In the last week there has been a major escalation of violence in occupied Palestine. Some 350 Palestinians were seriously injured in protests last night. A local doctor reported injuries consistent with an intentional effort by Israeli “security forces” to maximize harm. Israel also apparently launched about 130 airstrikes against Gaza, leaving over 20 people dead. While it is true that the Palestinian resistance launched rockets at Israel, it is also true (and has been for years), that these rockets rarely hit anything of note—let alone cause death. When I last checked, about 15 years of rocket fire had killed about 20 Israelis. In other words, about 1.5 people a year. That is about the rate of deaths from snakebite in Israel. On the other hand, many thousands of Palestinians have died in Israeli retaliations.
As usual, the cause of the recent violence was the eviction of Palestinians from their ancestral homes. This provoked protests (mostly peaceful), but eventually someone threw a rock. The police then escalated, and presto! Another round of violence. Of course, Netanyahu is in very serious political trouble. This seems like his usual ploy to stay in power—turn out the military and distract the Israeli people by resurrecting the Palestinian bogeyman.
Is it a coincidence that this takes place at a moment when Muslims are trying to celebrate their end-of-Ramadan holiday– time that should be dedicated to joy and reflection? I decided to repost this piece from my blog. It was written at the end of Ramadan last year. Tragically, not much has changed. It still seems as appropriate as before.
It is really hard for me to imagine how Americans think they can seriously address their own problems of racial supremacy and over-policing of minorities while continuing to support what has basically become an openly apartheid regime in Israel. Something we should all probably think about. An injustice anywhere. I think you probably know how that continues…
There are several other old posts on this page that might be useful to re-read if you care about this issue (and you should). I hope to post some new things soon.
Nakba Day, The coming Eid, and Lockdowns: A Short Reminder and a Poem in Solidarity with the People of Palestine https://mind-cast.com/2020/05/24/nakba-day-the-coming-eid-and-lockdowns-a-short-reminder-and-a-poem-in-solidarity-with-the-people-of-palestine/
What Black Lives and Palestinian Lives Have in Common https://mind-cast.com/2020/06/07/what-black-lives-and-palestinian-lives-have-in-common/
Two Poems about Palestine, Truth, and Balance https://mind-cast.com/2020/06/07/two-poems-about-palestine-truth-and-balance/
Some Thoughts on Empathy and Imagination and a Poem for Palestine (Testing Day) https://mind-cast.com/2020/08/15/some-thoughts-on-empathy-and-imagination-and-a-poem-for-palestine-testing-day/
Some Essential Readings on the Palestinian/ Israeli Conflict: A resource and suggested reading list (Part 1) https://mind-cast.com/2020/09/06/some-essential-readings-on-the-palestinian-israeli-conflict-a-resource-and-suggested-reading-list-part-1/