For year’s I keep hearing the term, “Israel is America’s best ally in the middle east”. Can we honestly say that is true anymore? Frankly I don’t even know what that means. In recent years, Israel has acted against U.S. Interests in stabilizing the middle-east (granted we are no geniuses ourselves), have blatantly interfered in our political discourse all the while accepting billions upon billions in military aid in an entitled fashion. While relations with any country is complex, I feel maybe taking a step back from the situation is in order. Both economically and diplomatically.
The tactic of warning residents of Gaza to evacuate areas before Israeli military tactics is often cited as an example of the humanitarian concern displayed by the IDF. It was part of the justification and defence used by Netanyahu in interviews of the weekend aimed at western audiences.
As many have noted, there is nowhere for the civilian population to go that is safe when the areas to which they are fleeing are also under bombardment. In such a densely populated area, such warnings are at the most useless. But it is more than that. It is a tactic that was used in 1948 to force Palestinians from their villages accompanied by massacres such as Deir Yassin by the Stern and Irgun terror groups to provide a warning of what would happen if they did not leave. The difference now is that Gaza is an open air prison. The population have nowhere to go except to another part of Gaza that will be under attack and the terror is even more profound given the weapons available to the Israeli military.
The warnings to evacuate are not evidence of ethical concern for civilians. It is a longstanding tactic used by the Israeli military to terrorise the Palestinian population. Ominously yesterday, Moshe Feiglin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party and deputy speaker in the Knesset, called for the expulsion of all Palestinians from Gaza and its incorporation into Israel. The current tactics of wanton killing of the civilian population is a continuation of the terror tactics used by Irgun and the Stern gang in 1948 to expel Palestinians and steal their land.
I keep seeing conservatives and Christian Zionists, as well as some American Jews, criticizing the American government because it hasn’t done anything for Israel during the current crisis. Honest question: Given that the Iron Dome missile defense system is largely bankrolled by the United States and that the Israeli military doesn’t seem to be asking for or need assistance for the air strikes or ground incursion against Gaza, what exactly is it that these people want the American government to do?
All of that, though, pales to the one-two punch of Islamophobia and xenophobia perpetrated by Breitbart News, which excitedly reported last week on the discovery of a “Muslim prayer rug found near the border in Arizona.” The “prayer rug” turned out to be an old Adidas soccer jersey, but the story nonetheless got a Drudge link and rattled around the conservative blogosphere as proof that dangerous Muslims were sneaking into America through Mexico.
There is an unfortunate conflation of Jews and Israel. I began a book by David Mamet about Jewish persecution which ought to have been fascinating, but not only was the language verbose, he made this error from the get go. It is clear that the world hates the Jews. That as a people our right to be should be as guaranteed as any other. Our right to a land, at the expense of another people, is arbitrary and violent. Drawing the distinction here between retaliation and resistance is important. So, too, is framing the situation at present in the context of history as a whole. Only by naïvely offering that this incident is isolated can Israel’s campaign receive any legitimization, though even then the power-imbalance is clear. The reality is, though, that the ghettoization of the Palestinian people and the eradication of land that can be said to be Palestine is constant and relentless.
"Rick, it is impossible for you to have been more wrong. … Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the US economy to rebound. Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick. … There is no piece of advice you’ve given that’s worked." - Steve Liesman to Rick Santelli.
Female voters in the US have been called “soccer moms” and “security moms”. In 2004, single women were “Sex and the City voters”. Now – because apparently women can’t ever just be “citizens” or “voters”, or more likely because conservatives prefer to call us names instead of delving too deep into women’s issues – we are “Beyoncé voters”. Bow down, bitches.
Most single ladies would generally be thrilled with a comparison to Queen Bey in any way, shape or form, but the cutesy nicknames for politically-engaged women need to stop. Surely pundits and the political media culture can deal with the collective electoral power of the majority voting bloc in this country in some better way than symbolically calling us “sweetheart”, complete with head pat.