Genocide is a strong word that is spoken as a righteous accusation when a people believe they are under immanent threat of being attacked and murdered for being who they are. Just saying it raises the specter of the Nazy German Holocaust, the horrors of Chairman Mao, Stalinist Russia, and countless other human tragedies around the planet. It is a severe trauma trigger, but sadly, it is one grounded in grim reality. Only today, does humanity have the ability to be present as a witness in real time to an actual genocide happening in our world.
The definition of genocide is:
NOUN the deliberate killing or severe mistreatment of a large number of people from a particular national or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.
What we are seeing in Palestine today, in October of 2023, is the textbook definition of genocide of the Palestinian people. This is not hysterical hyperbole. The spark, we are being told, came on October 7th, 2023, when Hamas, the militant Palestinian group in Gaza, organized and carried out a terrorist attack in Israel, getting around the Iron Dome and their first-world defenses, to kill 1500 Israeli civilians. This was certainly and despicably a violent act of terror. It also, however, served to further the nefarious goal of Benjamin Netanyahu’s, and the Zionists desire to annihilate the remaining Palestinian people once and for all.
The Hamas terrorist act was certainly a domino, but it was not the first domino. Since then, as I speak, the Israeli government with the full blessing and military support of my country, the United States of America, has declared war on Palestine, bombing civilian targets, killing indiscriminately, in the name of “getting the terrorists. On social media we are witnessing the killing of infants, children, elderly people, women and other civilians, the bombing of hospitals and apartment buildings and religious structures. The Israeli government ordered one million people from Gaza to leave the area over night, a virtual death march, and yet when they got to the Southern tier, they were still attacked. The Israeli government claims they are only attacking Gaza, yet civilians on the ground in the West Bank are reporting bomb strikes have already killed 100 people there. Humanitarian aid and emergency personnel as well as food and clean water are also scarce and are having a difficult time entering the targeted area, which means the remaining civilians are trapped. Some might say this is war. The official position of those supporting the war both in Israel and the US is that all Palestinian people are Hamas now, and deserve annihilation. Only this morning, Netanyahu has stated that the real war, a ground war, has just begun and it will be long and terrible.
In the early days of this month, after the Hamas terrorist attack, I witnessed the reflexive social media support of Israel, as friends and colleagues changed their profile pics to the flag of Israel, declaring “unwavering support” to Israel as a staunch ally of the United States, as well as many Jewish friends who have familial and religious ties to that country. Since then, many Arab, Palestinian, and Jewish content creators against the brutality have educated the world to the reality of what many of us have known, but really didn’t know how badly it was, that the state of relations of Palestine and Israel has been one of colonization, and apartheid.
For decades now, since the founding of Israel after the horrors of the Holocaust, Israel has been employing a strategy of constant provocation, encroaching and taking land and homes from the land that was designated for Palestinian people. Israel has also maintained an illegal blockade against Gaza, which has been condemned for years by international law, yet nothing is done. By Israeli law, Jews from all over the world, including the United States, have the right to be granted full citizenship of Israel if they go there, while Palestinians are denied the full rights and privileges of citizenship in their own country based on their religion and ethnicity. Over and over again, Palestinians have described a state of siege and occupation, all of this going on without the attention that this current conflict is bringing from around the globe.
So, weeks later, around the world, Arab countries and people who stand against Western colonization and oppression are marching in the streets by the tens and thousands, waving Palestinian flags, standing up against an unjust war. Here in the US, this is not being shown by mainstream media. In fact, many of us might be seeing ads against Hamas interrupting our streaming channels.
Years ago in Journalism school, I learned that “The medium is the message,” Marshall McCluhan’s important work on understanding the influence of the media to mold and shape public opinion and deliver propaganda. Today, because of social media algorithms, however, what we see and consume is based on our preferences, likes and dislikes not just what the official corporate-owned media wants us to know. In some ways we can see this as a good thing, in others, it’s like a smog screen where maybe some truth comes through, but it’s often clouded by opposition and official government denial, which is what we are seeing in our government here in the US. Because we live in a Republic, the only power we really have is to call our write our representatives. Which is what we should be doing now to have any effect on stopping the madness, calling for a cease fire until cooler heads and international mediators could get involved to help address grievances, right wrongs, and save innocent human life.
Sadly, I fear the madness of flags will continue. Blind nationalism is an abhorrent blight, grounded in the primitive, reptilian brain that forces us to choose sides and get trapped in black and white thinking. When humans wrap themselves in flags, expect logic, reason and compassion give way to blind rage and violence. The world is going to have a response to this unjust war. Palestine and tens of thousands of innocent lives are being destroyed in real time and I fear for the violence that is going to come – against Israel and the US – in retribution. Violence begets violence and the children who survive this violence have now been radicalized to further hate and violence.
Because we live in a global society, reactionary terrorism will happen anywhere on the planet where Jews and Americans are vulnerable and have let their guards down. Right now, all the people sitting on the sidelines not wanting to get involved because they hate politics, or are both siding this conflict, or are claiming “THOSE people have always hated each other,” or they simply don’t care, are providing that vulnerable entry and perpetuation of coming terrorism. It is said that evil happens when good people stand by and refuse to condemn acts of evil. This is not hard. An open-ended long war using the full-force and might of the military-industrial people against an already decimated and traumatized civilian population, half of which are children, is not a war. This is a genocide and it’s evil. Please call your reps to stop this madness and remember your humanity: 202-224-3121.