Hamas is guilty. Is Israel also guilty?

A combination of ideology and effective propaganda has the potential to make people apathetic, cold, indifferent, or even pleased at the plight of others – those others who hold conflicting viewpoints. No longer able to see each other’s humanity, they instead see ideological ciphers.

This allows a state or group to undertake unsavory or repugnant actions – bombings, aggressive military action, killing of civilians – in order to accomplish that which they desire to accomplish.

Hamas is guilty of this.

Is Israel also guilty?

The world has spent the last few days in genuine sadness at the killing in Israel, and in anger. Now the anger has turned into indiscriminate revenge against those who had nothing to do with Hamas’s action, who happen to be imprisoned (by the Israelis) in Gaza along with Hamas. Killing innocents is simply part of the method they adopted long ago. This is Israel’s favored way of dealing with rebellion – massive collective punishment against the innocent, since the guilty are harder to pin down. Collective punishment, sadly, is the tactic seemingly adopted by Hamas as well – however, the scale was larger this time.

Collective punishment is an ugly road taken by Israel a very long time ago. They cannot justly complain when it happens back against them. The tactics they validate will also become tactics used against them.

It is an immoral tactic that should not be used by either side. But will either side forego it – that seems unlikely, especially considering the large scale killing of civilians taking place in Gaza right now which will only set up future retaliations.

Unfortunately, Israel endlessly prods the Palestinians through a myriad of continuous and purposeful provocations designed to generate just such a response that will allow it to take brutally heavy-handed action with the backing and cheering on of America and many among the Western international community.

This type of scenario has played out over and over again since the creation of Israel as a Zionist state. Over the years, the existence of groups such as Hamas, Fatah, the PLO, have all been used to excuse the refusal to come to a truly fair accommodation with the Palestinian people and to justify wholesale slaughter, expropriation of land, and endless restrictions on the already hamstrung Palestinian population.

Israel has and (in its current political manifestation) will continue to provoke and act, since it acts, not on the human demands of a situation, not seeking a just solution, not on any shared humanity, but on a heartless ideological imperative that will brook no other course of action, no other goal but total, complete capitulation of the Palestinians (whose land and lives they openly steal) to Israeli demands.There is a vast, unfathomable power balance between Israel and Palestine that is kept in place and maintained by America, and Israel is like an out-of control, morally bankrupt, dependant child who lives off the money funneled to them by a doting parent and whose actions ensure that everyone around them wants as little as possible to do with them.

It is crystal clear who the long term abusers are, who the colonizers are, who the occupiers are, who the thieves of land and lives are, who over the years has carried out the most killing of innocent civilians, who has uncaringly slaughtered the most children, who has done the most maiming, the most kidnapping, the most bombing, caused the most havoc and destruction, it’s clear who has openly carried out ethnic cleansing (a euphemism for genocide), who has imprisoned an entire population in the equivalent of a concentration camp. It is Israel and they are doubling down on this strategy.

There simply is no comparison.

But since Palestinians are collectively guilty, because of Hamas (and because any resistance of any type, even peaceful resistance is unacceptable to Israel), then their culpability and guilt compared to Israel’s is a stone to Israel’s mountain.

It seems that some of what was so unjustly and inhumanly and brutally done to the defenseless Jewish population by the Europeans during World War II (pogroms, ghettoization, confinement, theft of land and assets, dehumanization, collective punishment, crushing dissent as in the Warsaw ghetto uprising)), the Israelis seem to be gradually, over time, visiting upon the Palestinians. I know this sounds harsh, but it is the unfortunate truth and perhaps the only reason it isn’t worse is because the eyes of much of the world is on the region and what the Israelis do they have to constantly make acceptable with a barrage of propaganda co-ordinated with their Western enablers and consultation with them. This is what a vast power imbalance allows when the materially powerful imagine they have a right to dominate, no matter the means employed.

What should the Palestinians do in such a situation? They have tried every possible tactic over the decades, from military actions and largely ineffective missile attacks to stone throwing, to intifadahs, to peace marches, to pleading, to endless attempts at negotiations. But since the playing field is not level, every attempt at securing a fair and just solution has failed. Israel is quite happy with the status quo and over time hopes to push out Palestinians entirely through increasing settler colonial activity and making life so unbearable that Palestinians will perhaps migrate to get away from the brutal treatment meted out to them. In between, Israel will periodically bomb, kill, and unjustly imprison as a means of reducing the population and “incentivizing” the Palestinians to leave the region. In effect, a de-population strategy.

So, given the reality of the situation, and the intransigence of Israel, and the powerlessness of the Palestinians, what should the Palestinians do?

How should they secure, as is their absolute right, a fair, just, future for themselves?

How can the destructive narrative that successive Israeli governments have held onto for decades and which they don’t seem to want to move away from, be changed to include a future shared with the Palestinians?

How can a future riddled with disasters in the region be prevented?

And any future that does not put the Palestinians on an equal footing in every way with the Israelis is not going to have the desired result. No matter how difficult it is, after decades of conflict and propaganda, to wrap one’s head around the “radical” concept of complete equality and parity between Palestinians and Israelis, this is what is right and what is necessary.

twitter(X): @i_from_i
Another blog: islam from inside

Further reading:

Gaza: An Inquest into its Martyrdom

Israel in Palestinian Gaza: Revenge is more satisfying than Peace

Gaza’s shock attack has terrified Israelis. It should also unveil the context

We’re facing unprecedented horror. Why is Biden adding fuel to the fire?

As Gaza Braces for a Ground Invasion, the Circle of Violence Continues

There is Only One Way Out of This: Unless Israel ends the occupation and the apartheid state, this will never be over

A psychological barrier has just been shattered in Israel-Palestine

The end of the Netanyahu doctrine

No Other Options

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