Voltaire famously said: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
When confronted with atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza, the response of Israelis and the blind support for Israel crowd in the U.S. (a crowd which is becoming increasingly less Jewish) is to light their hair on fire and scream “What about Hamas? What about Hamas?”
As thin as the logic of that response is in reference to Gaza, it’s non-existent in reference to the atrocities committed by Israelis in the West Bank, which occur on nearly a daily basis.
But, as Dan Cohen of Mondoweiss reports in ‘There is no Jewish terror’: Conspiracy theory that Palestinians committed Duma firebombing spreads among Israelis, Israelis have developed a new justification for those atrocities: The Palestinians themselves are committing them. Cohen explains:
A growing number of Israelis believe that the Duma firebombing that killed eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and his father Sa’ad was carried out by Palestinians.
In the settlement of Kiryat Arba, whose Chief Rabbi Dov Lior endorsed Torat Hamelech, a book which describes when it is permissible to kill non-Jews, the conspiracy theory appears to be popular.
“There’s no proof there was an attack,” said Lior, a restaurant owner. “But everybody thinks it was Palestinians who did it.”
He believes that the murder of baby Ali was an honor killing. “It’s the same as the Abu Khdeir killing,” he said, referring to the rumor planted by Israeli police after the discovery of the Palestinian teenager’s charred body last summer.
A poll conducted by a Zionist website, Cohen reported, had nearly half the respondents believing the Duma firebombing was the act of Palestinians.
Cohen, who I recently met when he was in Phoenix after the Gaza massacre, interviewed an Israeli soldier on the subject:
When I asked Rotem why he thinks Israeli politicians condemned the attack and promised to treat on Jewish terror the same as Palestinian terror, he told me it was for the purposes of hasbara. “They say it for the [outside] world,” he replied before adding, “The whole government has a tendency to the left.”
Despite the promises of politicians like Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the soldier told me they didn’t have any orders to increase attention to settlers.
At that point, the soldier became agitated by the term “Jewish terror.”
“Stop using the term ‘Jewish terror.’ There is no Jewish terror,” Rotem said. “Remove this word from your lexicon. It doesn’t exist. They made it up for the leftist media.”
Wow! How’s that for a member of the military casting a blind eye?
With this sort of false belief system taking hold, what is holding back the Israelis who wish to commit violence on Palestinians? And how far away can full-scale genocide be?
Lastly, Cohen reported, in what should come as a surprise to no one, that some from the blind support for Israel crowd in the U.S. also are happy to blame Palestinians for the atrocities committed on them.
In closing, I return to Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
Think about it. Before it’s too late.
What do those of us who don’t want to be on the Israeli or Palestinian side, but the human ‘side’. Take one step out of the US and you hear the Palestinian side. What worries me most is that every time the Palestinians take a step to moderation and peace despite their abuse the Israelis become more extreme. Gaza, Israel creates a giant brutal prison camp with near starvation and of course inmates want to fight back. It’s not an accident that, Gaza is where you got the most extreme response, sometimes even unreasoning fury at the occupation.
The truth is obvious to anyone who isn’t blinkered. Palestinians are the wronged people in the dispute. And the Zionist settlers benefited from their wronging, and they benefited greatly and happily. It was easy for them to take it, against politically disorganized people with no military tradtion, the Palestanians were clueless about the danger they were in. That’s where the contempt and racism comes in. The easiness. Not saying the Palestinians were free of this kind violence. In fact there are a lot of mitigating circumstances on the settlers side.
And what happened is not exactly a new kind of event in human histrory.
Israel unable to face the truth, dreams and makes up a thousand lies. When you wrong somebody you try to make it as right as possible. We’re talking some kind of compromise here, not absolute fairness which is not a big human characteristic in any case. Palestanians have to put aside revenge and accept a less perfect settlement. They seem to have been willing to do so for quite a long time. Partly it is the fact that they are beaten. Beaten people make deals that are not fair to them. Out of the actual situation we need to try and get as much fairness as possible that will bring the most durable peace.
Stephen, you’ve clearly expanded your study of this beyond what’s reported in the mainstream American press, and I salute you for that.
But I think your assessment of the Palestinians as being unreasonable may be a bit unfair. Two reading suggestions on this front if you’ve not read them already: Brokers of Deceit, by Rashid Khalidi, and The Battle for Justice in Palestine, by Ali Abunimah.
”…what is holding back the Israelis who wish to commit violence on Palestinians?”
I would suspect it is the collective conscience of the majority of Israelis who would actually prefer living in peace with the Palestinians. That and world opinion that holds Israel to higher standards than it does the Palestinians.
”And how far away can full-scale genocide be?”
A long, long way. Israel has nothing to gain committing genocide against the Palestinians and a lot to lose in terms of U.S. support and world opinion. Granted, world opinion is already turned against Israel, and has been almost since the day it was founded, but committing genocide could turn that opinion from simple condemnation to harsh action. Besides which, the number of Israelis who want to commit genocide against the Palestinians is VERY small.
I don’t think genocide is committed because a rational decision is made that there is something to be gained by it. By your analysis, genocide never would happen, but it does.
As for the collective conscience of Israelis, I’ll respectfully disagree with you. One thing that’s not holding back the acts of violence: law enforcement. The record of Israel for prosecuting acts of violence committed by Israelis against Palestinians is abysmal.
If an election was held in the west bank hamas would win. hamas is the reason israel is alowed to get away with what netanyahu does.
Yes, Hamas would win. Why? Because the PA has been corrupted by Israel for a long time. Palestinians don’t’ like the PA for that reason, so they naturally would turn to Hamas. Were you aware that in 2007 the PA conspired with Israel to stage a coup in Gaza after Hamas was elected in what was widely regarded as a free and fair election?
Beyond that, what are you saying? That Israel gets away with the oppression because there is a Palestinian resistance movement? That’s rubbish.
The real reason Israel is allowed to get away with what it does is leadership in the U.S. corrupted by pro-Israel money. And that corruption pre-dates Hamas, by the way. If Hamas evaporated tomorrow, do you really think the Sheldon Adelsons and Haim Sabans of America would turn off the spigot? If not, do you think somehow the Chuck Schumers, Hillary Clintons and Marco Rubios would stop pandering for their contributions?