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four shot dead in Tel Aviv

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/08/tel-aviv-market-shooting-sarona-complex

Just a jumble of thoughts and fears and grief, and here am I thinking and feeling this thousands of miles from both the incident and its repercussions. So trying to go through it:

First off obviously concerns for friends and family in the area. Quick search for names. Why relief? Understanding for myself for my very human immediate reaction, though I don’t think its a good response. It might not be anyone I know/personally care about but someone does. Those are lives cut short due purely to their perceived identities. The same as the hundreds of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Precious lives destroyed. Families bereft. Survivors traumatised. The world is tangibly worse off for this brutal, racist attack. For all the racist attacks that punish, harm, murder another human being because of their identity. grief

If it had been someone I know I am aware that the response from the wider antizionist movement (not from all – many, especially those who have actually spent time in Palestine, you know who you are) would have been different if it had been “a good Jew” ie one that opposes Zionism. That pisses me off too. By merely being born a Jew I have to prove my worth to not be randomly assaulted? That’s racist. And happily the wider left does not make such requirements for example on Palestinians, that they say the “correct” views on Hammas before their killing is protested. Only be standing firm and having compassion and seeing all humans as precious and not just seeing their identity can we hope to undercut all racism and supremacy that divides us and perpetuates war and allows nationalism, fascist ideologies to destroy lives and communities.

How many more civilians will now be killed in yet more reprisals by the Israeli army against Palestinians? How much more trauma and hate will be sewn with the same racist attitudes. I fear for those whose lives are about to be further wrecked. It will be Palestinians on this occasion, but their identity is irrelevant. They are humans who will have already have suffered for decades under the zionism occupation. Who will have been trying to just get on with their lives, in a place where I have witnessed that normal human stuff is made a daily struggle due to the Israeli army checkpoints throughout Palestine, home demolitions, arrests and longterm detention of Palestinians without due process, and the years long blockade of Gaza that has resulted in malnutrition, a failing sewerage system and hospitals that lack essential equipment.

What the hell is with that final paragraph in the guardian article linked above:

Israel has been struggling to cope with eight months of Palestinian attacks that have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans. About 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time, most identified as attackers by Israel.

The only outcome of placing such a politically charged and one-sided account of the context is to promote more racism and division and bias and war and murder. There is conscription and most Israelis have served in the army. I’ve heard those who purport to support Palestinian liberation talk of how Israelis collectively are culpable for the occupation of Palestine and defending indiscriminate killings of Israeli civilians. This is as much bullshit as these statements that those killed by Israeli army are “attackers”.

First off, the levels of racism in the way it is written – if it was a Palestinian source there would have been heavy pepperings of “alleged” and “Palestinians claim …” into the above. Somehow the media here treats Israeli official sources as worthy of a trust that they most definitely have evidenced to not deserve.

Secondly I’ve witnessed Israeli attacks on Palestinians and I promise that surgical precision they are not. That is neither the aim of any operation, nor is it feasible when it is carried out by young people who have been raised with the exact sort of racist anti Palestinian crap as this is and now have weapons in their paws, social encouragement to take advantage and knowledge that they will never be held properly accountable for whatever abuses they do carry out. Those 200 Palestinians will not be all “attackers” and even for those that are soldiers, even the UN supports the right to fight back against a military occupation – but you’ll never hear them described as such as calling them soldiers gives them legitimacy to many people.

***

Lets rise above the hate and the willful destruction of lives. Lets condemn all civilian attacks and stand strong in compassion and hope for a better world without racism reducing other humans to just targets. Its frigging tough, especially for those of us aware and exposed to the horrors of Zionism (and all other nationalisms) and the occupation of Palestine. Its easy to dehumanise Israeli victims, just as the Zionists dehumanise Palestinians. Its easy to try to excuse murder out of fear of what will happen to Palestinians and a misguided (and racist) need to portray Palestinians as angelic rather than other humans, as capable of being racist and fucked up as the rest of us, and equally undeserving of the collective punishment and theft of occupation. But Palestinians are humans, and some of them are racists, and living in a war zone just worsens that. Its as illegitimate for them to indiscrimantly target Israelis as it is for anyone else to do that. Don’t infantilise them by taking away their agency. That some Palestinians act in disgusting ways does not mean that the occupation of Palestine and collective punishment by the Israeli army is acceptable.

Lets see all murder as wrong. Lets condemn all racist attacks. Lets co-create a world full of human beings not identities to be annihilated.

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