100 Lives: Israel’s Attack is Simply Immoral

By Malkia Charlee NoCry
Philosophy Editor
20th November 2012, 17:11 GMT

Murdered Palestinian child from airstrikes being taken from rubble after Israeli attacks on heavily populated areas (here, Gaza City). Reuters/Ahmed Zakot

“The death toll in Gaza soared above 100 yesterday on the sixth day of Israel’s military operation, despite frantic diplomatic efforts in Cairo to end the fighting.” The Independent

The Jewish State of Israel has always bothered me. One, because it is a State predicated on religion and, two it is a State predicated on exclusion and expulsion. The urgency outside of Aliyah Bet (which was an emergency to rescue Jews from extermination) to create an independent State, because Europe was ‘anti-Semitic’ seems ridiculous and feeds notions that racism holds a naturalist validity. It also negates the other groups targeted during the Nazi regime (particularly the Roma people who were killed in extremely high numbers) who weren’t given a separate State. Of course I know the negotiations that led to England reneging its rights to British Occupied Palestine was not a simple political game; but as Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism from 1943 to 1955 said of Zionism “the concept of a racial state…[is] the Hitlerian concept.” There is really no other way of understanding it; separatism doesn’t become right just because someone else tried to separate from you.

It’s a sick and evil notion that only breeds more xenophobia and mental illness.

This recent flare of Israeli hostility is not surprising with the re-election of President Barack Obama, a president whose administration has said more than once it would stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel come what may. After the highly successful boycott campaign during Ramadan of Israeli products (notably dates), and youth support globally for peace and the liberation of Palestinians, Israel needed, quite strategically, to appear victimized and the region without hope. This is to create a smokescreen around the assassination of leaders; cause activists (they hope) to become more fearful of the regime; and to as always, paint Palestinians in a murderous and dangerous light. Though I disagree with the Palestinian Solidarity campaign for a One State solution as these tactics would mean the elimination Israel (as Norman Finkelstein said) but it would also mean the elimination of Palestine (which to me is the most important issue); yet, the success of the campaign does indicate there are no doubts whatsoever that the world is done with Israel.

Palestinian woman sitting in the rubble of her destroyed home, praying to God for help. Attack by Israeli forces in Rafah. PHOTO: REUTERS

This is because Israel is so confusing for the lay person; particularly America’s unwavering support – it just seems illogical based on how we understand powerful States to behave. Unlike South Africa, which had modern slavery that fueled many financial industries that saw the United States in a steady stream of wealth (diamonds, gold, and textiles); Israel produces nothing but a string of informants that supposedly keep us tuned in to the goings-on in the Middle East. And with the Arab Spring, as Eugene Robinson wrote for the Washington Post, it’s hard to say if Israel’s position is going to continue to be at all effective in these changing political contexts.

“Throughout the Arab world, religious parties are demanding — and attaining — new power and influence. There are many reasons for this Islamic ascendance, most of which have nothing to do with Israel. But is the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza a contributing factor? Yes, without a doubt, if only because it represents Arab humiliation and provides a focal point for a host of grievances.” Eugene Robinson, Opinion Washington Post

For all people who follow non-mainstream modes of news reporting, you’ve no doubt heard Israel likened to the “watch-dog of the middle-east”. It’s strategic position and loyalty is supposedly worth the hundreds of billions supplied by the USA annually. But no matter how many times popular presidents say Israel has a right to defend themselves, every attack weakens any logic or even the practicality of their position.

Think for a moment – someone breaks into your home and holds you hostage in the kitchen. You use the back door stoop as your latrine and you bathe in the sink. The robbers have full run of your home, including renovations, so now not only do they have your home, they’ve now put in a brand new Moben kitchen in the spare bedroom. You get fed up, so you go outside and punch their dog. They kill both your children in retaliation and then keep body guards at the cupboard where they’re now keeping the rest of the family, for fear you may come out again. This is the circular reasoning Israel and the USA have wanted us to swallow as morally and legally correct for nearly 45 years.

The skewed and vague ethics of settler rights.

Protests in Canada against the Israeli Strikes in 2012. Photo: AP

And the USA has its personal reasons for supporting such blatantly unjust regimes outside of fiscal motives. America was founded by gross legal and morally heinous behaviour. And with the support and manpower of Europe was able to assassinate millions of Indigenous people via chemical, biological and physical warfare; cordon humans off in barren areas of the landmass; and continuously enact laws that were meant to destroy their communities and children. 17 million Africans between the 1500’s and 1800’s were brought for the sole purpose of labour to European colonies throughout the globe, and treated worst than cattle once they arrived; tortured, starved, murdered, raped, abused, without outhouses or places to clean themselves and denied access to basic dignities such as reading, dancing or even giving birth to begin your own family. Post slavery Africans were then systematically (and continually) marginalised in order to hinder the development of African American communities. This then extends itself to all non-European minorities, who because of occupation by European countries have been forced into impoverished and subjugated positions.

For America to distance itself from Israel poses both ethical and political problems.

To stay leaves America vulnerable for reprisals, but to leave destroys America’s communication with the Middle East and their ability to cash in on those fat

12th March 2012: Palestinian medics wheel in wounded youth after Israeli air strike in Gaza City. Three Palestinians were killed  on that day, which had been the worst round of Israeli hostility in 2012; until of course, this November. Photo: UPI/Yasser Qudih

cheques they’ve been sending for the past 40 years. Hamas has been severely battered during this process, and fundamentalism is on the rise – as most turn to religion in times of hardship and also strategically, as the most powerful Arab allies come from countries under sharia law.
Violence, unbridled non-stop orgiastic decadent violence has been paid for by our silence all these years. We’re playing catch up now, but we can’t let this new bombing campaign continue.
And we know this because there are real people dying. However the powers at be choose to play with human life like one would bet on horses; we know we will no longer allow this to be sanctioned in our name.

100 dead bodies lying head to foot can fill your entire home. 100 dead bodies would cover every inch of your kitchen, your living-room, your bedroom. They would fill your bath, bloodied hands poking out of linen closets, sitting on every step as you walk down the stairs. The stench of their rotting flesh would be smelled for miles down the road; you would need 100’s of kilos of lime to cover the smell. If you chose to burn these people’s corpses or bury them in your backyard, it would take you days, and it would be doubtful you had the room or depth to create a mass grave.

A hundred dead bodies.

That’s 100 women, children, men. 100 lives. 100 futures. 100 smiles and 100 hello’s. That’s  100 friends, 100

A girl with a Palestinian flag painted on her cheek on November 2012 in Berlin. AFP

neighbours, 100 lovers, 100 cousins, 100 mothers, 100 sisters, 100 brothers, 100 fathers, 100 members of your family. Gone.

These numbers are real. These lives are real. Every time we hear that word, that gross aseptic word, “death toll” – fill your home with the people killed. Bring them in. Inhale the horror, because if you don’t it’ll keep happening.

100 souls extinguished for money, for power, for greed, for hatred…

for nothing.

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