Thursday, May 17, 2018

How We’ll Defeat Israeli Apartheid

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Things are changing about how our society chooses to handle the horrors being perpetrated by Israel. It’s more acceptable to acknowledge the truth about what’s happening than it was a few months ago. The massacre that Israel has been carrying out against Gaza demonstrators for the last eight weeks, with Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinians who are either unarmed or only having rocks to use as weapons, has compelled people into speaking out. I’m asking people to keep up that intellectual courage, because it’s what we need to bring change.

We need to take this opportunity to speak against Israel’s actions loudly and unapologetically. We should be careful to avoid any anti-semitic language, including unintentional anti-semitism that implicates the Jewish people with Israel’s crimes. But it’s our responsibility to expose the realities of what’s happening, so that the tide can be turned against the apartheid state which is Netanyahu’s government.
Start conversations about this issue. Spread the truth about Israel’s ethnic cleansing operation online and elsewhere. Don’t stay quiet when you hear someone blame Israel’s latest massacre on Hamas (Hamas didn’t organize the Gaza protest, the people of Palestine did) or claim Israel is only defending itself (it’s most definitely not, since Israeli soldiers are armed with heavy weaponry and the Palestinians are only armed with rocks). Counter Israel’s narratives so that the oppressed people can be given as big a voice as possible.
These people, as Abby Martin says about the Palestinians in Gaza, are “born to die.” They aren’t allowed to leave the Gaza Strip, since Israel and its surrounding allies make sure to block all of their exits. They aren’t allowed any material that could be construed as a weapon, including concrete. Their food essentially consists of rations, and Netanyahu has worked to block off Gaza’s freshwater supply. Israel sendssoldiers to lure and kill Palestinian children in the area, assigns snipers at the guard posts around the city to gun down Palestinians, and bombs civilians in Gaza.
The Israeli and U.S. governments are doing all they can to ensure that the inhabitants of this open-air concentration camp don’t have allies, aren’t able to have their stories told, and don’t have the will to resist. They’re dehumanized as terrorists and portrayed as too dangerous to be let out of Gaza, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. Their national identity and their right to live in their homeland is ignored under the colonialist view that Israel is entitled to all of the area’s land.
Not all Zionists support the atrocities taking place. But Zionism is the ideology that’s weaponized as a justification for Israel’s existence as an ethno-supremacist apartheid state, with Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Blacks, and essentially all other non-Jews in Israel being subject to persecution. The goal is to expel all disfavored ethnic groups from the country, and Israeli officials have expressed it’s the goal many times. The government has only been able to sustain public support for this all by telling people that they’re in a war for the survival of the Jewish state, a war that won’t end until the enemy is exterminated.
This mentality of war, which extends to many of Israel’s worldwide supporters as well, is enforced by the militarized and increasingly authoritarian nature of Israeli society. For the last seven decades, the people at the bottom of this society have been subjected to the eight stages of genocide, which are classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and denial.
That last stage has been thoroughly entered into, as the Israeli government routinely puts out statements which invert the truth of how Palestinians and Arabs are treated by its army. These “Big Lies,” as Chris Hedges calls them, are then repeated by pro-Israel politicians and by the corporate media, while Israel’s extensive network of online trolling and propaganda also works to insert them into people’s consciousness.
This is what these protesters and their families are up against. But they’re still fighting for their freedom-why wouldn’t they be? Human beings aren’t built to accept abuse, and their impulse to fight back will always be the default. That’s what’s kept the Palestinians going until now, when it seems like they’re finally about to win.

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