like The War On Terror or the War on Drugs.  These zero-sum policies are moronic non-solutions to real, pressing human problems.

“Duh, if we, uh, kill all the terrorists, and all the drug dealers, and all the people who think the terrorists might have legitimate grievances, and all the people who buy the drugs from the drug dealers, well— eventually these evil fucks will get the point.  We will kill all of them, and done.  Is that simple enough for you?”    Very much simple enough, yes.  The only problem is that imbecilic, violent “solutions” only create more despair, violence, motive for retaliation, hopelessness, rage, killing. 

Aside from that, it’s the best possible way to deal with a complicated problem– kill all the fuckers who complain too loudly.  You’d want that done to you, if you had legitimate grievances, despair, rage, hopelessness.  Isn’t that true?

 

[1] by the following day the numbers were 61 Palestinians dead and 2,700 wounded, as reported by Democracy Now!    Reports vary widely:  

Gaza protests – as it happened: Two Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in second day of deadly violence      The Independent · 20 mins ago       source
Gaza braces for protests and funerals a day after at least 58 Palestinians killed by Israeli troops      Telegraph.co.uk · 14 hours ago    source
Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem
New York Times · 18 hours ago
Dozens of Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes as US Embassy opens
CNN · 1 day ago
 

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