Massacre of the InnocentsNov 7, 2023
The UN is calling the Israel-Hamas war a ‘graveyard of children’…. an adult conflict, in which the young are suffering most. What we see on our TV screens every night is impossible to watch. Did Netanyahu see the young lad who had just carried the decapitated body of his friend from the rubble. If so, what did he think? He almost certainly thought the same as Natali Bennet the former Israeli prime minister who said to a reporter on Sky News: “Are you seriously asking me about Palestinian civilians? What is wrong with you? We’re fighting Nazis”.
In other words, there are no civilians, there are no innocents, all Palestinians, including children, are the antithesis of us, all deserve and need to be exterminated. In fact, in this logic, there is no entity that can be called Palestine, there are no peoples to be called Palestinians. This is not just the slaughter of innocents, it is the annihilation of innocence, it is the breeding ground of the next generation of retributive violence and of lives lived out of pure hatred.
It is past time that truths were stated with utmost clarity.
- Violence accomplishes nothing other than cementing hatred and vengeance for another generation. The children who have not been slaughtered will have been unbearably traumatised. Their anger and hatred will fester until it breaks forth again. Israel is in the process of training another generation capable of October 7 atrocities. The late Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks penned Not in God’s Name. He argued violence can and should never be perpetrated in the name of religion. Using sacred text as motivation for the slaughter in Gaza is exactly what Israeli leadership and their rightwing Christian supporters are doing.
- Boris Johnston and Scott Morrison, you are wrong, you are so wrong, this ghastly suffering and violence did not start on October 7, 2023. Its context began with the Balfour declaration of 1917, while the wheels of dislocation and forced removal were set in concrete with the UN partition of 1948. Half the partition was delivered, after 70 years, the Palestinian half still awaits delivery. Since then, Palestinians have lost 78% of their land, those forced out have become refugees, many of them living in forced isolation in Gaza. These refugees, and children of refugees, are now being mercilessly bombed in Gaza City. If you are forced to live as a refugee (for many in view of their ancestral home on the other side of the fence) in an overpopulated open prison, with no capacity to care for yourself, and no hope for the future, would you not be angry?
- Hamas does not control Gaza, Israel does. Israel determines who can move and who must stay. Israel determines what provisions are allowed in, or out. Israel controls energy and telecommunications. Israel controls the water. Israel determines fishing rights, etc. Within these impossibly restricted circumstances Hamas is the body citizens rely on for medicine, education, and other humanitarian needs. Do citizens of Gaza support Hamas? They probably do, why would they not? Who else is going to speak for them or act for them? The media and western politics are too lazy, or too beholden to Zionist interests, to distinguish between Hamas’ military and civilian wings.
- Israel does not have the right to defend itself in lands it illegally occupies or in relation to people it illegally controls through siege. In the last few days, a member of the Knesset has suggested that illegal Settlers, together with the Israeli military disrupt or destroy the Palestinian olive harvest, while another member of the Knesset suggests Netanyahu ‘nuk’ Gaza. Should it not be the other way around? Palestinians have every right to defend themselves against forced removal from their land and livelihoods. Remember, Palestinians are defending their right to remain on 22% of original Palestine. They are not threatening one inch of the 78% now called ‘Israel’. Yes, Netanyahu, Natali Benett, and your erstwhile supporters, the land’s name was Palestine, the Jerusalem Post was originally called the Palestine Post and before that the Palestine Bulletin.
- “Terrorist” has become an anti-Palestinian racial slur. Its use deserves the same condemnation as antisemitic slurs. I know members of Australian Federal and State parliaments who have spoken in support of Palestinian rights have been accused of being terrorist supporters by fellow parliamentarians. This is outrageous. Palestinians are not terrorists for objecting to their homes being bulldozed and their lands confiscated, or to being generationally traumatised in an open gaol.
- Antisemitism is weaponised, while discrimination and diminution of Palestinians is ignored, even applauded.
- Boris Johnson, Palestinian supporters have fallen into foggy morality. Morality was never your strong suit, nor indeed was it yours Scott Morrison. No, we have not forgotten the unspeakable horrors of the holocaust. However, we insist it is morally reprehensible to relieve collective European guilt, by expecting Palestinians to pay the full cost.
- Netanyahu must go.
- He must go because he has sought to control his own judiciary, ignore democratic separation of powers, and has put any remaining semblance of democratic identity in question.
- He must go because the loss of intelligence and security on October 7 happened on his watch.
- He must go because of his callous attitude to the lives of Israeli hostages.
- He must go because he apparently lacks any semblance of genuine humanity.
- And above all else he must go because his mindset will block any chance of an acceptable future for Palestinians and Israelis alike.
The inescapable truth is that Israel cannot extinguish Palestinian resistance by violence, any more than the Palestinians can win an Algerian-style liberation war: Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are stuck with each other. The only thing that can save the people of Israel and Palestine is a political solution that recognises both as equal citizens, and allows them to live in peace and freedom, whether in a single democratic state, two states, or a federation. So long as this solution is avoided, a continuing degradation, and an even greater catastrophe, are all but guaranteed.
It is this solution that the US, Australia and all Israel’s ‘friends’ must insist on, and if refused, must activate all economic and diplomatic levers at their disposal to achieve.