Bad things come in threes?
So this is my third negative leaning post in a row. Bad things come in threes? Maybe. After this one I think I’ll be looking to be more positive for awhile.
If you listened to the last podcast you heard Rob & I touch on the Israel war. Since that time I have watched at least two dozen videos on YouTube about the history of that area, going back to before the common era (BCE), on more modern history (here’s a good one), on political leaders of the region, and so forth. Britain’s role in the Arab-Israeli conflict can be seen here, very good. Regarding current times, I listened to an excellent podcast where Michael Cohen interviewed Nathan Thrall. I’ve been immersing myself in print, videos, and podcasts in an attempt to try to better understand all the dynamics as I have been watching the news about the war unfold.
I’ve seen and read so much information I’d consider pro-Israel I needed to have some balance, some input from the other side. Don’t we all? People who want to understand a situation should review as much information from all sides as possible, shouldn’t they? I’ve asked that question before and been shot down, been told it was a dangerous way of thinking. I was gobsmacked by that but I believe that’s the new normal.
Mainstream media in the USA allows very little room for sympathizing with Palestinians. You can hear the prevalent opinion via Michael Cohen as he struggles to separate Palestinians from Hamas with the predominant belief being Hamas is evil. Devils personified as they use innocent Palestinians as shields. And how impossible it is to separate the innocents from the devils.
But, I think, more than ever before we’re seeing young people break from the assumption that Israel is innocent and all they’re doing is protecting themselves.
Young American students who are protesting actions taken by Isreal, and the USA, are being blacklisted. The Harvard students are already being advised they can kiss Wall Street jobs goodbye. Columbia students job offers rescinded. They’re being doxxed. Completely vilified. In all fairness, I’m not so sure they’re trying to balance what they know, either. I think Nathan Thrall does, though. Seems like it. He says it’s very lonely being a Jewish critic of Israel. I would bet that is an understatement.
Al Jazeera did an investigation which has been turned into a multipart documentary that can be found on YouTube titled: The Lobby.
“In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera goes undercover inside the Israel Lobby in Britain. We expose a campaign to infiltrate and influence youth groups, including the National Union of Students, whose president faces a smear campaign coordinated by her own deputy and supported by the Israel Embassy.“
I recommend watching all four episodes of The Lobby.
I hate the lobby industrial complex in the USA. It twists our political leaders away from the will and needs of the people to the will of those with the most money and influence and is largely responsible for so much of the corruption in USA government. Now I have an even more broad perspective on how that complex works. Fascinating. Frustrating.
Rob reminded about this amazing documentary, Gaza Fights for Freedom (2019). Directed, Written & Narrated by Abby Martin; written & Produced by Mike Prysner. It is age-restricted so can only be viewed on YouTube.
Like so many I thought, Damn! If it were me I’d just leave Gaza. Watch Martin’s film to see why it’s not as easy as that. It’s a documentary well worth watching if you want to expand your understanding of all sides of the tragedy.
After days and days of immersing myself in this stuff I still can’t figure out what I believe. When I’m in this position I tend to turn toward people who’s opinions I greatly respect. I cannot “follow the money” to them in any way so I don’t really believe they have the same motives as many others (people and corporations). Two of those are Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky. Part of the reason I so greatly respect these two men is because I believe in what they believe in… Peace, treating people with respect, honesty, and fairness.
Chris Hedges: Let Them Eat Cement (Oct 22, 2012) was good and so is this:
I said in that afore mentioned podcast that Palestinians have a culture of martyrdom. That wasn’t fair of me. It was shallow. In one of the videos I watched I heard someone say that all Palestinians want is peace and prosperity and I thought to myself, how can they want what they’ve never had? They have an idea of what that would be, glimpses of it but in generations they’ve not known it. And that is so sad and unfair. Perhaps martyrdom is what they can hang their hopes on… it’s the consolation prize. I’m sure I’m still being shallow. It is truly impossible for me to put myself in the shoes of any of these groups. But I do know this, if I were trapped, constrained, watching loved ones starving and killed, part of generations of longing for something being kept from me, I’d be filled with a red hot rage that would consume me. I’ve been filled up like that before and for a whole hell of a lot less.
I, like everyone else, was horrified to see the terrorists paraglide into an outdoor concert and start killing people. I was horrified to learn that they’d changed their clothes to look like IDF and shoot people of all types as they were seeking help. I hate terrorists. I believe and prefer Peace. That said, i might have red-hot rage for revenge like Israel if my child were killed at that rave.
Fuck!! It’s complicated, right?!
But is Israel’s scorched-earth retaliation the best response? I can’t say I blame them for wanting revenge. But how far should that go? It should NOT include genocide.
I just wanted to vent and to offer a few links to other information for anyone interested and looking for additional perspective. It’s all made me remember things from the Viet Nam war era… as a very young child I remember a quote from a military person that went something like: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.“
I don’t think anyone is going to be saved in Gaza unless the USA and Israel find some sort of peace in their souls to make that happen. I hope I’m wrong.