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Clashes

by on May 15, 2021

In 1897 Theodore Herzl was inspired to create a Jewish Homeland after he heard “Death to the Jews!” in Paris during the Dreyfus Affair. This week “Death to the Arabs!” was yelled with equal equal intensity by Jews in Israel.

The spineless mainstream media has called the most recent violence against the Palestinians “clashes“. The media is loath to acknowledge that Israel is a occupying force supporting settler-colonialism and state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing. It would be interesting to see if the media continued to use the term “clashes”; the building that houses the Associated Press and other international media outlets in Gaza was destroyed this morning by the Israeli air force.

A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

It would be easy to say that all hell has broken out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However, what’s happening is just a continuation of the norm. Gaza has been occupied since 1967 and been under blockade for fifteen years, the West Bank is a nightmare of constant military and settler raids, and East Jerusalem is being annexed in what-is-no-longer-slow-motion.

I’ve been working for several days to try to find the words to describe what has been happening. Some Gazans have said that it’s worse than 2014, and that words like “annihilation” and “destruction” are inadequate.

Nakba (The Catasrophe) Day happens to to on today, May 15. The Nakba, which marks the period where 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes, and about 400 villages destroyed, during the same time in which Israel became a state in 1948, is ongoing.

The word “conflict” is usually used to describe continuance of the “clashes”. The media is predicting an “all-out war” in Gaza. What’s actually happening is not a “conflict” and not a “war” -even if becomes worse than 2014 – because a “war” implies two equal sides in which one side has an opportunity of winning. In reality, Israeli has one of the best-funded, strongest army’s in the world, and the Palestinians have no army, no conventional weapons, and little way to fight back.

It would be desirable for violence to be avoided, and from what I hear from both Israelis and Palestinians they would also like that. The United State government, which gives the Israeli army more than a million dollars a day, no questions asked, has also blocked in international effort for negotiation and a cease-fire.

The good news is that there are ways to make sure that US money does not support Israel’s land seizure or detention of Palestinians. HR 2590 does just that, and it’s easy to tell your representative to support the bill either with your own words or a pre-written one.

As Israel enters full “war” mode and calls up reserves to destroy Gaza it’s interesting to note that today is also International Conscientious Objection Day. To truly end “clashes” and the resulting “conflicts” and “wars” we must conscientiously object to war and the military. Demilitarization is often demanded of the Palestinians; it should likewise be demanded of the Israelis.

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