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  • samchris51

No end to the suffering

It is mindboggling for me to understand Israel’s behavior toward Palestinians in the West Bank.  Today, I read in Haaretz that Israel is now depriving Jordan Valley Palestinians of water.  The only way to make sense of the harassment, and humiliation Palestinians in the West Bank are subjected to by the IDF and the violence perpetrated upon them by bands of settlers, is to see it as part of a deliberate policy designed to force the Palestinians off the land.  It looks like ethnic cleansing.   Israel will undoubtedly deny that it is engaging in ethnic cleansing.  They will justify their action by saying they are responding to the security situation.  There have been numerous confrontations between Palestinians and the IDF in the area where the IDF is carrying out nighttime raids in villages, and the government has announced that it intends to allow the construction of an additional 3,000 homes in the West Bank.

This behavior is eerily reminiscent of the methods used to force Palestinians off their lands before Israel declared independence.  As towns and villages were either conquered or abandoned in the conflict, looting by Jewish forces and residents was so widespread that, in the aftermath, David Ben-Gurion remarked on 24 July 1948: 'It turns out that most of the Jews are thieves.'

Netiva Ben-Yehuda, a Palmach commander at the time, likened the pillaging she observed in Tiberias to the classic behavior seen by their oppressors during anti-Jewish pogroms in Europe: “Such pictures were known to us. It was the way things had always been done to us, in the Holocaust, throughout the world war, and all the pogroms. Oy, how well we knew those pictures. And here – here, we were doing these awful things to others…”

In the south, Israel is waging a war against Hamas.  A war in which over 18,000 Palestinians have been killed, and most of the 2.2 million who live in Gaza have been displaced.  Most of those displaced survivors are dealing with a lack of food and water as well as inadequate shelter and a lack of medical services.  The suffering of the Gazan people, according to Israel, is unavoidable because Hamas is embedded among them, and Israelis cannot feel safe until Hamas has been eradicated from their midst.  No price is too high.

There is no excuse for the savagery of the Hamas attack of October 7th and all its brutality, including sexual violence against women and men.  There is no justification for the kidnapping of over 200 people for use as hostages.  It is worth mentioning that the whole world saw the pictures of each hostage as Israelis appropriately advocated for their release.  There are no pictures, not even names, for the 18,000+ Palestinians who have been killed, many of whom are still buried in the rubble of bombed buildings. 

Some will label me naïve and misguided or anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli because of my views.  I consider those who are currently ruling Israel and their supporters are simply behaving like ultra nationalist across time have always behaved.  I oppose the principle that one group has the right to assert hegemony and supremacy over all others. I make no exception for Israeli Jews.

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