What is your endgame? #Israel #Netanyahu #IDF #Gaza #Palestine
Prime Minister Netanyahu;
I live in a city called Chicago, which is a word used by the natives to describe the area (“stinky onions”). I have a made a close study of the war that the United States conducted upon the native tribes and understand well the magnitude of the injustice as well as the ugly detail of the atrocities and crimes against humanity that were committed so that the European-derived culture I belong to could rest upon this land. I have often noticed that conservatives become agitated when the topic of historical injustice is brought up and they will angrily deny that they should feel any ‘white’ or ‘liberal’ guilt; I wish to be absolutely clear that I do not feel guilty about what long dead people did regardless of how it worked out for the modern world. That is a path to neverending recrimination and the madness of endless retribution. Guilt is reserved for crimes committed by the living; by understanding the crimes of the past the living are not burdened by the guilt of these ancient wrongs but instead conferred with the responsibility to not repeat those atrocities. We only accumulate guilt when we perpetrate these crimes anew. This means that it is as mistaken for Christians to perpetuate the ‘Blood Libel’ against Jews as it is for African-Americans to hold me responsible for slavery as it is to punish people collectively for the actions of one who is hiding in their midst.
Chicago, not counting its many suburbs, sprawls across 234 square miles with a population of around 2.7 million people. The Gaza Strip is 139 square miles (or 141, depending on the source and method of calculation) with a population of over 1.8 million people. There are over 13,000 people in every square mile, and unlike Chicago, they can’t leave. In 2010, your government objected strenuously when the Prime Minister of England described the Gaza Strip as an ‘open air prison‘ but if it is not that, then what is it other than a ghetto with militarized borders? I don’t think you like the way that sounds either, but it’s an accurate description. Your forces are currently raging through this ghetto, bombing hospitals, mosques, private homes, and mass murdering civilians in the name of stopping rocket attacks that you are proudly announcing are completely ineffective thanks to your ‘Iron Dome‘ system. So, if the Hamas rockets are completely ineffective, why are you shooting at hospitals and Al-Jazeera? If you have exquisitely precise weapons provided by the United States, why are you aiming them so poorly? What do you really hope to achieve? I am too familiar with the slaughter of women and children at Wounded Knee to pretend I don’t know the answers to that. Besides, it’s not like your recent announcement that there will never be a Palestinian state was a big surprise.
Chicago is a divided city; we have our own ghettos that were built with both good and bad intentions but were ghettos nonetheless. Now we have big problems with violence and poverty; while I don’t have to feel guilty about what people did eighty years ago I have to live with the outcome. Human beings always try to escape captivity. They resist having their homes and their culture taken from them, even if the person who is taking it feels completely justified in doing so; though that should seem obvious it is a lesson the West refuses to learn. The Native Americans were ‘inconvenient’ people to the European settlers and they were systematically obliterated. At the least, the Palestinians are ‘inconvenient’ people to Israelis who are settling former Palestinian land; if the Israelis are not trying to obliterate the Palestinian people I don’t know how else to describe it. I understand that Hamas has sworn to destroy Israel. Hamas has dug tunnels, kidnapped and murdered Israelis, fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel, and committed many other atrocities. However, it is very difficult to make a case that Hamas offers an actual existential threat to Israel; they cannot pierce your Iron Dome and obviously cannot answer your military force. This is not to say that I approve of Hamas or endorse them; I would not waste my words in a letter to them pleading with their conscience. However, the only reason that they seemed a preferable choice to the people of Palestine is because you made it impossible for the PLO-backed Fatah party to function. You have consistently backed the people of Palestine into a tighter corners and seemed baffled that they are resisting this treatment; people in desperate situations do desperate things and you have made the situation of the Palestinian people desperate indeed.
The United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations made the nation of Israel possible. The military and political support of the US has made the apartheid inflicted by Israel upon the Palestinian people possible. While the knot tied by Truman and Churchill in 1947 looks absolutely unworkable there is a solution that may not be acceptable to you, but then, it’s not like you consulted the people of Palestine on your solution to the problem of them. Israel clearly cannot govern its territories in a responsible manner and therefore international intervention is called for. Israel was made in the modern age by international acts of law and can be remade now. Obviously, the people of Israel deserve a secure homeland just as the Palestinians do; this is why the UN, led by the US, should occupy the area and enforce international law. By taking the right of self-determination from the Palestinian people the people of Israel have forfeited their own; until both nations can demonstrate their willingness to obey the laws of civilization then civilization must be imposed upon them. Unlike many other situations across the world, this one is directly owned by the US, the UK and the UN; it is not possible for there to be a peaceful solution unless they directly intervene. I realize this solution is unacceptable to you and many others. I realize that you feel you have complete moral justification for what you are doing. You are mistaken. It is as wrong for you to murder civilians as it was for Osama bin Laden to target New Yorkers; your apologists are using the ‘Little Eichmanns’ argument to justify slaughtering children and that should be your cue to realize how indefensible your position is. As a friend of Israel and enemy of fascism, I plead with you to reconsider your position. Colonel Forsyth thought he was doing the right thing, too.