A health/blog update, and some thoughts on Israel and Palestine

I had a heart-related health scare today, and spent most of the day in the hospital getting checked out. Some results are pending, but it currently seems that I’m OK. That said, the illusion of imminent mortality was a bit tiring, and also very slightly perspective-shifting. I want to work more on fiction and on some other things in my life, so for the rest of this year, at least, my posts are probably going to be less. I had intended to write a somewhat in-depth post about Israel and Palestine, and I may still do that, but for now I’ll just say this:

Even if we were to assume – which I believe we should not – that “both sides” have an equal right to live on that land, the power dynamic, which has existed for longer than I’ve been alive, makes it clear what’s going on. De-escalation cannot happen without a commitment to it by the more powerful party, and there is zero question that Israel is more powerful. They’ve lowered the life expectancy in Gaza to the point where fully half the population are children, who have only ever known occupation and oppression.

Hamas, as an organization, also do evil things, and their attacks on civilians are inexcusable. That said, Hamas is also Israel’s chosen enemy, and was aided in their rise to power, just as more reasonable governing authorities were undermined. The only way for peace to happen, is for Israel to choose to end the cycle of revenge. The Palestinians cannot end it, just as the people of every other occupied territory cannot.

If Israel wants peace, they must end the ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, and the attacks on mosques and worshippers, and the deliberate killing and maiming of protesters and journalists. They must demonstrate goodwill by providing the resources that they’ve kept from Palestinians for longer than I’ve been alive. They must stop destroying olive groves and wells.

If Israel wants peace.

As it stands, they very clearly do not.

It is heartbreaking to see this brutality and death, and it is horrifying to see people around the world cheering on Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians, and their escalating campaign of genocide. I desperately want it to end, but that has no bearing on what will happen. The death toll is going to keep climbing, for weeks if not months, and at every step of the way, we will be told that all the Palestinian deaths are justified, including the children, because of Hamas. They will claim that the children are “human shields”, and apparently we’ve come to a point where a lot of the world believes that when someone uses a human shield, you’re supposed to kill the victim, blame the person behind them, and move on.

I want to end on this: However much disinformation you think you have seen about current events, you’ve almost certainly seen more. I have seen old videos of Palestinian children held in cages by the IDF, described as Israeli children being held in cages by Hamas. I have seen videos of munitions in the sky over Ukraine being described as IDF use of white phosphorous on Gaza. The lies are everywhere, and while I believe that the vast majority of them will continue coming from one side, I’ve learned by now that there are people within every movement who are perfectly willing to make shit up in support of their cause. Use caution, and insofar as you are able, use patience. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when so many people have been exposed to so much dishonest propaganda, and I fear it’s only going to get worse.

Be kind, be skeptical, and stand in solidarity with the oppressed.


  1. says

    Sure, if you completely ignore the power dynamic, and much of the last couple decades.

    Antisemitism is a real problem, but I don’t see how forming a genocidal ethnostate helps that.

    Edit: I thought we were trying to be a fact-based community, and saying “they would have said that’s what they were doing” ignores a great number of facts. There are also people who would say that Christians are persecuted in the US, or that God gave Israel to the Jewish people, and so they have a right to it.

  2. maat says

    Israel has no qualms about calling it genocide.
    This ‘right’ is bestowed by divine commandment: Kill everything that breathes. The land (and all its resources and wealth) is yours. This is repeated over and over in their Bible.
    And we, the hypocritical ‘democratic’ West, who have written and signed so many declarations of human rights, look on the devastation unmoved, and are unforgivably complicit.

  3. says

    I think, when I have the heart for it, I need to do a post on all the genocidal campaigns of the last two decades, because while the Israeli government’s policy on Palestinians is the longest-running one, there are a lot of them, and the “West” generally ignores them or helps them (as in Yemen), depending on whether there’s advantage to be gained.

    And that’s not including the 20th century’s bloody record of coups, assassinations, and supported massacres. It feels like the biggest success of the West in the 20th century, has been convincing its citizens that they’re somehow above all that.

  4. StevoR says

    @ ^ Abe Drayton : Ouch. That sounds depressing if informative.

    Hope you feel better and stay welland don’t have any more health scares here.

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