A Very Stressed American Jew here again,
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my ask and yes, I’m someone who loves hearing as many perspectives as possible so I’d love some sources from you. I also very much appreciate the fact you are being very careful to only reblog posts that are anti Israel, not antisemetic (which is frankly a breath of fresh air, the internet has been a bit exhaustingly full of both antisemitic & Islamaphobic￼ content these past feel days as I bet you’ve seen)
I’ve also been to Israel on a Birthright trip. We met people who ( both Palestinian and Israeli) on various sides of the conflict and learned a ton about it, from both perspectives which I was lucky to have the opportunity to do. We even went a little into the Gaza Strip to talk to these people running a pro Palestine peace movement and it was so important to me hearing those stories.
I never said they were on equal footing militarily, they definitely are not, Israel definitely has that advantage. But you are incorrect about Israel always being the aggressor since 1948,they’ve defended themselves about as often as they’ve attacked. Isreal is a small country comparatively to the ones surrounding it, so it makes sense it defends itself heavily in case of an attack.
I 100% agree that there are too many people who are compliant with the mistreatment of many Palestinians! I’m not anti #freepalestine at all! I get why that is a thing. But I also stand with Israel( but that does not mean I condone every action they take. ) Overall I think the situation is extremely complicated and some sort of compromise should be reached.
It’s just been very frustrating to see so many people reblog things on a situation just bashing Israel because so many others are doing it. Especially when then don’t know what they are talking about or using big buzz words that they don’t know what they mean, or spreading misinformation. It’s been on both sides and has been very very draining. I just want peace and some sort of solution. It makes me extremely happy you know what you are talking about and can debate politely yet happily about it. The internet has been so ‘ either agree with me 100% or you a bad person’ about this so it’s refreshing to see you are not like that.
I’ve done a lot of research into it from as many perspectives as I can get my hands on.
Some extremest Israelis are hurting Palestinians
Some extremest Palestinians are hurting Israelis
Both sides are throwing rockets at each other and it’s terrifying.
Both sides claim the other side is brainwashed
There is so much biased propaganda out there on both ends it’s hard to know what is truly happening.
I know people living in Israel who have sent me videos they’ve taken of rockets flying over there heads and I’m so scared for them. I’m so scared for all the innocent people caught in the crossfire on both sides.
Thank you for a more nuanced response and I’d love some of your sources,
A Very Stressed American Jew
I wasn’t going to respond to this until after my math final tomorrow but I’ve spent the past two days thinking of your ask and the things I wish to articulate in my answer.
I am going to start here: how can you say you support Israel but say you are also pro-free Palestine (as in, you said you are not anti free Palestine). In my opinion, these two ideas cannot coexist. Simply because, the entire establishment of Israel has been on violent, racist, colonial grounds.
(Super long post under here guys)
You said you don’t support all Israel’s actions, and definitely, just because you support something doesn’t mean you can’t criticize it. However, in my opinion, if you do not support Israel’s actions against Palestinians there’s not much left to support? I admit this is a very biased view as I am Palestinian, but many things that people support about Israel have existed before its creation: as in, these are things and qualities that have existed in Judaism and are not due to “Israeli culture.” There is no Israeli culture. There’s Jewish culture--100%. But there is no Israeli culture, because Israel does not only steal Palestinian land, but Palestinian culture, too. Such as claiming Levant food is Israeli; hummus, ful, falafel, shawarma. I mentioned food from this article I know is culturally and traditionally of the Levant, and has been for centuries, it is not something that has come to culinary creation in the past 73 years.
I do not think this is a complicated issue. I said that in the previous ask and I’ll say that again. Saying it is a complicated issue is trivializing the deaths of innocent Palestinians, the violent dispossession our ancestors endured, and the apartheid they live under. I hope if anything comes from this discussion it is you removing the “it’s a complicated issue” phrase from your vernacular.
This is not complicated. A journalist reporting the death of martyrs only to discover that of them include two of his brothers is not complicated. The asymmetry of Israel vs Palestinian armed forces is not complicated, nor is the asymmetry in Israeli vs Palestinian suffering (which I will get to later). It is not complicated. Destroying the graves of martyred Palestinians (or just in general, the graves of the dead) is not complicated. Little children being pulled from the rubble, children being forced to comfort one another as they are covered in the ashes of their decimated homes, attacking unarmed citizens in peaceful demonstrations (you can find videos before this attack where they were playing with kites and balloons), destroying an international media office and refusing to allow journalists to retrieve the work they are spending every waking hour documenting but claiming it was because it was a hide out for a “Hamas base,” fathers who are trying to cheer their frightened children up only to end up dead the next day, while many Israeli have the privilege and the option to go to hotel-like bomb shelters is not complicated.
This brings me to my next point: the suffering of Palestinians cannot be compared to the inconvenience of Israeli’s. On one side, you have children who are happy to have saved their fish in the face of their homes and lives being decimated behind them to Israeli’s in Tel Aviv having to cut their beach day short to get to bomb shelters. You have mothers and fathers ready to set their lives down for their children to save them from bombs to Israeli’s enjoying their brunch only after making sure there are bomb shelters there. You have Palestinian children being murdered to blocking out the sound of sirens in the safety of your bomb shelters. (The first picture of the Palestinian child is not from footage of the recent problems). You have the baby lone survivor of a whole family recovered from rubble. His whole family, gone, before he ever had the chance to realize that he even exists, while Israeli’s decide to flee out of the country,(Translate the caption from Twitter, it checks out), or have to leave the shower due to sirens. Who is really suffering?
I won’t sit here and pretend like the thought of rockets flying over my head, no matter which side I am on, is not terrifying. It is. It’s scary to just think about. But Israeli’s have protection beyond Palestinian’s, they have sirens to warn them (Israel does not always warn Palestinian building members that it is about to be bombed), they have the Iron Dome, they have simply the threat of nuclear power (which I am not saying Israel would use, but the simple fact they have it would make me feel a lot better if I were an Israeli citizen) and they have bomb shelters. What do Palestinians have? Hamas? That smuggles its weapons through the ocean? That only ever reacts to the action Israel instigates? And yet Gazans are branded terrorists and that it is their fault that they “elected” a terrorist organization that only was ever created due to no protection from any armed country? (There are so many links I want to add in this paragraph but it is simply impossible for me to add everything I want, a lot of what I’m referring to can either be found through a Google search, or you can stalk my Twitter account, all that I am posting now is about Palestine, and will include sources of things I cannot add in just this one post.)
Look, I see myself in the genocide happening in Palestine right now. I see myself in this ten year-old girl. In this three year old girl. I see me and my family in videos of cars being attacked in Ramallah and Sheikh Jarrah (I cannot find the Ramallah video, should be somewhere on my Twitter), I see my father in the countless videos of fathers crying out for their children, of kissing the corpse of their loved ones (again, translate the Tweet, the man holding the body is saying “just one kiss”). I see my grandfather in videos like this (old footage). I see my younger brother, I see my grandmother, my mother, my aunts and uncles and cousins. I see myself and my life and my family were my father not lucky enough to get a scholarship to the UK and out of Palestine, were my maternal grandfather not be lucky enough to make it to a refugee camp and build a life in Jordan. I have an unbelievable amount of privilege to be born into the life I was born in, in terms of I do not have the threat of bombs and violent dispossession around me, and I do not even live in the US. I have privilege and sheer luck that my parents were able to go to the US so that me and my brothers can be born, because now I have both the protection of the most powerful country in the world while at the same time being part of a people to have suffered so generously the past seventy-three years.
On the other hand, you saying that Israel has “defended themselves about as often as they’ve attacked. Israel is a small country comparatively to the ones surrounding it, so it makes sense it defends itself heavily in case of an attack,” I offer you this question: why are they using military grade guns and stun grenades in mosques to “defend” themselves from rocks? And before you mention that Hamas hit Tel Aviv, I remind you that Hamas did that due to the violence in the Al-Aqsa mosque square and the attempted ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah. The violence didn’t begin with us; the violence was brought out of Palestinians in resistance to the generations of oppression we have endured and the attack on Palestinian Muslims during the holiest night of Ramadan. Hamas has since asked for a ceasefire multiple times and Israel is refusing. New reports say there is a possibility of a ceasefire in the coming days, but Israel could have decided this a long time ago and spared many lives. (Remember, no matter what resistance we make, Israel is the one in power).
Israel has been the aggressor since 1948. The only reason Israel was established at all was because it simply declared it was now a country and the US and many other countries recognized it as such. (Of course, there are many other historical details here, like the British Mandate of Palestine, the Balfour Declaration, the Oslo Accords and many others. I am aware of them but these are not what I aim to answer). My paternal grandfather was a little younger than me when Israel as a state was created. The hostility that followed was due to this independent declaration that was listened to over Palestinian voices.
Here is a very, very simplified analogy, one that can also answer some people’s questions as to why Palestinians (not Arabs, we are Palestinian before we are Arab) did not like what happened in 1948 and why they refused a two-state solution (that Israel was never going to go through with anyway).
Let’s say you are a farmer. You have many fields of trees, ones you have taken shelter under from the sun since you were a child, or hid behind when you wanted to avoid your parents when you misbehaved. You have seen your trees grow from a seed, to a sprout, to a flower, to a large, beautiful tree with fruits the size of a fist. You pluck the fruits from one tree, and make a jam from it. I don’t know how to make jam but I know it takes a lot of energy. So, you make this jam and from it, produce a lovely, mouth-watering pie. Once it has cooled from the oven, you take it with you outside your balcony just so that you can admire the years, months, weeks and hours this one pie has taken to be created. Suddenly, a stranger walks past and yells to you, “That pie looks delicious, I want it!” And you, shocked at their boldness but ready to share, say, “I will give you a bite.” But the stranger says, “No! I do not want a bite or a slice or whatever you want to offer me, I want the pie!” And they grab it from you. You and the stranger start screaming at one another about who the pie is for, who is allowed to decide what happens to it, and who you can share it with. Then, another stranger comes by and says, “Why all the problems? Let’s cut the pie in half and the both of you can share it!” But why should you, who has spent years cultivating the fruit and grain inside this pie, share it? Why should you give up half of the 100% that you already owned? Of what you already had? So you disagree, and now a crowd has formed around you. “What’s the problem?” Someone in the crowd calls, “They don’t want to share their pie!” Then you become branded a selfish, mean bastard. Again, this is a super simplified analogy, so don’t take it too seriously, but I am trying to show you why Israel is the aggressor.
In addition, I do not know too much about the Birthright program, just that American Jewish people are sent to Israel, all expenses paid. I tried my best to find the Twitter thread but I read it so long ago, about an American Jewish person who went on their trip and they talked about the propaganda that they were exposed to on that trip. I can’t say for sure that it is one, because I haven’t been on it and never will, but that is the first thing I thought of when you mentioned your Birthright trip. Either way, I think it is still great you went and saw the country. However, I must ask you this: are the people you met ones you, yourself, sought out, or ones you were organized to meet?
Now, I haven’t been to Gaza, so I don’t know what you really saw or didn’t, but did you speak to Palestinians who lost their homes to airstrikes? Did you speak to siblings, parents or children of loved ones who had been lost beneath the rubble of buildings and towers? Outside of Gaza, did you speak to Palestinians that live in poor quarters? Ones who have been victims of an IDF soldier shooting them, or who have family members who have died from such attacks? Did they take you guys to Ramallah, to Nablus, to Beit-Imreen, to Jenin, to small villages in the West Bank, far away from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? Did you speak to people there? Ask them their stories? Because if you did I have a very hard time believing you still think Israel is “defending” itself.
I’ve been to Jerusalem, many times, even Tel Aviv and Jaffa and Haifa. All the times I visited Dome of the Rock there were IDF soldiers with huge guns strapped to their person, standing menacingly outside the courtyard. For what? Genuinely, genuinely for what? It is nothing but an intimidation tactic. The same way we are not allowed in through the airport. If you could see the struggle some Palestinians actually go through just to get into Palestine, through the land border, you would be disgusted. I love Palestine, it is my ancestry land, it is my culture and tradition. But I always hated going to visit because I knew the way to getting there would be hell.
My father worked in Tel Aviv through the first Intifada. My maternal grandfather was forced out of his home in the Nakba and was forced to leave behind his belongings and the orange trees that have been in his family for generations. Hell, the town they lived in was destroyed! It doesn’t exist anymore except in the memories of my aunts and uncles, who never even saw it, but just heard of it from their father!
I’m not saying there aren’t Palestinians who are racist and anti-Semitic (though, tbh, I will direct you here for that) and who support Hamas in killing Israeli’s, but talking about how there are many “extremist” Palestinians who are hurting Israeli’s and in the next line say there are extremist Israeli’s who are hurting Palestinians is not correct. There are extremist Israeli’s killing, lynching, stealing the houses of Palestinians, and there are Palestinians who are fed up and fighting back. (I am not talking about Hamas vs the IDF here, I am talking about the citizens). I have not seen one reported death of an Israeli due to Palestinian violence (if you have, from a trusted source, send it to me), but I have seen countless of the other way around. I have seen images of charred little bodies, of a baby being dug out of the rubble, of a child’s body that had been so mutilated that you can literally see the insides of their body coming out. (I don’t know if it’s on my Twitter, I didn’t want to save that shit). If this was my country I would be absolutely ashamed of myself and my people and what they are doing in the name of my protection. So you have to forgive me, and forgive other Palestinians, who don’t give a fuck about Israeli’s having anxiety over rockets flying over their heads when we see these images. Where is the protection of our kids? Why does no one seem to mention them except when mentioning the poor, innocent ones in Israel? At least more than the majority of them have their parents to comfort and rock them. At least many of them will probably be saved of ever having to be beneath the rubble, or digging in it, to hope to find the parts of their parents or siblings just so that they can bury them. Just the links from the start of my answer is enough to support what I am saying.
I have soooo much more I can say, like how Israel uses religion to distort the image of what’s going on (tbh, just check my Twitter for that: language is EVERYTHING), but you didn’t mention religion in any of this and so I won’t either. The only reason I decided to respond to you in such length was because you have been one of the few respectful anons in my inbox in the past few years of me being on here talking about Israel, so I appreciate that from you.
As promised, some more sources: decolonizepalestine is a good place to start if you haven’t used it already, it has reading materials, myth busting, and more. Here and here are the articles I promised of a former IDF soldier-turned Palestinian activist, I read these two last year in June and remember coming out much more informed than before I read them. I suggest looking into the writer and his organization, which, if I remember correctly, collects accounts from previous IDF soldiers. I would suggest not to follow Israel and the IDF accounts on any platform, or any Israel times newspaper, simply because they will not tell you the truth. In fairness, you do not have to follow any Palestinian Authority accounts (which I am not even sure there are), but to follow on-ground Palestinians like Mohammed El-Kurd, who has been speaking out since he was 12 (he is now 22). I have noticed that this and this account have been translating Arabic headlines and tweets for non-Arabic speakers, I have just started following this person but their bio says they are a Palestinian Jewish person so I am interested in their view of things. You can also follow Israeli’s on-ground and see their perspective on things, but I would also advise to compare the Palestinian and Israeli side of things from the people, and critically analyze the language used in each case. Also, this article references Jewish scholars opposed to the occupation (I have not looked into them myself but I plan to after my exams), and Norman Finklestein is another great Jewish scholar to look into if you haven’t. Twitter is better than Instagram and Facebook, so I would stick to getting live-info from there, Twitter does not censor Palestinian content as much as Insta and Facebook so you’re more likely to see things there.
I will end this by saying I personally do not see any other option for peace than to give Palestinians our land back. Whether we may be Muslim, Jewish or Christian, it has always been and will always be our land. I only hope to see it free in my lifetime.
128 notes · View notes