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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

“It’s been going on for thousands of years, this conflict is just never going to be solved.”

 This one is my favorite (aka most hated), and was the initial inspiration for this post because I’ve been hearing it a lot. The reason this pisses me off so much is not just that it’s not true (read about Jewish people in Palestine before Zionism to learn about this), but also because it pretty much portrays Jews and Palestinians as some sort of cat and mouse, two silly animals that just can’t get along for some reason. We’re not animals, we’re not kids, and we’re not just fighting for no reason. This conflict, like every conflict ever, has a history, a reason, and a solution. The fact the you don’t know enough about these things doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

I just find it so dismissive and condescending. There are thousands of people dedicating their lives to solving this conflict and to promoting peace and justice, but there you are, one genius American, declaring all resistance futile and sentencing us to eternal pain and struggle. How great and constructive. Maybe instead of saying what can or can’t be solved, you should educate yourself about what people are actually doing to, you know, solve this.

“It’s just too complicated, I can’t even try to understand it.”

I respect that you don’t pretend to know everything about something you’re not super familiar with. Really, it’s good and rare and important. But what a lot of people seem to actually want to say is “I don’t care enough to learn.” I guess it’s fair not to be interested in every single thing in the world, but it’s pretty messed up when you’re basically saying that people dying in other parts of the world just don’t interest you enough to get you to spend an hour reading a few articles. I’m not saying that you should be an expert on Middle Eastern politics, but it wouldn’t hurt to be curious and instead of shying away from complexity – embrace it and learn what you can (while acknowledging what you don’t know yet).

“Israel is the most evil country in the world.”

 Yeah, the Israeli government is pretty evil (as are most governments). What pisses me off about this is that if you’re American, you should see every action that Israel takes as an action that your own government took. Since the US has been the backer of the Israeli occupation for years, and has funded it and protected it from any international intervention – you can feel free to share the blame. I know that most Americans who critique Israel aren’t necessarily the biggest patriots, but it would just be nice if you felt as shitty about the occupation as we do.

“Both sides are to blame.”

The kindergarten classic – there are two sides fighting, therefore the fault must be divided evenly. Unfortunately life is not always so neat and easy, and not everything can be split right down the middle. Stop comparing just because it’s comfortable and stop trying to pretend that you’re “objective”, as if spreading misinformation and being lazy about understanding this situation is being objective. If you want to be on the side of justice instead of the side of silliness – start realizing that occupier and occupied are not the same. Yes, there are bad people on both sides and I never support violence against civilians, but you can’t compare aggression and offense to resistance and you can’t compare the consequences that each side faces. So don’t.

“Why do we talk about this but not about Syria/Iraq/Ukraine/someothercountry?”

 What this basically means is “I don’t care about this so I’ll justify not caring by bringing up some other issues I don’t care about.”  Yes, Israel is not the only country in the world doing fucked up stuff right now (I really wish it was), and we should pay attention, care, and do something about as many things as we can, but just because there’s always something more to get angry about doesn’t mean that you get to shit all over any effort to do anything about anything. Be respectful of people trying to fight for justice and don’t give them the unnecessary “but what about this and this and this??!?!??” as if they’re responsible for fixing all the world’s problems because they care about something. If anything else that’s happening in the world is bothering you: DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, don’t just use it as your hypocritical justification for not caring.

“What would you do if missiles were being fired at Boston????”

What would you do if New York was under Canadian military occupation? What would you do if Maine was not in control of any of its borders, by air, land, or sea? What would you do if your whole family died in a bombing? I don’t know, because you never ask that. You can’t start telling a story from the point you’re comfortable with and ignore everything that’s happened before (aka treat the missiles being fired at Israel as an isolated phenomenon representing Palestinian aggression and hatred and totally disconnected from anything Israel ever did). Seriously this is just stupid so don’t do it. It’s like if I punched you in the face, and then you’d kick me and I’d go around telling people “Well, what would you do if this asshole was kicking you???” so I can justify punching you in the face again.


These are my six things for today, although some more might come up because people just love saying stuff that pisses me off. In the meanwhile you’re welcome to comment with your own thoughts about things that Americans (or other people) say about Israel and Palestine that piss you off!

You’re also welcome to check out these news sources to learn more about this and not be lazy (and comment with more links because this is just a brief list):

Al Jazeera English

+972 Magazine (read this article called Debunking Gaza war lies to learn about more things that you should stop repeating because they’re wrong)

The Electronic Intifada

Democracy Now

Jewish Voice for Peace

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The IDF opened a new front in the war in Gaza (2.0), and now Facebook and Twitter are just more grounds to conquer.

The battle is fierce.

Commander-in-Chief: The IDF’s Facebook page.

Infantry:  Jews all around the world, liberal and less liberal.

Weapons Used: Pictures of attractive soldiers, scared children, and impressive graphic representations of carefully selected statistics, all with guilt-inducing texts.

Casualties: Journalism ethics.

So, my dear peace-loving, Obama-voting, coexistence-advocating friends, there are a few things I need you to know:

  1. The IDF’s facebook and twitter do not count as news sources and reading them doesn’t make you more aware of anything. They are often lying to you and you need to understand more than just what the IDF thinks if you’re going to have an opinion on this. Do you go to the US military’s facebook when you want to learn more about what’s happening in Iraq? No. Because that doesn’t make any sense.
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  2. Reposting IDF pictures/posts is not helping peace/justice/security/any of those things you say you support. It just helps the IDF do whatever the fuck it wants without giving a shit about how many Palestinians and Israelis are going to die because of it.
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  3. The people you’re actually supporting by repeating meaningless statements about Israel’s right to defend itself are politicians such as Netanyahu and other right-wing racist warmongers who couldn’t care less about the safety of people in the south of Israel (who were unsafe also a year ago and two years ago, except then it didn’t seem to worry Netanyahu and his buddies). They care about getting reelected and about keeping Israel in a constant state of war because war is their expertise and if Israel had peace we wouldn’t need military experts and they wouldn’t get elected. Actually, if it wasn’t for this comfortably-timed war, people would probably still be talking and voting on things they cared about until all of this started, things like the financial crisis, the rising cost of living, and the increasing difficulty to make ends meet (aka things that would make them not vote for Netanyahu.)
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  4. To make it clearer: if this was about the US, you’d be the people who support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because they think the most important thing is to support the US government and fight whatever war they say is just. Those are the people in Israel you are aligning yourself with. Here’s a brief example of what supporting this war looks like. Think hard if these are the people you want to be supporting.
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  5. “Supporting Israel” doesn’t mean anything because “Israel” is not one big lump of cells all working together to attack Gaza. Israelis don’t all agree. “Israel” doesn’t have a Facebook page where you can see exactly what we all think and want. I know, it sucks when things are complicated, but they are. You can support the Israeli government, but don’t pretend that you’re defending Israel. You’re not. You’re defending Netanyahu’s right to save his seat in the government. You’re defending a war. You’re defending policy that makes peace less and less likely to happen in Israel.
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  6. You are not being liberal. You are not being alternative. You are not being smart. You are not being subversive. You are definitely not being peaceful. You are being played by racist idiots who know exactly what buttons to push because it’s their job to make people like you advocate for their wars.
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  7. If you want to support peace, here’s a radical idea: object wars. Even if the IDF told you that there is no other way.

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+Bonus:

Some *actual* news sources where they have actual news and not just catchphrases with cool, inspiring pictures:

Al Jazeera English

+972 Magazine

Haaretz

The Electronic Intifada

Democracy Now

+Extra special bonus suggestion:

Do your research about the last time Israel defended itself against Gaza. This time seems to be terribly reminiscent. Google “Gaza War“/”Operation Cast Lead“/”Gaza Massacre“, and you are promised to find interesting things. Wikipedia is always a good place to start.

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See you in the next justified war.

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