It's REALLY unfortunate when ignorant, hateful assholes put their support behind a cause, because it encourages viewers to assume that these people represent what they're supporting, when really they're tarnishing its reputation. The pro-Israel people that came out to support Israel's massacre in Gaza are some of these assholes. Although Max is patronizing his interviewees just a tad, I don't think any clever video editing was necessary to show exactly how twisted these people's perspectives are.
This rally was an overtly racist and hateful gathering. To support the mass killing of a people is just fucked up. I think I can confidently say that if there's a universal truth, I'm on to it. That's where trouble comes from I suppose, the assumption that you're Right, but at least the ideas I ascribe to are support the elimination of suffering, rather than the spreading of more.
Hearing people say that everyone in Gaza should be "wiped out", that all Palestinians are extremists and terrorists, calling them "a cancer" - this is the worst part of humanity.
Where does it come from? Who benefits? Perhaps from stubborn bias, misinformation, perhaps a need to belong or a feeling of being wronged and a need to retaliate, and it obviously benefits the United States.
It's really unfair though. My gut response was "wow, Jews are really messed up", and I immediately caught myself, because I don't think any of this has to do with being Jewish. I guess this is where my stance on personal responsibility comes in - I'm much more inclined to think that this is a matter of cultural brainwashing than of someone really sitting down to try to understand their lives and finally deciding to support the mass murder of people they think they disagree with.
It's the same situation as with the Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the Christian fucks who protest soldiers' funerals and think that the whole army is gay and therefore an abomination under God or something like that) - yet I know a lot of really great non-hateful Christian people. It's the same situation with Stalin who claimed to be a Marxist but made to suffer the people that Marxism is supposed to save, and the Socialists I know are anti-Stalin. It's the same with the nameless African Americans who voted against gay marriage in California right after Barack Obama was elected, which made us all wonder how any or all black folks could be prejudiced against another group. It's the same with any racist white person. We can't take these people as representatives for the whole group (although I'm consistently curious about the statistics and the cultural factors that may make it LIKELY for a certain group to take a certain stance).
Fortunately there's usually another voice, like the Jewish Voice for Peace and the Shministim.
I guess I just wanted to let off some steam. Seeing the footage from that protest seriously enraged me (like watching Bill O'Reilley). Even before I began reading the socialist perspective on the situation in Gaza, it seemed to me that the situation was pretty clear-cut. Palestinians in that area were moved into this small piece of land called the Gaza Strip and forced to live in horrible conditions. Surely they must have asked nicely. Surely they must have spoken out. Surely the must have begged and pleaded for mercy from someone. And when no one listened, they started screaming - with rockets. Rockets which I've read haven't killed more than a couple people in all the time they've been utilized. And as "retaliation", Gaza gets massacre, and there are people who think this is fair. Can you really blame the oppressed for fighting back?
What really gets me is the teen who thinks the Holocaust is upon her. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't realize that Jewish folks were still oppressed? I mean I guess anyone who dresses "out of the norm" (including me) may get looked at funny or beat up in highschool, but I don't think that constitutes a holocaust. On the other hand, institutionalized racism against non-whites, and as late specifically Middle Easterners, is rampant, and the situation in Gaza can surely be called genocide, because it certainly isn't self defense on the part of Israel the oppressor. What kind of twisted self pity is this?
Recently, Socialist Worker interviewed Haidar Eid (a professor and activist) who is in Gaza,
"Things are getting worse--really much, much worse. We can't find food. We're surviving on canned food. We have a serious water crisis. We still haven't seen any electricity. And we don't know what to do... More than 40 percent of those who have been killed are children and women... We can't sleep because of the shelling from the Apaches and F-16s. And the drones, 24 hours a day. And now the mortar shells, because they have tanks around the city now. We can't sleep, and you can it in the eyes of the children. It's really horrific."And the protesters just say, "kill them all". Completely fucked up.
I know it's a bungle. I know I can't know the truth of the matter, but it really does seem simple. Shouldn't we be beyond this kind of thing, as a species, by now? Shouldn't it be easy to stop killing each other and try to figure out a solution? I mean surely the politics of religion, which refuse to give way regarding the promised land and such, are a barrier. But beyond that, I mean seriously. What is it about our culture or our biology that makes some of us (and not others) so bloodthirsty? I guess the reason remains that some very powerful people benefit.
Just to be clear, I really think this struggle risks people becoming anti-Israeli or anti-Palestinian. I don't think it's about the people. Likely, most working people are just caught in a battle between powerful groups acting in their own interests. I am in support of peace, and I really think what Israel has chosen to do to Gaza now and in the past is completely messed up, but I'm wary that that stance should come off as anti-Israeli.
One lady in the rally video (the one who talked about cancer) said something I thought was pretty profound:
"...When people don’t want to talk and just want to destroy you and not allow you to live, there’s only one thing you can do."