Yves here. This discussion is overdue…and I hope the culpability of the United States finally comes to fore in considering what if anything can be done about the horrific campaign against Palestinians. Israeli claims of proportional responses don’t hold up to scrutiny
By Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Nicolas J. S. Davies, an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq
The U.S. corporate media usually report on Israeli military assaults in occupied Palestine as if the United States is an innocent neutral party to the conflict. In fact, large majorities of Americans have told pollsters for decades that they want the United States to be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But U.S. media and politicians betray their own lack of neutrality by blaming Palestinians for nearly all the violence and framing flagrantly disproportionate, indiscriminate and therefore illegal Israeli attacks as a justifiable response to Palestinian actions. The classic formulation from U.S. officials and commentators is that “Israel has the right to defend itself,” never “Palestinians have the right to defend themselves,” even as the Israelis massacre hundreds of Palestinian civilians, destroy thousands of Palestinian homes and seize ever more Palestinian land.
The disparity in casualties in Israeli assaults on Gaza speaks for itself.
– At the time of writing, the current Israeli assault on Gaza has killed at least 200 people, including 59 children and 35 women, while rockets fired from Gaza have killed 10 people in Israel, including 2 children.
– In the 2008-9 assault on Gaza, Israel killed 1,417 Palestinians, while their meagre efforts to defend themselves killed 9 Israelis.
– In 2014, 2,251 Palestinians and 72 Israelis (mostly soldiers invading Gaza) were killed, as U.S.-built F-16s dropped at least 5,000 bombs and missiles on Gaza and Israeli tanks and artillery fired 49,500 shells, mostly massive 6-inch shells from U.S.-built M-109 howitzers.
– In response to largely peaceful “March of Return” protests at the Israel-Gaza border in 2018, Israeli snipers killed 183 Palestinians and wounded over 6,100, including 122 that required amputations, 21 paralyzed by spinal cord injuries and 9 permanently blinded.
As with the Saudi-led war on Yemen and other serious foreign policy problems, biased and distorted news coverage by U.S. corporate media leaves many Americans not knowing what to think. Many simply give up trying to sort out the rights and wrongs of what is happening and instead blame both sides, and then focus their attention closer to home, where the problems of society impact them more directly and are easier to understand and do something about.
So how should Americans respond to horrific images of bleeding, dying children and homes reduced to rubble in Gaza? The tragic relevance of this crisis for Americans is that, behind the fog of war, propaganda and commercialized, biased media coverage, the United States bears an overwhelming share of responsibility for the carnage taking place in Palestine.
U.S. policy has perpetuated the crisis and atrocities of the Israeli occupation by unconditionally supporting Israel in three distinct ways: militarily, diplomatically and politically.
On the military front, since the creation of the Israeli state, the United States has provided $146 billion in foreign aid, nearly all of it military-related. It currently provides $3.8 billionper year in military aid to Israel.
In addition, the United States is the largest seller of weapons to Israel, whose military arsenal now includes 362 U.S.-built F-16 warplanes and 100 other U.S. military aircraft, including a growing fleet of the new F-35s; at least 45 Apache attack helicopters; 600 M-109 howitzers and 64 M270 rocket-launchers. At this very moment, Israel is using many of these U.S.-supplied weapons in its devastating bombardment of Gaza.
The U.S. military alliance with Israel also involves joint military exercises and joint production of Arrow missiles and other weapons systems. The U.S. and Israeli militaries have collaborated on drone technologies tested by the Israelis in Gaza. In 2004, the United States called on Israeli forces with experience in the Occupied Territories to give tactical training to U.S. Special Operations Forces as they confronted popular resistance to the United States’ hostile military occupation of Iraq.
The U.S. military also maintains a $1.8 billion stockpile of weapons at six locations in Israel, pre-positioned for use in future U.S. wars in the Middle East. During the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014, even as the U.S. Congress suspended some weapons deliveries to Israel, it approved handing over stocks of 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenade launcher ammunition from the U.S. stockpile for Israel to use against Palestinians in Gaza.
Diplomatically, the United States has exercised its veto in the UN Security Council 82 times, and 44 of those vetoes have been to shield Israel from accountability for war crimes or human rights violations. In every single case, the United States has been the lone vote against the resolution, although a few other countries have occasionally abstained.
It is only the United States’ privileged position as a veto-wielding Permanent Member of the Security Council, and its willingness to abuse that privilege to shield its ally Israel, that gives it this unique power to stymie international efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable for its actions under international law.
The result of this unconditional U.S. diplomatic shielding of Israel has been to encourage increasingly barbaric Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. With the United States blocking any accountability in the Security Council, Israel has seized ever more Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, uprooted more and more Palestinians from their homes and responded to the resistance of largely unarmed people with ever-increasing violence, detentions and restrictions on day-to-day life.
Thirdly, on the political front, despite most Americans supporting neutrality in the conflict, AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbying groups have exercised an extraordinary role in bribing and intimidating U.S. politicians to provide unconditional support for Israel.
The roles of campaign contributors and lobbyists in the corrupt U.S. political system make the United States uniquely vulnerable to this kind of influence peddling and intimidation, whether it is by monopolistic corporations and industry groups like the Military-Industrial Complex and Big Pharma, or well-funded interest groups like the NRA, AIPAC and, in recent years, lobbyists for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
On April 22, just weeks before this latest assault on Gaza, the overwhelming majority of congresspeople, 330 out of 435, signed a letter to the chair and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee opposing any reduction or conditioning of US monies to Israel. The letter represented a show of force from AIPAC and a repudiation of calls from some progressives in the Democratic Party to condition or otherwise restrict aid to Israel.
President Joe Biden, who has a long history of supporting Israeli crimes, responded to the latest massacre by insisting on Israel’s “right to defend itself” and inanely hoping that “this will be closing down sooner than later.”His UN ambassador also shamefully blocked a call for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council.
The silence and worse from President Biden and most of our representatives in Congress at the massacre of civilians and mass destruction of Gaza is unconscionable. The independent voices speaking out forcefully for Palestinians, including Senator Sanders and Representatives Tlaib, Omar and Ocasio-Cortez, show us what real democracy looks like, as do the massive protests that have filled U.S. streets all over the country.
US policy must be reversed to reflect international law and the shifting US opinion in favor of Palestinian rights. Every Member of Congress must be pushed to sign the bill introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum insisting that US funds to Israel are not used “to support the military detention of Palestinian children, the unlawful seizure, appropriation, and destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the West Bank, or further annexation of Palestinian land in violation of international law.”
Congress must also be pressured to quickly enforce the Arms Export Control Act and the Leahy Laws to stop supplying any more U.S. weapons to Israel until it stops using them to attack and kill civilians.
The United States has played a vital and instrumental role in the decades-long catastrophe that has engulfed the people of Palestine. U.S. leaders and politicians must now confront their country’s and, in many cases, their own personal complicity in this catastrophe, and act urgently and decisively to reverse U.S. policy to support full human rights for all Palestinians.
The disparity of casualties is not an indicator of rightness and wrongness. If tomorrow Hamas finds a way to neutralise the Iron Dome and Israel suffers 100 times more casualties, will it automatically make it right in every way? I think not.
Speaking of the March of Return, Gary Brecher wrote well about this kind of conflicts in the old Exile http://www.exile.ru/blog/detail.php?BLOG_ID=19201&AUTHOR_ID= . At the end of the day the difference is where the media focus is. India maintains shoot-on-sight policy on the border with Bangladesh and much more people were killed there over the last years but for some reason it matters much less.
“IF” tomorrow Hamas could defend itself then Israel would go for all out destruction of Palestine and kill every man woman and child in order to “defend itself”. So that is a non argument.
And the rest is whatabaoutism. You can’t defend yourself in a court of law by saying that some other guy is even worse than you so you shouldn’t be in court at all.
The facts are clear, Israel masascres Palesinians at will and is stealing thier land supported massively by the US of A. And that is it. End of story.
Israel must be awful at massacring people considering the weapons they have.
Maybe less fire and brimstone and exaggeration, eh?
Of any people to visit this on another… the Israelis have no excuse.
And the apologists are truly disgusting, but it does give insights to humanities other mass delusions…
AFAIK Iron Dome is leaking like a sieve, the main reasons for light Israeli casualties are (not in any order) limited warhead size, range and accuracy of the projectiles used and 2/3 of the population having a bomb-proof shelter to run to when Iron Dome warns about incoming.
Possibly. So you can replace the iron dome with “got more accurate rockets from Iran” in my post and the argument would still hold.
There is a reason for the disproportionate deaths: Hamas. They spend the money on themselves and more weapons. They don’t spend it on bomb shelters because they don’t care how many die and a high death count brings more sympathy in the media. Also, Hamas has been shooting rockets into Israel for decades, usually from civilian locations. And nearly 200 children have died digging those underground tunnels for Hamas.
Amazing set of undocumented assertions in that paragraph. Would love to see the authorities that support the claims. Sounds like hasbara.
His assertions are supported by satellite images showing that weapons are hidden in palestinian schools and hamas fighters fight from civilian homes.
It would be helpful to revisit the hamas charter to refamiliarize what hamas is and what are it’s goals. They spell it out clearly.
We have to be able to recognize facts especially when they don’t support our opinions.
There is plenty to criticize about the Israeli government…. But their actions aren’t occurring in a vacuum.
Intelligence agencies are paid to point at things and mislead people, especially intelligence agencies dedicated to right-wing totalitarianism.
We have to be able to recognize that Israel and the USA have a long history of manufacturing casi belli by pointing at maps and lying about what is there, and that it serves the interests of everyone who is paid by those establishments to keep lying for the brand.
So when do you believe? I get the cynicism and skepticism of the abuse of power because it’s seemingly everywhere.
I don’t understand ignoring facts when they don’t marry to biases. If you don’t believe the pictures (and I can understand why), search Hamas Charter 2017 and see for yourself. You’ll want to have a map for reference, because it describes what their goal is.
Then you should have taken stolen land from a more capable fence. Go beg Russia for help.
We’re just talking. You shouldn’t take this personally.
Neocons are the reason I don’t have socialized healthcare and Israelis do. There is every reason to take it personally when your think tanks take medicine out of my family’s mouth so you can have an imaginary friend contest in the desert and commit the crime of conversion with impunity. How. Utterly. Dare. You.
Actually as a fun experiment, supposing that the British treated Americans in the late 1700s like Israelis treated Palestinians today, what would the American Constitution of 1789 read like then? As just a first guess, the US Constitution would have in it a part where they say that they will free North America of all British influence, including Canada. Expect weapons shipments & ‘advisors’ to French Canada then.
The current administration in India under Modi has received huge attention from the left media around the world. Its appalling policies on the pandemic are killing vast, uncountable numbers and this is leading to condemnation in every news/comment site I read. What more do you want? Stop attempting to deflect the argument.
yeah they received attention but not *for that*
Thanks for the party line. Biden thanks you as well.
Of course Israel supporters are quite right that we should stop “singling them out” and would that it were true. Then the US would stop supporting their Apartheid with billions of dollars per year in military and financial aid. If the Israelis think we should keep our nose out of their business then they should certainly keep their nose out of ours. But intellectual consistency has never been a thing in any of these discussions.
Israel is an apartheid state, period. Norman Finkelstein calls Palestinian (bottle) rockets “S.O.S. signals” to the world. If you lived in the world’s largest open air prison, maybe you’d send some help signals yourself. Frankly, I’d do a happy dance if the terrorists in Congress and the White House were nuked by anyone; a person can dream, no? ? Instead I’ll probably die in a drone bomb attack the US cuts loose on its own people someday when too many of us have nowhere left to go but the streets.
Hamas fired Fajr 5 one-ton missiles with a 380lbs of fragments packed with 200lbs of high explosives. The system is mounted on a Mercedes Benz 2631 truck, has a 100-mile range, and is manufactured by Iran. Give some credit to the professionalism of Hamas’s military and their ingenuity to import arms.
From the US State Dept alone for 2021, $75 million in aid to Palestine, and $150 million to the UN for use in Palestine. This was announced on April 7 and has a lot to do with Hamas renewed aggression. The United States IS neutral in its support of a two-state solution between Israel and the PA, and yet still sends aid to Gaza despite the US not recognizing the gov’t. This conflict is a product of Iran and its proxy trying to gain leverage in the upcoming nuclear accords, and Israel, the US, Jordan, and the Gulf states trying to take that option off the table.
Israel no longer occupies Gaza. Without elections, Hamas rules the “open-air prison” and turned it into a battle front, in contrast to the West Bank and the Palestinian National Authority. The PA supports the blockade, as well. Turkey had a plan to lift the blockade and build a port in Gaza. Israel and Egypt were onboard, and it was the PA that did not want to lose further sovereignty. Remember the Jordanians and the Egyptians have also occupied Palestinian territory, so Turkey also getting into the business is understandably a non-starter.
So Israel no longer inspects everything imported into Gaza? No longer rations the calories, picks which foods can be brought in?
One-time Israel apologist Peter Beinart now acknowledges that a “one-state reality” exists for Gaza. Any control the Palestinian Authority exerts is with the expressed permission of the Israeli government.
I am less knowledgeable about how Iran controls the PA and Hamas, and would appreciate more information about that and how Hamas strengthens Iran’s strategic and nuclear concerns.
What India does regarding Bangladesh in no wise excuses anything Israel does to Palestine.
I don’t blame Palestinians for fighting back, any more than I don’t blame the residents of the Warsaw Ghetto for fighting back.
It does not excuse it, it was an example of different standards applied to different countries.
Palestinians (or rather Hamas) are doing what they can to inflict maximum damage, both military and PR, which is perfectly understandable. I think that Netanyahu is equally responsible for the escalation, it couldn’t have happened at a better time for him.
The Bangladesh argument does really work very well here. The problem is Bangladesh is, at least normally, an independent country. It can and does have borders that are sovereign.
Palastine is not an independent country. It is an occupied country, without the ability to defend and control its borders.
Palestine was never a country. It was only a territory. And it is not occupied. It is blockaded by both Israel and Egypt.
Blockade is act of war, no? But of course the hasbara version of history does not allow any admission that Palestine was or is or could be a country and thus protected by “international law.”
Have you ever looked at a map? History books? Any globes in an antique store? Palestine has been a country for centuries. The evidence runs contrary to uour claim.
Yes, ‘stealing their land’, an exceptionally pernicious, vicious act of real estate hooliganism. And all this backed and subsidised by the USA. Let’s recall, Israelis enjoy a level of national healthcare most Americans cannot even begin to dream of, i.e., subsidised by the very country that supports Israel’s land theft, namely the USA. Remember how the US Congress jumped up and down like jacks-in-the-box flattering Netanyahoo and deeply humiliating their own president Obama. Crazy, isn’t it?
How did it get to be “their land”? Historically, Jews were there since before Christ. In fact, Christ was one of the Jews who was there.
That area has gone back and forth many times between Jews, Arabs, Romans. Just because they call themselves “Palestinians” doesn’t suddenly make it their land.
The so-called “Palestinians” consistently have refused the 2-state solution. The reason: Their leaders know that being anti-Israel is a sure vote-getter. If the “Palestinians” and Israel ever have a peaceful settlement, Hamas would be finished, and Hamas knows it.
So on occasion, they indiscriminately fire rockets into Israel and stoke up a war, so that the people will think Hamas is defending them. It’s a cruel plan that has worked for years.
And as for all those billions of dollars that have been sent to Gaza for rebuilding houses, the money is used for rockets and tunnels. No houses rebuilt.
Meanwhile, the Christian Jew-haters can spew their garbage about the poor “Palestinians” being denied their “homeland,” while the rest of the Arab world laughs at our naivete.
Have you ever noticed that Arab nations do not help the “Palestinians”? Ever stop and wonder why?
I think that the Middle East would have been a peaceful place if we had NO democracy to support there.
Rodger, you write: “The so-called “Palestinians” have consistently refused the 2-state solution.”
The Palestinians have NEVER been offered a real country. The Clinton parameters had so many conditions attached to the deal that the West Bank would have ended up as another Gaza. They would have consented to a de-facto occupation, with no international redress. They would have signed away their rights.
Just look at a few of the “security” conditions (someone keeps erasing them from Wikipedia but they work their way back in — at least some of them). There are loopholes you could drive a tank through — literally.
1) Israel would maintain forces in the Jordan Valley (thus surrounding the new state).
2) The Israeli airforce would be allowed to conduct training exercises over the new state.
3) In the event of a “threat to Israel’s national security”, Israel would be allowed to deploy military forces
inside the new state.
4) Israel would be allowed to maintain 3 radar stations inside the small territory.
5) The state couldn’t have a military
The parameters were meant to be an outline, with the details to be worked out later. Some years back, I discovered an interesting Brookings Institute workshop held in November of 2002, with the intention of working out the details. Some of Israel’s bottom-line conditions came more into focus. The Israeli participants included a number of members of the original negotiating team and a number of former members of Israel’s military establishment.
You can scroll down to the section entitled: ISRAEL’S CORE SECURITY REQUIREMENTS (page 14 of 30 in the PDF.
Here are a few of the increasingly extreme demands by the Israeli representatives:
1) Now Israel’s position has hardened and they are demanding that “Israel must have control across the entirety of the airspace over the West Bank.”
2) “Israel must have an unobstructed view of the East.” Since a mountain range runs down the length of the West Bank in the middle of the West Bank, that means Israel must control the ridge that runs down the middle of the West Bank.
3) Again, it is specified that “In order to bolster its strategic depth, Israel must secure the right, through agreement with the Palestinians, to deploy in limited areas of the Jordan Valley in emergency situations.” (Israel obviously gets to define when it’s an emergency situation).
3) Demilitarization is defined as the prohibition against the establishment of any army or military infrastructure or against entering into military alliances with any external forces. The Palestinians must not engage in any foreign alliance.
Most alarmingly, the Israelis demand the right to monitor for compliance. They promise that their “supervision and monitoring” will be “discrete”.
And now we get to the real kicker: “ Israel must also have a presence at all border crossings, international passages, and ports in order to supervise the import of goods. A creative approach to this must be applied in order to balance the need for a free flow of goods with the need for secure entry points.”
So the Palestinians would have to essentially give formal consent for their borders to be controlled and the goods coming in and out to be controlled by Israel — just like Gaza!
And then the Israeli team adds: “Israel’s core security requirements are not subject to negotiation.”
I don’t think a competent lawyer would recommend that the Palestinians sign this agreement.
King David established to titus’ expulsion was what, one thousand years? So, two thousand years ago this ethnic group “owned” this area for one thousand years. I don’t think that conveys rights? However, the subtext is that Yahweh gave this land to them. Also explains the American political need to support – the bloc that votes biblically can not be done without.
In my book (neither new nor old), the promise of the land for some people is as good as the promise of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for some martyrs.
“Proportional response” infers some widely acceptable moral discernment that involves a sense of justice. In the present case the use of that term is justi gaslighting, of course, and only “true” in the sense that the relation between killed and wounded Palestinians and theft and destruction of their property on the one hand, and the pinpricks on Israelis that the Palestinians have managed in their defense on the other, can be expressed “mathematically” as a ratio/proportion.
What’s going on there is not a “war,” it’s a slow-motion slaughter. Of course the Likudnik ‘conservative’ Israelis seem to want to keep just enough of the Palestinians alive to have a cheap source of desperate labor…
The z’ist Israel ites also use their superiority in war tech to consistently aim for decapitation of Pal leadership, and debilitating killing of and doctors and demolition of hospitals and electric generation and roads and of course the demolition of buildings. Tactics presaged, of course, in their claimed history as related in the first ten books of the Old Testament.
Roll the hasbara…
It is just not the United States that act as enablers here. Would you believe that Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic are flying the Israeli flags along the national & EU flags on government buildings in support of Israel? But how did it get to the point that Israel can do whatever it wants and the United States – who gives Israel weapons, munitions and god knows what else – just rolls over for them? I would date this to beginning on 8th June, 1967.
It was on this date that Israel deliberately attacked the US Navy ship USS Liberty. That attack with napalm, torpedoes, cannons, machine guns,etc ended up killing 34 Americans and wounding another 171. From intercepts and other facts gathered, Israel knew full well that it was an American ship that they were attacking and the plans from their tactics seems to make sure that none of the 360-odd crew survived. But it was what happened during the attack and afterwards that broke the relationship in Israel’s favour.
Twice during the attack US carriers launched aircraft to help the USS Liberty but the White House had them called back. President Lyndon Johnson said during the attack that he not going to “go to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors.” The sailors aboard were threatened to never talk about what happen and if memory serves me correct, the inquiry went for only 10 days and was covered up by Admiral John McCain snr.
I sometimes wonder how the US-Israeli relationship would have evolved if that carrier air group had arrived, splashed every Israeli aircraft within range, sank every Israeli boat that they could see, and then said ‘Oh, I’m sorry. We thought that they were Egyptian aircraft and ships that we sank. Our bad.’
I know how I feel about getting drawn into enlisting in a war under the false flag pretext of stuff like the Tonkin Bay “incident” that, like the coverup of the USS Liberty attack, was one of those Big Lies. I wonder how recent and current GIs feel about their getting to die for geopolitical preferences of the Israeli government and Israel lobby (actually foreign agencies that our own spooks consider a grave threat to US national interests and security, https://www.haaretz.com/for-cia-israel-is-a-spy-therat-1.5272328 )
and their fellow-travelers in the Imperial government and military.
And from reading the words of survivors of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, those coming from people who our (sic) government told to be silent about that attack under threats of prosecution but who have still spoken up and been silenced by the usual Narrative controls, I have a pretty good idea how the surviving sailors and civilians, and the families of those killed by the Israelis, from aboard the USS Liberty feel about having been betrayed in the worst possible way by the Empire, for the rottenest of political reasons.
Yet so many Sincere Americans still buy into the bullsh!tting and gaslighting from the people who own and operate the Empire. Just amazing. But then that’s how humans have apparently always rocked on…
I have met a few of the Israel supporters in the US.
They are zealots in their support for Israel. There is no possible discussion with them.
The zealots supporting Israel make the Afrikaners (Boers), a very stubborn people, look flexible. Why stubborn? Because it takes more than determination to ride an Ox Cart, one thousand miles north at 4 miles per day into empty veldt (countryside).
Why empty? Because the Zulu from the west (Natal) depopulated the area by killing the males and taking the women and children back to zululand as slaves.
Never read “The Washing of the Spears” by Donald R. Morris at all, did you?
Zealots by definition are cult like creatures. Doesn’t matter which side they support. They rationalize everything. For example, Hamas zealotry rationalizes indiscriminately firing rockets into heavily populated cities.
I think israel’s actions are awful. I think Hamas actions are worse.
Read the hamas charter. It provides the basic information sorely missing in these stories.
George Washington was a terrorist and Benedict Arnold a patriot… depending on the lens one was looking through.
From today’s Guardian long read: A Jewish Case for Palestinian Return
It’s heartening to find a voice of kindness and humanity: I hope this is a moment when those voices are being heard.
No way the Zionist leadership of Israel would ever agree to a “right of return” for Palestinians. If for no other reason than they have created a reservoir of very rightly teed off Palestinians and are invested in displacing all of them in the Eretz Israel (“Greater Israel”) project, people who would have to show a monumental amount of forgiveness and reserve if they were allowed to fill back into the agreed and UN-approved boundaries of Hertzl’s Dream.
whataboutery is step #2 as Gabriel Ash–who outgrew the hive mind–outlined in his ‘4 steps to Hasbara’:
Monday morning’s Last Week Tonight covered two topics that actually dovetail neatly into the Israel-Hamas-Palestine situation: Israel’s current assault on Palestine/Palestinians (it started, this time, in East Jerusalem due to what are euphemistically called “evictions,” carried on through the Al-Aqsa Mosque incident, and then into the wholesale bombing that has been going on for days) and then the main story was about “Stand Your Ground” Laws in the majority of US states.
Imagine if the majority of the USA understood that Israel was created out of whole cloth ON TOP OF someone else’s home. USA’ns would undoubtedly understand that a lot of Palestinian “violence” against Israel in the last 40 years** has been a form of “stand your ground” and the “castle doctrine” in action against a state that uses annexation, encroachment, and force to expand its physical size.
I am not saying I’m in favour of SYG laws (I think the “problem” they pretend to solve was already handled by existing laws and defense positions), BUT for a country that does seem to love to “stand its ground” in the face of even minor transgressions (LWT mentions a death that resulted from the escalation of an argument over how much dogs can weigh, for instance), they would understand (if informed, I guess) that Palestinians largely just want to live in their own homes, on the land they own, without having them/it stolen or flattened by bombs launched or dropped on them by tech supplied by the USA.
But that would require SYG and gun fans to identify with someone who isn’t a White, Christian American, and that’s about as likely as a quick and lasting peace in the Middle East…
** I say the last 40 years, because the situation from 1948 to the 80s was stoked by Pan-Arabists using the people of Palestine as pawns in their Anti-Zionist/Anti-Semitic play. Yes, someone is getting rockets into the hands of Hamas today, but it’s not the same region-wide coalition of states arraying themselves against Israel; it’s not tanks and planes from foreign countries attacking Israel en masse.
The Israelis are following the American model of genocide and theft of land in order to expand. At a deep level Americans and Israelis are very much alike. This is why the US will always and forever unquestionably support Israel. Both nations are racist to the core. Both have total disregard for the lives of “others”.
Interesting that a lot of gun purchases and concealed-carry permits are going to Black Americans these days. Many of whom also appear ready to “stand their ground.” Here’s an interesting link on the phenomenon, documnting that gun sales to Blacks are up almost 60 %: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/gun-sales-black-buyers-have-surged-gun-store-ownership-black-n1265840 yet the liberal take on this is a story about the only Black-owned gun store in California is that the woman who owns it wanted to create a “safe space” for particularly Black women to buy their firearms.
Woke to the max.
The 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty made me aware of Gaza’s status as a refugee camp, and that Israel had controlled Gaza for over ten years. At that point I stopped believing in Israel.
42 years later and after over fifty years of Israeli control/occupation, Israel isn’t punishing anyone over a war. It’s punishing the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who fought Israel. Everything since then has been an ongoing war crime.
Unconditional US support for Israel must end and, in my opinion, we should cut off all diplomatic and economic ties with them. Let’s see how long the tail lasts without a dog attached.
There have been some very revealing threads on twitter lately picking apart the language used in mainstream news stories and how it humanizes and justifies the Israelis at every turn, and dehumanizes the de-legitimizes the Palestinians. I’ll see if I can locate some examples, but I’ll also note that no one wants to use the words genocide or ethnic cleansing when it comes to Israel, because the Jewish people have been victims for so long of some of the worst campaigns of ethic cleansing. But that is what’s going on, and of course it’s not all Jews who support this, but more the right wing extremists who have a lot of influence in Israel currently.
Indeed. For example, note that in US discourse we have “settlements” and thus “settlers”, whereas in France the usual term in the media is “les colonies” or “les colonies israéliennes”.
this is really a reflection of the French language rather than French media & its politics. There is no ‘le settlement’ in French. Beyond the languages in question, settlement is intrinsic to a colony. To put it another way, since the world (with the exception of Antarctica) has settled geopolitical borders, every person born on it has a home country. Any settler who establishes settlements outside of their home country is by definition a colonist.
“Both sides are bad” is the new “all lives matter”.
Since some commenters are bringing up the “country X does Y, so why pick on Israel” argument, today the Guardian had a very good write-up exploring the moral arguments.
I have great respect for Medea Benjamin and her long and arduous efforts to protest US military actions. I am surprised however that she urges support for Rep. Betty McCollum’s bill to condition aid to Israel. There should be no aid provided to Israel. Israel is a racist apartheid state that practices ethnic cleansing. The US has no business supporting Israel in any form.
Our relationship with Israel has been toxic for decades. Israel and her supporting lobbyists constantly interfere in our politics. Israel helped push us into invading Iraq, has encouraged our intervention in Syria, as well as our actions regarding Yemen, and Israel has worked mightily to provoke us into a war with Iran. I see Israel and her malign influence on US policies as a greater threat to the US than any other state including Russia, China and North Korea.
Conditionality is a step up from “DADDY pay my credit card bill NOW” from a volatile Instagram influencer with no butt whose daddy has tumors growing out the side of his face because only Little Princess has health insurance.
What horror… the Russians are influensing elections, foriegn entities are influencing the elections — we can’t have that..no. But hey, we can have foreign influence in our policy making, foreign influence in bribing our easily prostituted politicians, in fact, those politicians are eagerly selling themselves to the highest bidders…let nothing get in the way – and should some legal point raise its red flag – well them highest bidders will get their money worth by having their prostitutes lower the flag…. Hell, the only reason some of the congresscriters run is to raise money, trade on insider deals, and pretend to be nobility, landlords, minions of some king and seek cushy, brainless high paying gigs with their johns.
I heard recently that some republican was saying that Trump is now in a position of King maker……I thought we gave the middle finger to a certain king some time ago in our history…. seams a lot of people miss the monarchy thing, miss the feudalism thing and …apparently would like the white supremists and jack boots in the saddle again….maybe dump the democracy/republic thing so the Oligarchs and complete psyhcopath assholes like the Bros Koch don’t have to spend so much bribing folks and avoiding taxes. That would probably not work well for the prostitutes…..they would not have to make up so many fantastic stories about how they are working most of us while still showing the highest interest in pleasing their johns.
Yes, I do not like the fact that Israel (it military industrial complex connected component -prob plus 70%) keeps jabbing the bees nest, stealing from its property owners, walling off, oppressing and impoverishing other peoples – whom they willfully prod into getting a sting – so that they can request more military aide, more infusions of cash, more technology and more passes of go past international laws.
Sort of like the fuel pipeline shutdown due to ransomware – or the freeze in texas.
So, if I were a commodities trader and I wanted to make some money on the futures market hmmmmm. Oh yea, appears the pipeline owners don’t spend any real money on IT security when they brought everything up onto the internet – mind you that they knew their systems would be a target – and had known since the 1990’s ….but why spend money on something that they knew they would never be on the hook for. Sort of like not putting freeze protection on gas systems in Texas – knowing no penalties, Like not paying any mind to reps and warranties and FBI warnings of Fraud before 2008 crash…. so back to the pipeline…Just speculative of course…..I mean markets are beyond reproach I hear….and besides….USA=no corruption…we didn’t convict anyone last time things crashed so yea. no corruption…..Anyway what you would do is tellescope to some group that a ransomeware attack may be just the thing to put a little cha-ching in your pockets……just don’t tell em that you stand to make a lot more on your trades than they will on their ransom….. so I would take a look at who really profited at our expense… Not that we have anything appraoching the foxes guarding the hen house in our Military industrial complex.
I mean, golly, if the USA told the Isreal to stop screwing around with the bee-hive and stop breaking international law – we would start losing good paying jobs looting the american purse… and all those jobs making tools for killing people and all those jobs marketing to the fear industry, and all those Homeland Security folks who were so dilligent in stopping a security breach from overseas with all that money coming in. Seriously, if we stop warmaking, we will loose jobs. – Think of all the work for those rebuilding infrustructure destroyed by the Millitary industrial complex. Heaven forbid
Just a long winded rant – sorry
Variations on the destruction of what the entire world knew as Palestine and its replacement with an ethnic Jewish state is found in all the Zionist writings, texts, etc. It may not be a 10-point plan, but a formal outline of intent is easily discerned and any halfway competent lawyer can make a case against Zionism such that many of its practitioners would be prosecuted, just as members of the Nazi party were and continue to be prosecuted.
This is why they went so batsh*t crazy when the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 1975 declaring Zionism a form of racism and racial discrimination. The vast majority of the world population agrees with this obvious sentiment. But there cannot be even a trace of something that will establish a legal foundation for their prosecution.
As long as they have the power they have they will continue controlling the narrative to prevent their own prosecution. This being an exercise of that very power.
“I wish you a refreshing bath of conscience. I wish that the spring of truth makes life more humane for you.”
Rachel Maddow has not done a segment on Gaza in 7 years
Over the course of a decade Rachel Maddow has had over 2,000 shows and has mentioned Gaza just five times. While others at her network have been speaking out, the MSNBC star remains silent. Another PEP – Progressive Except Palestine…
Maddow is “progressive?” What have I missed? She’s the archetype of protected liberal PMC and carrier of the Narrative.
Rare Congressional event: 20 Dems debate Israel-Palestine
Last Thursday evening, In a Special Order Hour – a time for debating non-legislative issues – a group of pro-Israel Democrats faced off against another group critical of Israel.
When Elaine Luria (D-VA) came up to speak, she argued,
Today — in their rightful homeland, [Jews] are attacked…Some call them villains for defending their homes and their families; for not turning a cheek and a blind eye to terror and bombings and missiles raining down. Who would turn a cheek when their mere right to exist is questioned? [We] must declare: That Israel has a right to exist.
Luria’s assertion that Jews in Israel live “in their rightful homeland” lacks context and is disputed: while there has always been a small Jewish presence in the land, the vast majority of Jews in today’s Israel are at most second or third generation immigrants who live on land taken by force from the indigenous Palestinian population. Their official explanation for exiling the Palestinians is that, according to a highly questionable interpretation of a few verses in the Hebrew, the land was given to them by God. Palestinians maintain that Israel does not have a “right to exist” on the land of and in place of indigenous peoples.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), who has introduced groundbreaking legislation to end support for the incarceration of Palestinian children, declared,
The unrestricted, unconditioned $3.8 billion in annual U.S. military aid … gives a green light to Israel’s occupation of Palestine because there is no accountability and there is no oversight by Congress. This must change. Not one dollar of U.S. aid to Israel should go towards a military detention of Palestinian children, the annexation of Palestinian lands or the destruction of Palestinian homes.
For anyone unclear about the activities of Israel in Gaza and other Occupied Territories read the verbatim reports of Israeli soldiers from the organization “Breaking the Silence”.These soldiers were disgusted by many of the things they were ordered to do in Palestine to subdue and terrorize the Palestinian civilian population and have chosen to go on record to “break the silence”. There is also a book “Our Harsh Logic” by the same group. Another book, also by a former IDF soldier called ” The girl who stole my Holocaust” by Noam Chayut explains how while growing up he was fed the victimization narrative believed by many Israelis regarding the Palestinians but who discovered during his tour of duty that it was in fact the Israelis doing their damndest to disrupt daily life for the Palestinians.The current massacre ongoing in Gaza is horrific and how anyone can justify its “shooting fish in a barrel” nature is beyond me. My respect for Israel diminished daily.
Thanks for this post.
Tony Judt had it right in 2003…
“The problem with Israel, in short, is not—as is sometimes suggested—that it is a European “enclave” in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a “Jewish state”—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.”
Every 5-8 years Israel does something extra provocative to the Palestinians, usually involving brutality around religious sites. Palestinians react and are immediately crushed with the help of Israel’s state of the art weaponry.
The timing seems similar to a product development cycle.
I believe a “ceasefire” will occur when Raytheon, Lockheed, BAE et al. have the performance data they need.
In the threat-chasing and innovative world of weapons manufacture and sales, those corporations will NEVER “have the performance data they need” because they constantly up the ante in weapons tech, which then is arched by innovation on “the other side.”
Self-licking ice cream cone indeed.
@Aumua, Huguenots (French Protestants) were also escapees from murderous religious persecution in the heart of Europe. Of course, that didn’t in any way stop them for treating other human beings as dirt (Winston Churchill as a war correspondent noted how any hint of equal rights for “Kaffirs” under British rule was a red flag to most non-English white South African). Here, for instance, is a hero to many white South Africans for resisting the British. He’s also an ancestor of a recent Academy Award winning actress:
Here’s Churchill account of his captivity and conversations with his Boer guards:
“Is it right that a dirty Kaffir (native) should walk on the pavement without a pass? That’s what they do in your British colonies. Brother! Equal! Ugh! Free! Not a bit. We know how to treat Kaffirs…They were put here by God Almighty to work for us. We’ll stand no damned nonsense from them. We’ll keep them in their proper places.”
Churchill wrote in retrospect:
“He and I had no more agreement….Probing at random I had touched a very sensitive nerve. What is the true and original root of Dutch (Boer) aversion to British rule? It is the abiding fear and hatred of the movement that seeks to place the native on a level with the white man.”
It didn’t take long for Churchill to repent of his relatively liberal views–for the time–and he soon became a full-blooded racist. Here’s his whole-hearted defense of the Zionist takeover of Palestine during Parliamentary debate in 1937:
“I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
I love Monday morning quarterbacking events that took place 80 years ago and criticizing language used because it doesn’t comport to 2021 verbiage.
Those who refuse to Monday morning quarterback the history of the practice and advocacy of racism, imperialism, and genocide are condemned to live with it and perpetuate its legacy.
The Bipartisan US powers that be clearly do not, and have never willfully, of their own accord, cared for the US: conquered; enslaved; and otherwise oppressed and vulnerable residents – historically, and increasingly – so it comes as no surprise, the lack of condemnation in the face of a clear and ongoing slaughter.
The Bipartisan US powers that be clearly do not, and have never willfully, of their own accord, cared for the US: conquered; enslaved; and otherwise oppressed and vulnerable residents – historically, and increasingly – so it comes as no surprise, the lack of condemnation in the face of a clear and ongoing slaughter.
The current and historic carnage of helpless Palestinians by Netanyahu (and his ilk), and the US carnage against its own residents (e.g. pre coronavirus, ever exploding unsheltered homelessness and deaths of despair??? with white papers either claiming inflammation, lack of Education™, or Mental Illness™, versus: cannot afford to live and/or, no longer want to live amongst these non humans running things like a monstrous and culling: 24/7 surveilling; youth blood sucking; death cult (e.g. Gates, Thiel, Bezos, et al)), are, quite frankly, evil.
Not quite sure how I did that odd duplication above, but actually it seems apropos to me.
I think that the Middle East would have been a peaceful place if we had NO democracy to support there.
What is this “democracy” that you speak of? If there is any, it is just a clever mirage. A Potemkin Village much like ours.