The predictable aftermath of the Israeli response in Gaza

The steady killing by Israel of the entire population of Gaza continues with their total blockade of the territory that prevents anyone from entering and leaving while denying them the basic essentials of life such as water, food, medicines, and fuel. At the same time, we see the Israel lobby in the US spring into action to try and control the narrative here to limit any criticism of the actions of the Israel government and. military. Norman Solomon writes that right from the beginning, Israeli spokespersons have laid the groundwork for creating a massive death toll among the Gazans.

When Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations spoke outside the Security Council on Sunday, he said: “This is Israel’s 9/11. This is Israel’s 9/11.” Meanwhile, in a PBS NewsHour interview, Israel’s ambassador to the United States said: “This is, as someone said, our 9/11.”

While the phrase might seem logical, “Israel’s 9/11” is already being used as a huge propaganda weapon by Israel’s government — now engaged in massive war crimes against civilians in Gaza, after mass murder of Israelis by Hamas last weekend.

On the surface, an analogy between the atrocities just suffered by Israelis and what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 might seem to justify calls for unequivocal solidarity with Israel. But horrific actions are in process from an Israeli government that has long maintained a system of apartheid while crushing basic human rights of Palestinian people.

What is very sinister about trumpeting “Israel’s 9/11” is what happened after America’s 9/11. Wearing the shroud of victim, the United States proceeded to use the horrible tragedy suffered inside its own borders as a license to kill vast numbers of people in the name of retaliation, righteousness and, of course, the “war on terror.”

It’s a playbook that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is currently adapting and implementing with a vengeance. Now underway, Israel’s collective punishment of 2.3 million people in Gaza is an intensification of what Israel has been doing to Palestinians for decades. But Israel’s extremism, more than ever touting itself as a matter of self-defense, is at new racist depths of willingness to treat human beings as suitable for extermination.

On Monday, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant described Palestinians as “beastly people” and said: “We are fighting animals and are acting accordingly.”

Imagine the reaction if anyone had used that language about Israelis.

In the US, anyone commenting on the events are expected to follow certain rules, one of which is that it is not enough to have condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians and the taking of hostages. One must repeat the condemnation every single time that one criticizes, however mildly, the actions of Israel so that those actions are seen as justified. However the situation changes if one criticizes the actions of Hamas. Then one is not supposed to mention the decades-long oppression of the Palestinian people in what is now an apartheid state. When the secretary general of the United Nations Antonio Gutteres said that the actions by Hamas did not occur in a vacuum, a statement that is utterly unconroversial to anyone who knows the long and ugly history of the region, Israel reacted with predictable outrage and called for his resignation. Gutteres’s statement in response emphasizes this point.

Guterres responded to the Israeli criticism, telling reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that he was “shocked” at the misinterpretation of part of his statement to the council, “as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas.”

He reiterated the start of his statement on Tuesday: “I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel. Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.”

The secretary-general said he spoke of the grievances of the Palestinian people and also stated: “But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.”

But that kind of balance or nuance is never enough for the apologists for Israel. The Onion, is its usual satirical way, accurately captured the way that the discourse is framed.

GAZA CITY, GAZA—The complicity of each and every Palestinian in the violent actions of their militant ruling authority was reportedly on full display Friday morning when dying Gazans received justified criticism for not using their last words to condemn Hamas. For example, instead of issuing a full-throated denunciation of the violent attacks by Hamas that have left over 1,300 Israelis dead, one dying woman holding her 6-year-old son who had just been killed in a bombing is said to have doubled down by telling her child she loved him. According to reports, such barbarism on the part of Palestinians was on full display across the Gaza Strip, where many men of fighting age could not muster a single world of reproof for Hamas’ actions while they coughed up blood. In war-ravaged Gaza City, a dying reporter was heard blatantly begging for help instead of labeling Hamas a terrorist organization. At press time, the Israeli Defense Forces Twitter account underscored the massive surge of contempt they were contending with by posting a video that featured the shocking savagery of a Palestinian corpse that refused to condemn Hamas even when kicked.

The actions of Israel have horrified people around the world. But in the US, any statement calling for the humane treatment of Palestinians and humanitarian aid to a dying population results in people being attacked and losing their jobs and other positions.

A rising number of prominent US figures have faced discipline over controversial public comments they have made about the Palestinian cause, as attacks by Israel on Gaza after the 7 October massacre of Israelis by Hamas fighters intensified.

David Velasco, the editor in chief of Artforum magazine, was reportedly fired after the magazine published an open letter in response to the war.

Celebrated US photographer Nan Goldin and other artists have said they will no longer work with Artforum after the magazine’s termination of Velasco, the New York Times reported.

“I have never lived through a more chilling period,” Goldin, who is Jewish and had signed the open letter, said to the Times. “People are being blacklisted. People are losing their jobs.”

At least four editors have resigned in response to Velasco’s dismissal, the Times reported.

Zack Hatfield, a former senior editor for the magazine, announced online that he had left Artforum and called Velasco’s firing “unacceptable”.

“David Velasco’s firing is unacceptable and bodes ominously for the future of the magazine,” Hatfield wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

On 19 October, the top art magazine posted a letter entitled: “An open letter from the art community to cultural organizations”. The letter, signed by thousands of artists and cultural workers including Goldin, called for an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid into Gaza and broader Palestinian liberation.

The Intercept describes the effort to get the signatories of the letter to retract.

Behind the scenes, however, powerful art dealers and gallerists who control the cultural and monetary tides of the art world began a private campaign to force some of the biggest names on the letter to retract their support, according to a half dozen sources, including letter signatories as well as others informed about the influence campaign. 

Soon after the letter was posted, Martin Eisenberg, a high-profile collector and inheritor of the now-bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond fortune, began contacting famous art world figures on the list whose work he had championed to express his objections to the letter. 

In a statement to the New York Times, Velasco said, “I’m disappointed that a magazine that has always stood for freedom of speech and the voices of artists has bent to outside pressure.”

The pressure campaign against the letter echoes a wave of repercussions faced by writers, activists, and students who have spoken out for Palestinians. Right-wing groups lobbying for Israel, as well as donors to prominent institutions and various other wealthy interests, are condemning open letters and using the lists of signatories as blacklists across cultural, professional, and academic spheres. 

“Anecdotally, I know that a majority of people in the art world are devastated by the genocide in Gaza but many are scared to speak out or even join the call for a ceasefire,” said Hannah Black, an artist and writer who signed the Artforum letter but was not pressured to remove her signature. “It is absolutely McCarthyite and many of the dogmatic anti-Palestinians within the art world have, as Joseph Welch said of McCarthy, ‘no sense of decency.’ They are willing to destroy careers, destroy the value of artworks, to maintain their unofficial ban on free speech about Palestine.”

“We support Palestinian liberation and call for an end to the killing and harming of all civilians, an immediate ceasefire, the passage of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and the end of the complicity of our governing bodies in grave human rights violations and war crimes,” the letter read, in part.

Such nuance is unacceptable to the Israel lobby. Once again, it is The Onion that accurately captures the goals of this pressure campaign, which is to eliminate any such nuance.

The past week has shown humanity at its worst: A horrific terrorist attack left at least 1,300 Israelis dead, among them peace activists and even innocent children. The fates of many more kidnapped civilians still lie in the balance. Meanwhile, statements from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggest retaliation against Palestinians in Gaza will be swift and merciless. More than 1,500 Gazans are already dead, and 338,000 others have been displaced. In moments of turmoil such as this, some believe it is the responsibility of a newspaper of record like The Onion to delve fully into the nuances of a complex and multifaceted conflict that stretches back not just decades but centuries. These people are wrong.

Instead, this editorial board wishes to take this opportunity to declare its full and unequivocal support for Israel because, frankly, it seems like you get in way less trouble for that.

Joe Biden has unequivocally supported the hardline Israeli position, even flying to Israel and literally embracing prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the face of the huge death toll in Gaza and criticism from the left of his party, he has tried to walk back some of that, and again The Onion describes the cynical calculus at play in his administration.

WASHINGTON—Saying civilian casualties were the “price of waging a war” and that so far the price had not been high enough, President Biden spoke to reporters Thursday about the conflict in Gaza and expressed doubts that enough Palestinians had died. “I have no confidence that the death toll provided by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health is as high as it should be,” the president told a PBS correspondent who asked about reports that Israeli airstrikes had now killed more than 7,000 Gazans, with Biden then stating that conditions on the ground were too chaotic to say with any certainty whether enough of the 2 million people living on a small strip of land they are not allowed to leave had been slaughtered. “Obviously, statistics from Gaza are subject to bias, so we can’t use them to determine when the number of dead Palestinians has reached a sufficient level. Perhaps when the fog of war has cleared, we’ll realize Israel has killed more Gazans than was necessary, but now is not the time to ease up.” Biden went on to reiterate his position that Israel had a right to defend itself against the 1 million children in Gaza who have spent their entire lives in captivity with no access to clean drinking water.

It says something about the state of the media in this country that when it comes to Israel, the subtext has to be revealed in satire.

But there have been changes over the years. It used to be that any criticism of Israel would result in accusations of being self-hating Jews (if made by Jews) and anti-Semitism (if made by. others). But the wide overuse of that charge has weakened it and it has lost its potency. The protests by so many people in the US and elsewhere (including Jews in the US and around the world) at Israel’s behavior shows that the veil of immunity Israel used to enjoy is being steadily eroded.


  1. says

    This really is “Israel’s 9/11” — ignored intel, partisanized crisis response, bigoted self-serving warmongering and all. So whenever the Israel Lobby scream that phrase at the world, we should all agree wholeheartedly, and elaborate on it till they’re forced to eat their words.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    A member of the British government has also been fired for- unlike Sunak- being in favor of än immediate cease fire
    And the new Tony Blair (aka Keir Starmer) has met massive criticism for basically accepting the official Israeli description of events.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    the wide overuse of that charge has weakened it and it has lost its potency

    Oh yeah?

    “People are being blacklisted. People are losing their jobs.”

    Sounds pretty fucking potent to me.

  4. billseymour says

    The leaders of the State of Israel are disgusting and despicable.

    Is anyone really surprised by that?  Israel has been doing the “disproportionate response” bit for decades, and not just in Gaza, but in the West Bank as well.  Somebody throws some rocks at some religious extremists who are being prideful, self-important racists, and the State of Israel moves in and slaughters a bunch of people.  Film at eleven.

    I had an idea a while back that I put to the side because it smelled like a paranoid conspiracy theory to me, but I’m no longer so sure that it is:  I note that Bibi is now firmly in control with all of his personal corruption forgotten.  I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the “failure of Israeli intelligence” that surprised some journalists early on might not have been an actual “failure”.

    The leaders of the State of Israel clearly have no moral constraints on their behavior (and if I could think of a more forceful way to say that, I would).

  5. raven says

    The Israelis should think in through before they repeat our 9/11 response.

    Which was mostly a series of huge mistakes that ended up killing over 100,000 people for nothing. (Two of the American dead were friends of mine, killed in Iraq.)
    While costing us 2 trillion dollars or so, which was totally wasted.

    The war in Afghanistan is arguably defensible. That is where al Qaeda was based.
    Staying for 20 years was a mistake though.

    The war in Iraq was a huge and very expensive mistake.
    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 in the first place and the weapons of mass destruction didn’t even exist.

    So, the Israeli 9/11 will be a huge mistake that costs a huge amount of money, kill a huge number of people who had nothing to do with the Hamas attacks, and solve nothing?
    Not impressed. Whatever.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    The steady killing by Israel of the entire population of Gaza continues …

    Perhaps the Israeli leadership intends to kill only the adult males, and keep the rest for their slaves (as per Biblical precedent).

    Surely they do have some sort of strategic plan; perhaps it stops short of “killing … the entire population” (say, by forcing the survivors into the Sinai desert for Egypt to take care of?). We know for sure it involves massive war crimes and crimes against humanity, because it already has reached that stage.

    At first I’d thought Biden’s embrace of Israel was a smart move, in that it might force the Israelis to listen to him and moderate their response -- the well-deserved (if severely understated) critique of the US reaction to 9/11 made a lot of sense that way. However, that applies only if the “smart move” works -- and so far, except maybe for a day or two’s delay, it hasn’t.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    raven @ # 6: The war in Afghanistan is arguably defensible. That is where al Qaeda was based.

    I would argue the opposite. For a duffel bag or two full of dollars and Euros, the Taliban would’ve delivered O. bin Laden tied up in a nice green ribbon (a suggestion surely made and obviously discarded). The best minds of the Bush II administration wanted more to secure a large land base east of Iran and south of the post-Soviet oil states, and they got it (for 20 years, and much good it did them).

    Much of the early US support for Israel came from a similar desire to have an ally/land base/seaport in southwest Asia. The price for the locals -- and the payoff for the US -- has come out much the same.

  8. says

    At first I’d thought Biden’s embrace of Israel was a smart move, in that it might force the Israelis to listen to him and moderate their response

    Biden only cares about getting re-elected. If he wanted to make Israel toe the line, the US could stop vetoing UN resolutions involving Israel’s colonization of land in Palestine. Even the barest whisper that the US would stop being an automatic veto would utterly gut Israel’s “foreign policy.” Elsewhere I have suggested that if Biden wanted to do something effective, the US could ratify the International Criminal Court -- signifying it cannot be expected to arm Israel’s war crimes or otherwise provide top cover for them. Remember, the US response to Israel’s attack on Gaza (not Hamas. Gaza.) was to illegally bomb parts of Syria. And to park a parking lot for bombers right off the coast. The US could follow US law and stop transferring offensive weapons into situations where there is a reasonable expectation they might be used in war crimes the US doesn’t recognize. Biden is fully supportive of Israeli ethno-colonialism. Nobody should expect decency from the man. Besides, if he tried Congress would do him a solid and make an excuse for it not to happen.

    Biden is, like every US president so far, a war criming piece of shit.

  9. Allison says

    Basically, the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians what we (USA and maybe Canada, too) did to the Native Americans: kill and displace enough people that the survivors aren’t in any position to impede the conquerers from doing whatever they want. It’s been pretty obvious for a long time (decades) that this is how it would turn out. The prevailing religion in Israel is Zionism — that this is a Jewish land and non-Jews have no right to be there. The presence of Palestinians contradicts that religion, and so they need to be gotten rid of, one way or another. As long as Zionism is what the state of Israel is about, there’s no middle ground.

    This isn’t a pecularly Israeli or Jewish problem. It’s an integral part of any nationalism, whether German, French, Basque, Danish, or whatever. It’s what leads to separatist movements and “ethnic cleansing.” It’s led to a lot of European wars. If this piece of land we are claiming or occupying is only for “our people,” the presence of “not our” people can only be tolerated to the extent that they are negligible, i.e., “we” don’t need to do anything to accommodate them.

  10. SailorStar says

    According to a Washington Post headline today, “As settler violence surges,
    West Bank Palestinians fear new displacement.” (story behind firewall, but pertinent snippets taken from )

    Key quotes:

    The article quotes B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group:at least seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers since the war in Gaza began; more than 100 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces over the same time period, according to the United Nations. Some 500 Palestinians have been driven from their homes.

    Armed settlers began roaming through the small Bedouin community of Wadi Siq nearly every day after Oct. 7, threatening Palestinians with a massacre if they refused to leave, according to Tariq Mustafa, who fled the area to a neighboring village with his family.

    “Get out of here; go to Jordan,” the settlers shouted in Arabic before knocking down tents. Mustafa said he called the Israeli police, but the officer hung up when he tried to report the incident.
    Mustafa said about 40 people have been forced from the area, a scenic valley east of Ramallah. He doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to go home.

    The Jewish population in the West Bank passed half a million earlier this year — in land once envisioned as part of a Palestinian state — and settlements have continued to expand under Israel’s right-wing government. Palestinians accuse the movement’s most radical fringe of cynically using the Hamas attack to further their long-held aim of seizing more land.

  11. Trickster Goddess says

    @billseymour: “I note that Bibi is now firmly in control”

    Don’t be too sure about that:

    Could Israel dump Netanyahu in the middle of a war?

    Israelis aren’t rallying around their prime minister. They’re rallying against him.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in trouble. As in, facing a non-zero risk of losing his job trouble. And this political drama could have a profound effect on Israel’s approach to the conflict with Palestine.

    Netanyahu’s poll numbers since the October 7 Hamas massacre have been grim: one recent survey found that a staggering 80 percent of Israelis held him personally responsible for failing to prevent the Hamas attack; another found trust in the government at a 20-year low.

  12. Mano Singham says

    sonof @#4,

    The charge of anti-semitism has lost its potency which is why the Lobby has now raised the stakes and is trying to get people blacklisted and fired. That is likely to result in greater anger and defiance.

  13. billseymour says

    Trickster Goddess, thanks for the update.  I don’t what planet I’ve been living on, but I wasn’t aware of that.  I’ll have to pay more attention to

    Mano @14:  let’s hope so.

  14. sonofrojblake says

    @Mano, 14:

    The charge of anti-semitism has lost its potency which is why the Lobby has now raised the stakes and is trying to get people blacklisted and fired. That is likely to result in greater anger and defiance

    First of all: “trying” is an odd word to put in that first sentence. We’re only even talking about it because they’re not “trying”, they’ve succeeded, more than once.

    Second: my prediction is it will lead to “greater anger and defiance” only from people (like yourself) who are already old/rich enough not to need a job. To the rest of us, the message is even clearer now than it has been for the last 50 years.

  15. SailorStar says

    @10, Allison,

    The Ultra-Orthodox in Israel are as much as 30% of the population, and they’re growing more every year because they have so many kids. The 10, 12, 14 kids need somewhere to live when they grow up, and for the reasons you state, they feel entitled to take land that is not theirs to take, by force if necessary. The rest of the world has called this illegal.

    There was something on the PBS Newshour about the Ultra-Orthodox men (who don’t work, just sit around all day reading the Torah) who are joining the military (to get more ammunition against the Palestinians?).

  16. sonofrojblake says

    @SailorStar, 18:

    The Ultra-Orthodox in Israel are as much as 30% of the population

    From the link you provided:

    The Haredim, or Ultra Orthodox Jews, make up about 15 percent of Israel’s population

    I did like this though:

    [Haredim] don’t traditionally undertake military service, instead believing that they serve by having young men between 13 and 22 to commit to full time study of the Torah, which casts a protective net over Israel and Jewish society

    How’s that net working out for y’all, huh? Guess they just didn’t study hard enough last month, eh?

  17. says

    On Monday, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant described Palestinians as “beastly people” and said: “We are fighting animals and are acting accordingly.”

    Imagine the reaction if anyone had used that language about Israelis.

    The problem you have with your criticism is that this language is used about Israelis ALL THE TIME and you don’t hear about it, because Hamas using the most disgusting dehumanizing language about Jews, Israel, and/or “Zionists” is not considered news.

    I don’t at all think that this excuses the behaviour of the Israeli state. But you’re erasing the very real hateful prejudice of a large number of heavily armed and murderous people.

    You don’t have to bring up the misdeeds of Hamas every time you want to talk about Israel. You can keep them as separate topics. But as soon as you say, “Imagine if anyone said this about Israel,” you imply that no one does say this about Israel, which is factually untrue.

    We won’t understand the conflict by pretending that Hamas leaders have no prejudice. And we won’t stop the conflict if we can’t understand it.

    So please, please, don’t deny the existence of hateful anti-semitic rhetoric. Not even by implication.

  18. SailorStar says

    @19, Sonofrojblake: it depends on which source you use--I had several tabs up while writing that post and was c&p’ing from a couple of sources. Major point; the Ultra-Orthodox are having far more children than the more secular.

    Yeah, the magic sky-fairy who knows all and sees all and is capable of all, can only pay attention and provide aid if a large segment of the population does nothing but appease it all day and night. But doesn’t that contradict the standard line that the magic sky-fairy has a plan for the entire universe, that humans can’t disrupt?

  19. SailorStar says

    You don’t have to bring up the misdeeds of Hamas every time you want to talk about Israel

    And yet, that’s exactly what you did. I think a lot of nations are getting really frustrated with the fact that any time Israel’s genocidal war crimes against the powerless and blameless Palestinian civilians are pointed out, the first thing out of too many people’s mouths are, “But-but-but HAMAS…”

  20. says

    You don’t have to bring up the misdeeds of Hamas every time you want to talk about Israel

    And yet, that’s exactly what you did.

    So what? I said you are not required to do so. I did not say it was forbidden or wrong to do so.

    And I did not criticize Mano for failing to bring up the misdeeds of Hamas. I criticized Mano for using language that implies that no one uses the extreme, dehumanizing language to target Israeli Jews that the Israeli defense minister used to target Palestinians.

    You’re not required to speak on any issue, or to address my favourite issues. But if you choose to address an issue the way Mano did, you should not misrepresent the facts. That’s not some special law relating to Israel or Judaism or the Jewish people. That’s pretty basic.

  21. Mano Singham says

    sonof @#17,

    Just to clarify, I am not rich. But I am definitely not poor either. I am what you might call middle class. I live on Social Security and retirement savings.

    Also, I was saying these things even when I was working and subject to harassment and termination. In fact, a colleague who read my blog once asked me whether I had ever received any blowback and calls to tone it down and I said no.

    So I have been lucky.

  22. anat says

    Allison @10: Zionism does not claim that non-Jews lack a right to be in Israel. There are many Zionist views and many Zionist political parties. It is true that the Zionist left has been declining since the second intifada, but it still exists. And the centrists are not seeking to expel Palestinians either.

  23. sonofrojblake says

    “I am what you might call middle class.”

    I won’t call that middle class, because that’s a lie spread by the rich to set the poorer against each other. There are two classes: people who have to work, and people who don’t. If you have to work, you’re working class -- i don’t care how much you make, if you’re having to keep on working to afford life you’re working class.
    If you don’t have to work (and you’re not living solely on government subsistence benefits) then you’re the other class -- call it what you like, but it’s not in the middle of anything.
    Multiple stratified classes is a tool of social control.

  24. KG says

    In the UK as well as the US, you get the most bizarre examples of insistence that condemnation of Hamas is all that may be said. In the confrontation shown in this video, former Labour MP Margaret Hodge furiously denounces left-wing journalist Owen Jones for failing to condemn Hamas’s murders of civilians just minutes after he does so at some length, because he then went on to talk about the Palestinians. It’s truly surreal.

  25. KG says

    Incidentally, a UK poll showed 3/4 of those asked supported an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Politicians of the two main parties seem to be very much out of sync with the public mood, but my guess is that they won’t suffer for it: wars which don’t actually involve us directly don’t shift a lot of votes, although Keir Starmer is facing a certain amount of opposition within Labour to his cravenly pro-Israel stance.

  26. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    Wow that’s weird. What would the Irish know about being brutally subjugated and starved by an oppressive colonialist regime and being forced to resort to terrorism aa the only viable from of resistance, oh wait.

  27. Allison says

    anat @26:

    Allison @10: Zionism does not claim that non-Jews lack a right to be in Israel. There are many Zionist views and many Zionist political parties…

    The basic principle of Zionism is of a Jewish state, not of a multi-ethnic (i.e., Jews and non-Jews) state. The presence in that state of a large non-Jewish population whose views and needs and rights are on an equal footing with those of the Jewish population is in direct contradiction to that principle. (Imagine if the non-Jews become a majority and start enacting policies that make Jews feel unwelcome.) A logical and consistent implementation of the Zionist principle would therefore mean either reducing the non-Jewish population to second-class citizenship (i.e., Apartheid) or reducing the numbers of non-Jews in that state.

    No doubt there are many people in and outside of Israel who consider themselves Zionists and espouse a Jewish state but don’t agree with discriminating against the non-Jews there. I am pointing out that those views are in conflict. It is hard to see how one could set up a state which is both guarranteed to remain “Jewish”, by whatever criteria their people might define “Jewish”, and at the same time give non-Jews an equal standing with Jews.

  28. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    > And the centrists are not seeking to expel Palestinians either.

    False. The large majority of Israelis vote for parties that support the slow-roll ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the continuation of Israeli Apartheid.

  29. anat says

    GerrardOfTitanServer @34: Not sure how your claim negates mine. They are both true. Zionist Israeli left and center parties do not support the expulsion of Palestinians. At the same time the majority of the Israeli public votes for right wing parties that do support such expulsion in various forms.

  30. anat says

    Allison @33: The traditional Zionist moderate left party line was supporting various forms of territorial compromise, promoting settlement mostly in areas that were not densely populated with Palestinians -- and in the West Bank that meant the Allon plan -- settling in the Jordan rift valley (except the Jericho area), not the middle of Hebron or the alleged tomb of Joseph in Nablus.

  31. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Zionist Israeli left and center parties do not support the expulsion of Palestinians.

    Yes they do. Look at how they vote. Look at the policies they support. Yes. They. Do.

    promoting settlement mostly in areas that were not densely populated with Palestinians

    So, still supporting stealing more Palestinian land, and not supporting dismantling illegal settlements.

  32. John Morales says


    The UN has warned of a “catastrophic” situation for children in Gaza, as Israeli bombs hit a school being used as a shelter and landed outside a hospital, and Israel came under mounting pressure over the civilian suffering caused by its campaign.

    More than 40% of the dead in Gaza after nearly four weeks of war were children, the UN said, with 3,900 reported child victims, and another 1,250 missing and presumed buried under bombed buildings. With little rescue machinery, and hospitals overcrowded and running out of supplies, the chances of survival for those trapped in rubble are painfully low.

  33. anat says

    Something I learned today: That whether Israel’s response is proportionate or not cannot be determined at this moment, because in the laws of war proportionality is not measured in relation to what happened previously in the conflict in question but in relation to the military objective that was supposed to be achieved by the response -- that is, how many civilians is it acceptable to kill in the course of achieving military objective X. (Then there is also the question of whether there was an alternative way to achieve the same military objective that would have resulted in fewer civilian deaths, but that is a matter of necessity rather than proportionality.) Anyway, I found this use of proportionality unintuitive and somewhat surprising. See <a href=""Thinking about Israel, Gaza, and the Laws of War

  34. sonofrojblake says

    Here’s a thing:
    Who controls the media? Can someone who knows, or thinks they know, or just has no idea, explain this?
    The UK satirical magazine Private Eye has, in this fortnight’s issue, a little comedy story tucked away in its comedy “news” segment in the latter half of the publication. It suggests that there are unconfirmed reports that there’s an illegal war going on between a nuclear-armed power and a far, far smaller and less well-equipped adversary -- a war, furthermore, that is rumoured to have been going on for well over a year and a half, right on the very borders of Europe, displacing refugees, killing civilians, war crimes all over the place. An entirely unprovoked war of aggression, and not even the first incursion by that superior power onto the territory of its much small neighbour. A war that many countries in the west have fairly uncontroversially condemned, and even supplied arms and other resources to the smaller power. A war which is, as much as these things ever are, UNCOMPLICATED.

    Unfortunately, the story goes on to say, there’s simply no way to confirm any of these wild rumours because hey, something’s happening in Israel so we have report that and only that.

    Four EU countries border Ukraine. Refugees have been displaced to many more. That war is, newsflash, still going on. And yet, if you look at the top of ANY news agency in these countries -- even the ones NOT owned by billionaires -- all they dare put at the top of the page is Israel Israel Israel.

    Why is that?

  35. Dunc says

    @41: Most journalists have the attention span of goldfish, and they were already bored of Ukraine before the shiny new thing came along to grab their attention. Plus they’re herd animals, so they all stampede off in the same direction just by following each other’s arses, even if it’s straight over a cliff.

  36. GerrardOfTitanServer says


    It’s just dodging the real conversation, which is: How is Israel going to satisfy the real and reasonable demands of the Palestinians? Is Israel going to stop settlement building, dismantle existing illegal settlements, and return stolen land, as part of a genuine process to create a two-State solution? Is Israel going to annex Gaza and the West Bank and offer full citizenship to all Palestinians and make Israel into a secular government? Or is Israel going to continue Apartheid policies and ethnic cleansing policies?

    Because it seems like Israel is going to continue with Apartheid and ethnic cleansing, which means that the violence is going to continue from both sides, and that’s part of why I say both sides are about equally fucking responsible for this mess, and both sides are about equally morally evil and reprehensible (with maybe a light edge to the Palestinians for being slightly reasonable of the two sides). Which is why I continue to advocate for the “fuck off” policy, including divest, divest, and boycott both sides, withhold military support from both sides, but continue to offer humanitarian relief, and continue to counsel for a longterm peaceful solution, and continue to call out the war-crimes and crimes-against-humanity of both sides.

    And -- a big if here -- and if it seems possible that there was universal consensus in the UN in favor of a military solution that involved UN forces occupation of Israel and Palestine to enforce one of the obvious long-term peaceful solution on both sides, I might be for that. However, I am currently really resistant to the idea because it seems like such attempt to invade Israel is going to cause more harm, and because I’m currently very doubtful of our ability to do nation-building with success -- and because Israel might use their nuclear weapons to defend against such a military occupation.

    Basically, it’s like North Korea. The situation is beyond fucked, and if I had the power to fix it with military force, aka with violence, in such a way that it would not involve (excessive) innocent deaths, then I’d do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I do not have that power, and the USA does not have that power, and so there’s nothing I or the USA can do except sit by and watch it happen. Shit sucks.

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