israel e gaza

Israel, Gaza & a Family in Conflict

Em Consciência por Andrew FishmanComentário

You are a disap­point­ment, in so many ways.

My cou­sin pos­ted that on my Face­book wall this week. We have always had a good rela­ti­onship, but she was res­pon­ding to a link I had pos­ted that she per­cei­ved to be “anti-Israel.” And with Israel in the midst of Ope­ra­tion: Pro­tec­tive Edge, an aggres­sive assault on the Pales­ti­nian popu­la­tion of Gaza, my per­cei­ved affront to Israel’s moral autho­rity to kill civi­li­ans was rea­son enough to take the kid glo­ves off.

My dad is Jewish, my mom is Catho­lic, which, accor­ding to the matri­li­neal Jewish tra­di­tion, makes me “not a real Jew” even though half of my family are. And, like so many Ame­ri­can Jews, most of that side of my family—especially the older generations—are ste­ad­fast defen­ders of Israel through hell or high water.

Last Wed­nes­day, the Uni­ted Nati­ons Human Rights Coun­cil pas­sed a reso­lu­tion con­dem­ning Israel’s “wides­pread, sys­te­ma­tic and gross vio­la­ti­ons of inter­na­ti­o­nal human rights and fun­da­men­tal fre­e­doms” (only one nation voted against the reso­lu­tion: the Uni­ted Sta­tes). The next day, Israel bom­bed a Uni­ted Nati­ons-run school that was being used as a refu­gee shel­ter for around 800 Pales­ti­ni­ans that had fled their homes during more than two weeks of bom­bard­ment. At least 16 inno­cent civi­li­ans were kil­led and 150 inju­red. Most were women and chil­dren.

The UN spo­kes­per­son claims they had given the IDF the coor­di­na­tes of the school mul­ti­ple times, inclu­ding that mor­ning and that they were given no war­ning before mul­ti­ple shells hit the pre­mi­ses. This is a war crime. And even with such war cri­mes hap­pe­ning daily, my family mem­bers and others do not wai­ver. What makes it all so befud­dling is that most of these peo­ple are otherwise libe­ral pro­gres­si­ves: peo­ple who sup­port gay rights, think Bush and Che­ney should be pro­se­cu­ted for the Iraq War, and that there is a spe­cial place in hell for Syrian tyrant Bashar al Assad. Yet they teach their chil­dren to hold Israel to a dif­fe­rent stan­dard. As my cou­sin rea­dily admit­ted in our spat, when it comes to Israel “I can­not only speak with my head, my heart is stron­ger.” printscreen The day after the attack on the UN school, she chan­ged her Face­book ava­tar to an image of the Isra­eli flag with the text, “Whe­re­ver I stand, I stand with Israel.” BANDEIRAISRAEL She’s not alone. That is also the unof­fi­cial motto of the Uni­ted Sta­tes govern­ment. Since Israel’s foun­ding, the USG has given Israel more than $121 bil­lion in direct aid— prin­ci­pally in mili­tary fun­ding and loan gua­ran­tees. This year alone, the total is more than $3 bil­lion. America’s unyi­el­ding, deca­des-long sup­port for Israel is too com­plex and mul­ti­fa­ce­ted to unra­vel here, but one of the prin­ci­pal tent poles of the policy is the Ame­ri­can Zio­nist lobby. They are true beli­e­vers in Israel as the right­ful home of glo­bal Jewry, both spi­ri­tual and reli­gi­ous, and they have cre­a­ted power­ful orga­ni­za­ti­ons like the Ame­ri­can Israel Public Affairs Com­mit­tee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defa­ma­tion Lea­gue (ADL) to argue their case. These groups are extre­mely influ­en­tial and well con­nec­ted in Washing­ton and would make any self-pre­ser­ving poli­ti­cian think twice before utte­ring a word that could maybe, pos­si­bly, perhaps be cons­trued as anti-Semi­tic (a label they often use when “anti-Zio­nist” or “anti-mili­ta­rist” would be more appro­pri­ate).

Har­dline defen­ders of Israel have lob­bed the charge of “anti-Semi­tism” con­sis­ten­tly and wan­tonly at anyone who dares ques­tion Isra­eli govern­ment policy—especially at other Jews. They wield the memory of the Holo­caust as a wea­pon against their poli­ti­cal foes and main­tain a firm “either you’re with us or against us” posi­tion. Even those that lou­dly pro­claim their sup­port for Israel but mee­kly whis­per that govern­ment acti­ons are perhaps coun­ter-pro­duc­tive to Israel’s long-term inte­rests are blud­ge­o­ned with the same rhe­to­ri­cal club by AIPAC and it’s allies. But in so doing, they are com­mit­ting a logi­cal fal­lacy and have cre­a­ted a self-ful­fil­ling prophecy. As Bri­tish his­to­rian Tony Judt explains:

When Israel bre­aks inter­na­ti­o­nal law in the occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries, when Israel publi­cly humi­li­a­tes the sub­ject popu­la­ti­ons whose land it has sei­zed — but then res­ponds to its cri­tics with loud cries of “anti-Semi­tism” — it is in effect saying that these acts are not Isra­eli acts, they are Jewish acts: The occu­pa­tion is not an Isra­eli occu­pa­tion, it is a Jewish occu­pa­tion, and if you don’t like these things it is because you don’t like Jews.

In many parts of the world this is in dan­ger of beco­ming a self-ful­fil­ling asser­tion: Israel’s rec­kless beha­vior and insis­tent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of all cri­ti­cism with anti-Semi­tism is now the lea­ding source of anti-Jewish sen­ti­ment in Wes­tern Europe and much of Asia.”

Har­dline Isra­eli nati­o­na­lists are the ones con­duc­ting the uncons­ci­o­na­ble slaugh­ter in Gaza, but they are being ena­bled by direct fun­ding, logis­ti­cal assis­tance, and inter­na­ti­o­nal diplo­ma­tic cover from the Uni­ted Sta­tes govern­ment and select allies. And all of this is being done in my name both as a (“fake”) Jew and as an Ame­ri­can citi­zen. It makes my blood boil.

US sup­port dis­cou­ra­ges Israel from making the dif­fi­cult poli­ti­cal choi­ces it must even­tu­ally pur­sue. Ins­tead, since Israel cap­tu­red Gaza and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, it has built ille­gal set­tle­ments for hun­dreds of thou­sands in the West Bank, dis­pla­ced thou­sands of Pales­ti­ni­ans from their homes, built mas­sive “sepa­ra­tion walls” to divide Pales­ti­nian set­tle­ments from Isra­e­lis, cre­a­ted an oppres­sive secu­rity regime that res­tricts Pales­ti­nian move­ment in their own ter­ri­tory, enac­ted eco­no­mic bloc­ka­des that stran­gle the Pales­ti­nian eco­nomy, and have inten­ti­o­nally squan­de­red poli­ti­cal solu­ti­ons with the Pales­ti­nian Libe­ra­tion Orga­ni­za­tion (PLO). The col­lec­tive result of these poli­cies: the rise to power of reac­ti­o­nary move­ments like Hamas. Israel has cho­sen land (and the cycli­cal vio­lence that comes with it) over peace and is not seri­ous about a poli­ti­cal solu­tion. jornalista That is why I cri­ti­cize Isra­eli policy and gene­rally dis­count their argu­ments about the per­ni­ci­ous­ness of Hamas. And, in turn, Israel’s defen­ders accuse me (and other who share my views) of sup­por­ting Hamas. For the record, I do not. My boss, an Ame­ri­can jour­na­list who is often accu­sed of being anti-American/anti-Israel for his work, likes to res­pond to these cri­ti­cisms with a quote from Noam Chomsky:

My own con­cern is pri­ma­rily the ter­ror and vio­lence car­ried out by my own state, for two rea­sons. For one thing, because it hap­pens to be the lar­ger com­po­nent of inter­na­ti­o­nal vio­lence. But also for a much more impor­tant rea­son than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was res­pon­si­ble for 2 per­cent of the vio­lence in the world ins­tead of the majo­rity of it, it would be that 2 per­cent I would be pri­ma­rily res­pon­si­ble for. And that is a sim­ple ethi­cal judg­ment. That is, the ethi­cal value of one’s acti­ons depends on their anti­ci­pa­ted and pre­dic­ta­ble con­se­quen­ces. It is very easy to denounce the atro­ci­ties of some­one else. That has about as much ethi­cal value as denoun­cing atro­ci­ties that took place in the 18th cen­tury.”

Without Uni­ted Sta­tes fun­ding and their key veto in the UN Secu­rity Coun­cil, Israel would never be able to do what it does in Gaza and the West Bank. As an Ame­ri­can, I am par­ti­ally res­pon­si­ble for every Isra­eli bomb that falls on the head of a Pales­ti­nian child. And, as an Ame­ri­can I have the abi­lity and the moral impe­ra­tive to do something—at the very least to speak up and engage with my peers—to change the situ­a­tion.


Font: Gal­lup

And things are chan­ging. Ever so slo­wly. Last week, a Gal­lup poll came out showing that a plu­ra­lity of Ame­ri­cans (42%) beli­eve Israel’s Ope­ra­tion: Pro­tec­tive Edge is jus­ti­fied (39% beli­eve it is unjus­ti­fied, 20% have no opi­nion). But when you dig a lit­tle dee­per, you see that among 18–29 year olds, only 25% res­pon­ded that Israel is jus­ti­fied and a whop­ping 51% res­pon­ded it was unjus­ti­fied. This is a big deal. We are on the verge of a major poli­ti­cal shift. AIPAC’s cries of anti-Semi­tism and “remem­ber the Holo­caust” do not reso­nate among a gene­ra­tion in which the Holo­caust is anci­ent his­tory; mul­ti­cul­tu­ra­lism, not eth­no­cen­trism, is the ideal; and which, in their life­time, Israel has always been ascen­dant while Pales­ti­ni­ans have always suf­fe­red daily indig­ni­ties and oppres­sion under mili­tary occu­pa­tion and eco­no­mic bloc­kade.


Fonte: Gal­lup

Over the last few weeks, a bar­rage of news reports (accom­pa­nied by outrage, vitriol, pro­pa­ganda, recri­mi­na­ti­ons, and ad homi­nem attacks) have flo­o­ded my social media feeds. Peo­ple are enga­ging on the issue. Since June 28, the hash­tag #GazaUn­de­rAt­tack has been used over 5.5 mil­lion times on Twit­ter while #Isra­e­lUn­der­Fire has only been used almost 300,000 times. Israel is coming under incre­a­sing pres­sure to change its ways because it is losing war of public opi­nion more than ever before, even as it mili­ta­rily domi­na­tes on the stre­ets of Gaza. egipcio-en But will this pres­sure lead to tan­gi­ble results? If we use his­tory as our guide, the answer is cle­arly no. Since the days of the Bri­tish Man­date of Pales­tine, Jewish Zio­nists have con­sis­ten­tly and bru­tally denied the basic huma­nity and dig­nity of their Pales­ti­nian neigh­bors through almost any means at their dis­po­sal. And I think that is why any cri­ti­cism of Israel makes peo­ple like my cou­sin so ner­vous. The cal­lous­ness of Ope­ra­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge is not an aber­ra­tion; it is the sta­tus quo in Israel-Pales­tine. To ack­no­wledge Israel’s acti­ons in 2014 as immo­ral is to con­cede that their coun­try has always been on the wrong side of his­tory. That is not an intel­lec­tual path most Israel sup­por­ters care to walk down. They are not going to change, but with every bomb, more peo­ple like me are spe­a­king out. So it’s up to the rest of us to do all that we can to force the US govern­ment to finally recon­si­der its tra­gic rela­ti­onship with Israel.

An american journalist living in Rio de Janeiro. He works for The Intercept, an online news organization focused on adversarial national security journalism.

Um jornalista americano que mora no Rio de Janeiro. Ele trabalha para a The Intercept, agência de jornalismo investigativo independente.