To The Daily Sun,
"Sderot cinema" they call it, referring to images which shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs high on a hilltop overlooking Gaza cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets. "Kill them all," volunteers one young Israeli woman as she watches the slaughter of innocents unfolding below her. Some Israelis refer to it as "mowing the lawn," an unfortunate metaphor, since it suggests an indiscriminate cutting down of everything in its path.
Perhaps "weeding the garden" or "pruning the trees" would have been less transparent? Of course the lawn needs constant mowing on a seasonal basis.
How did it come to this? One thing is for sure, you won't find the answer in the Wikipedia mini history lesson of the Middle East that we were all subjected to a few weeks ago. A regional superpower (fifth largest on the planet) backed up by a world superpower unleashing the most sophisticated weaponry on a strip of land called Gaza that measures 360 square kilometers and a population of 1.8 million. That amounts to a population density of close to 5,000 per square kilometer. Sort of like shooting human fish in a barrel. How does the saying go? "You can run but you can't hide."
We've already heard from the "four bigots of the Apocalypse" and their pithy pronouncements on the subject was predictable. I unfortunately have to admit that their opinion represents the majority in this country. In spite of all that has transpired over the past several weeks, Israel is seen as the victim and we should all pray for her — except of course for all those liberal professor types who are anti-Semitic along with the 1.8 million Presbyterians who voted for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction) of corporations which aid Israel's right to "self-defense."
I won't bore you with the gory statistics of the war since everyone should know them by now. Needless to say Netanyahu's own party made up of Israeli hard-liners, illegal settlement leaders and the extreme right demanded a "hard hit" this time around. To what should we equate this war? Perhaps the California Highway Patrolman beating up on a deranged grandmother (15 blows to the head to be precise) comes to mind?
"Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel's goal is simple: quiet for quiet, a return to the norm. For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more." Noam Chomsky.
Israel says jump and American politicians say, "How high." That's the reality for the moment. The price to be re-elected. Israel has become a right-wing Zionist fascist state that has won out against the moderates and liberals.
They therefore control the narrative which accounts for the following myths that our government and the media continue to spew forth on a daily basis: Hamas started the war; Hamas, not Israel is responsible for civilian casualties; Hamas uses civilians as shields; Hamas and Israel are equally to blame. The myths go on and on.
The human rights abuses are too numerous to mention here. One would think from listening to some leaders that it is Gaza that is occupying Israel. Palestinians live in the eternal cycle of death, violence and rebuilding. There is a long and distinguished line of Jewish critics of Zionism and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. To name them would be "name-dropping" but it is impressive. Israeli supporters often try to equate "anti-Zionism" with "anti-Semitism" to silence opposition both here and abroad to Israeli policies. Israeli and Palestinian security will not happen until both are secure. Those crude uncontrollable rockets that mainly fall in open fields will become more sophisticated and when that happens there won't be enough popcorn to go around.
The only hope for the future is a rapidly growing global solidarity movement. It wasn't supposed to happen this way.