I’ve been quiet on here lately because I feel that I have to speak about the escalation of conflict between Israel and Palestine but it is difficult to find the words. I speak as a citizen of planet earth first and foremost but also as a direct descendant on my father’s side of an entire extended family of Polish Jews who were wiped out in the Holocaust.
As things stand in this conflict, the final outcome would be Gaza levelled and all 2 million+ formerly resident Palestinians — nearly half of whom are children — either displaced or killed, along with the deaths of many Israeli people. Israel would remain, Palestine would be gone.
The Palestinians who may survive would have to find refuge elsewhere. I don’t suppose they’ll be welcome in the EU, US or UK since we’ve been so reluctant to take in any other refugees recently, despite our complicity in their plight.
Israeli people both in Israel itself and all across the world are being unfairly demonised for the actions of the Israeli state, just as Palestinian people are being collectively punished for the actions of Hamas.
This outcome does not benefit the people of Israel or Palestine very much. Think about how the rest of the Middle East will feel towards Israel if Palestine is once and for all wiped off the map. A peaceful coexistence would be far more beneficial but now seems a more remote possibility than ever.
So ask yourselves: who does benefit? I feel it is important to make this clear.
Above all, the military industrial complex. Many defence companies, including those based in the US, UK and Israel, are making huge profits from the armoury used in this conflict. This is nothing new, war is big business, but the fact that the military industrial complex is usually the primary beneficiary from armed conflicts is still conspicuously absent from the discourse.
Secondly, the geostrategic alliance between the US and Israel along with the UK & others finally loses the thorn in its side that Palestine has been viewed as behind closed doors for so long. The primary reason that the US supports Israel unequivocally is not out of charity or humanitarian concern but because of the pivotal role Israel plays as an ally in the resource-rich region of the Middle East.
Thirdly, the fossil fuel industry itself. Oil & gas prices are being driven up by this regional instability, at least in the short term.
Clearly these benefits are deemed more important by this geostrategic alliance than the lives of either Israelis or Palestinians. This escalation is not a failure of diplomacy, it is the literal demonstration of a system that values profit over lives and constructs false narratives to conceal it.
Western mainstream media is fully complicit in all of this too, not only because they leave out the defense profiteering but in how their narratives are framed. The focus has been largely on the recent attacks by Hamas from the Israeli perspective, and these certainly were crimes against humanity, but they were not unprovoked. Almost entirely absent from the mainstream narrative are the decades of oppression and misery inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli apartheid regime. There is a clear and concerted effort to minimise the Palestinian perspective, to dehumanise & demonise Palestinian people and even to criminalise or vilify those who empathise with Palestinian people.
In Gaza the crimes against humanity are piling up. The net result would be the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israel, justified wrongly as a collective punishment for the Hamas attacks. This outcome would be the inevitable result of a morally bankrupt & irredeemable system that we’d failed to overcome in time. We’ve come to the point where we are openly rationalising the murder of children. Even if there was a ceasefire today I feel ashamed of us all, including myself. I could have done more.
But there is still something we can do now. There’s an immediate need for donations to boots on the ground organisations providing aid. If you have the money, I strongly suggest that you donate to any you see fit. In the past we have fundraised for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance (MECA), there are many more.
I grieve for the loss of life on all sides. We will keep pushing for a better discourse that places the value of human life above profits and seeks to end all forms of domination and oppression from a place of love.