The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Israeli Killings Are the Result of De-Humanization of Palestinians

So, Palestinians protested moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and Israel shot and killed somewhere between 52 and 60 of them, and injured hundreds more.

The rule of international law (yes, I know, a dead letter) is that force must be proportional to threat.

This is disproportionate.

The simple fact is that too many Israelis now think of Palestinians as sub-human; animals to be killed if they are inconvenient.

Israel is an apartheid state. A large chunk of the population is denied their rights–including their right to vote. And both the West Bank and Gaza are, yes, open air prisons.

The two state solution is dead. I’m not sure it was ever viable, but it no longer is. Israel will either have to cleanse Palestinians from its territory (something the de-humanization is clearly working them up to) or Israel as a religious-ethnic state will, inevitably, end.

It is well noted that those who are abused tend to become abusers. The applicability to Israel is obvious and sad.

Still, while tragic, today’s events pale in comparison to what Saudi Arabia, with America’s assistance, is doing in Yemen.

Plenty of tragedies to go around on Earth.

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  1. realitychecker

    @ Ian

    “Plenty of tragedies to go around on Earth.”

    Could not agree more, and it makes me wonder if our standards for judgment might be unrealistic, or poorly calibrated and balanced.

    It also makes me wonder, who judges the judgers?

  2. Herman

    And many Americans would cheer what the Israelis did because dehumanization is part of our culture. This is the same country where a majority of the population supports torture despite the fact that it has been proven to be ineffective. This is because the effectiveness of torture is not the issue, the issue is proving that you are tough and mean and cruel. If you dissent from this cruelty people will accuse you of being soft-headed which is the worst thing you can be in America. It is especially bad if you are a man because people will get personal and start questioning your manhood, basically calling you a “wimp” or worse, as if being a sadistic bully was the most important mark of masculinity.

    The Israelis will only become more extreme as demographic trends continue because the Jews will be swamped by non-Jewish Arabs in the future. The Israelis are legitimately afraid of what will become of them in an Arab-majority state where the Arabs have power because they saw what happened to whites in the African settler states and it wasn’t pretty. Obviously two wrongs don’t make a right and I think Jews would need protection from the Arab majority and I don’t support what happened to whites in places like Zimbabwe either, but this is inevitably how most settler states end when they are faced with a demographic and political crisis.

    I sometimes wonder if maybe a population transfer like that which occurred between Greece and Turkey was the only viable solution to the problem between Jews and Arabs. Jews in Arab lands should have moved to Israel and Arabs in Palestine should have moved to neighboring Arab countries. That might have solved the problem but I fear it is too late now since any population movement would be one way, with the Arabs being expelled as most Arab Jews are already in Israel.

  3. marku52

    Jeez, our so called “allies”, Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I suppose these days we’d strike up an alliance with good old Mr Hilter, were he still around.

    I’ve read the only reason to be an American is so as not to be subjected to American foreign policy.

    Seems about right.

  4. Willy

    A right wing blogger claiming a PhD once did a comparison of daily life between Israelis and Gazans. She ‘explained’ the stark difference with Islam=leftism=poverty.

    Obviously the Gazan ghetto has far more in common with Detroit’s east State Fair neighborhood or old London slum areas than it does Istanbul or Dubai. Just as obviously her Palestinian history rewrite was for the sake of clicks and giggles for her ignorant mostly white evangelical base, though she herself was an agnostic randroid.

    It’d be so much simpler if the right stuck to “limited government” and as a loyal opposition. The whole convoluted ‘freedum-Jebus tribalism, or you should die’ schtick needs to be mocked out of existence.

  5. Hugh

    I agree. There were also 1359 Palestinians who were wounded by Israeli gunfire Monday. If this happened anywhere else or by anyone else, it would be a crime against humanity, full stop. But because this is Israel, the equivocations begin immediately. In this situation, Israel has all the power, and all the responsibility. There is no tit for tat. No equality among the actors. As Ian says, complete disproportionality.

    Against this reality, you had the glaring counterpoint a few miles away of the criminally vacuous Ivanka and Jared opening the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Jared managed to blame the victims for getting in the way of the Israeli bullets and while the carnage was going on, Ivanka was acting like an announcer doing a fashion show.

    What we are seeing in apartheid Israel is slow motion ethnic cleansing.

  6. different clue


    If you are an American in America, you get subjected to domestic policy, which isn’t as bad but isn’t good.


    I suspect the Middle-Eastern-Ancestry Jewisraelis don’t identify much or at all with even being “white settlers”. I suspect what they will remember is how they were often treated under Arab Islamic rule after the Arabs established the Arab settler conquest states of the Middle East and North Africa beyond the Arabian Peninsula. And so I suspect they will be the people who fight back hardest of allest against a future of Arab rule all over again.

  7. Chuck Mire

    “The simple fact is that too many Israelis now think of Palestinians as sub-human: animals to be killed if they are inconvenient.” – The Nazi Syndrome.

  8. Tom

    @different clue

    Jews under Arab rule lived in autonomous districts ruled by Jewish Law and paid a 5% wealth tax.

    Jews in Iran hold three seats in the Iranian Parliament. Yemen’s Jews only recently fled, and all due to the outbreak of war and Saudi indiscriminate bombing.

    Iraqi Jews only fled when the US invaded Iraq.

    Syria still has a few thousand Jews living in Damascus tending to several Jewish Shrines.

    I can go on, but its not necessary.

    This animosity we see is the result of radical Jews being given land as a result of a terrorist campaign against the British who rather than crush it and restore order, decided to screw it and leave.

    Israel should never had been formed and this tragedy will keep playing out till Israel is crushed to pieces and eradicated.

    With more Americans neither knowing or caring about Israel reaching voting age, Israel’s days are numbered as without constant US aide, they can’t maintain their military or economy.

  9. realitychecker

    Seems like most here think the Palestinians are just dim-witted children who bear no responsibility for any of their own actions and choices.

    To ignore that Hamas urged these border incidents, and that the ones who got shot were there specifically to provoke a response or to crash the border fence, is to be willfully blind.

    Willfully blind, because we have seen this dance play out too many times to think the blindness is involuntary.

  10. tony

    Israel is not ethnically cleansing Palestinians. The population is growing. Israeli policy is not really coherent, they can’t genocide the Palestinians due to Arabs but they do want the land.

    But I would arghe feelings mostly result from actions and thoughts mostly exist to justify feelings. So the Palestinians are dehumanized because Israelis oppress them.

  11. nihil obstet

    @different clue

    A hat tip to the difference between a conquest and a settler state doesn’t adequately address the situation. No one wants to live as a conquered, devalued person under the rule of others. Both India and South Africa were taken over by the British, but South Africa was a settler state and India wasn’t. In South Africa, settlers displaced the inhabitants. In India, they didn’t. The Arab conquerors were not settlers who displaced the natives.

    Jews in the Middle East under the Arabs fared far better than Jews in Europe under the Christians. An Israeli of European descent getting the benefits of expropriating Palestinian property probably doesn’t think, “Remembering how it was in Europe, I’ll fight back against Western nations’ alliances.” It certainly didn’t seem that way when Melania and Jared were partying with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

    The race based nationalism that came out of the 19th c. promoted the idea of ethnically pure states, which created problems running through the 20th and 21st c.

  12. The same phenomenon exists just as much within any given nation as well as between them:
    Think about the displacement of the homeless, the rift between the social classes, the animosity the police and a certain sector of the citizen population harbor toward each other, the ongoing social engineered gentrification processes.

  13. Willy

    IMO, any viewpoint that doesn’t take into account the violation of Palestinian property rights, and the American taxpayer being used to fund the strengthening of Israel, should receive negative points for dogmatic rationalization.

    I’m sure that the idea of the USA diverting taxpayer funds from supporting Israel towards Palestinian reparation has been vociferously shot down by those same dogmatic rationalizers. Most of their solutions involve things which have nothing to do with fairness or peace, while also being far more expensive.

  14. History only repeats to those paying attention.

  15. Tom


    Only if we ignore the fact that people far from the border fence are also being shot dead, including journalists and EMTs tending to the wounded.

    Also given Gaza is under siege with Israel having broken all accords signed by them and Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, it is rich to blame Hamas for this.

    Hell Israelis are flocking to the border and egging on the IDF to shoot more Palestinians and bringing grilling implements so they can watch the massacre and mock the Palestinians.

    At least the Nazis didn’t make their killings a spectacle for everyone to watch and eat while it went on. Many camp guards at Nazis Camps were actually horrified at what they were doing and tried to get reassigned to the front with many others committing suicide. Even Hoss wasn’t a cruel guy, punished sadistic guards for cruelty, and designed the gas chambers as a humane alternative to give Jews a relatively quick death rather than starve them to death.

    The Israelis are not showing any remorse, getting off on the killings, and treating this as a sport.

  16. highrpm

    poor little israel. those rock throwing palestinians at it again. always making trouble for the settlers. why can’t they just learn how to make an honest living like the rest of us? and pull themselves up by their bootstraps and turn gaza into a land flowing with milk and honey?

  17. someofparts

    “And many Americans would cheer what the Israelis did because dehumanization is part of our culture.”

    “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”

    ― D.H. Lawrence

  18. Hugh

    A couple of points. Even a conservative pro-Israel type like Richard Haass, president of the very Establishment Council of Foreign Relations, acknowledged that the border protests were not being led by Hamas. This is a popular movement and Hamas was playing catchup in dealing with it.

    Re ethnic cleansing, it is about the land. The size of the population being cleansed is irrelevant. Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing. Standard histories on the creation of the state of Israel focus on the call of neighboring Arab states for Arab Palestinians to leave their homes until the fighting was over. What this overlooks is that the Zionists never thought the 1948 UN mandated borders were tolerable. They committed terrorist acts like the Jewish massacre of Arabs at Deir Yassin to scare Arabs off their land. They continued the “empty lands” doctrine, that is Jews were only settling in uninhabited lands, which was true, as long as no one counted the Arabs living on them. They also used the argument that Arabs had no title to the land, which again was true, since written deeds to land were a Western, not Ottoman concept. So Arabs could be dispossessed of land that they had lived on for generations, i.e. ethnic cleansed. There is also the many iterations of Ersatz Israel, which is the essential impetus to and justification for the settler movement and their claim to Arab lands. You have only to look at how the West Bank has been carved up to see the success of this form of ethnic cleansing.

    Gaza, of course too, used to have Israeli settlements. These were removed despite settler opposition. But you have to understand the dynamics. There were simply too many Arabs in Gaza. By removing the settlements, Israel could create the compact ghetto/open air prison/bantustan that Gaza is and isolate/cleanse a large population of Arabs from the rest of Israel. And this could all be justified in biblical terms because the area had been Philistia, and therefore not technically part of Ersatz Israel.

  19. Tom

    A Canadian Doctor has now been shot. Israel doesn’t even care anymore who sees what they do.

  20. EverythingsJake


    You’ve appointed yourself judge. Shame.

  21. Sid Finster

    Using realitychecker’s logic, if Sheriff Bull Connor in 1963 Birmingham warned that he would shoot protesters, then it was their own fault for getting shot.

  22. wendy davis

    “Six who died were under the age of 18. Does the US care? Nope, they’d sooner blame Palestinians for putting kids in the line of fire of Israeli soldiers than take responsibility for supporting a regime who sadistically fires openly into crowds of unarmed people. The corporate media have short memories, convenient memories. We forget how upset we were at the Syrian gas attack that may have claimed 40 lives and later the incident was filled with controversy over if Assad was actually responsible, I do not know the truth about this but I smell bullshit from somewhere, regardless of my bullshit sniffing abilities that number is less than the 58 killed at the protests on May the 14th. And there will be not a chirp, a squawk, a snort, or whinny of angst directed towards Israel for these actions by our overlords. In fact, quite the opposite.

    The ignoble Jared Kushner said at the embassy opening that “Those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.” referring to protestors who don’t have guns, didn’t wound one Israeli soldier, they don’t have an air force, tanks, humvees, an organized military, or any of the implements of destruction Israel does, yet Palestinians are somehow provoking violence to such an extent the bully state had to slaughter them? Ok Jared, fuck you. There is no respect for life, zero empathy, and not the smallest hint of a lingering humanity remaining in the logic of the state.”

    note: bibi actually blamed iran for fomenting the gazan #right to return days, but then he’d jonesin’ for war on iran, isn’t he?

  23. different clue

    @nihil obstet,

    ” I show you the moon and all you see is my finger”. —old Russian saying

    It is true that Jews under Arab Muslim rule often fared far better than Jews under Christian Rule. It is also true that in pre-Civil War America, slaves on an Eastern Kentucky mixed-product family farm fared far better than slaves on a multi-thousand acre sugar plantation in Louisiana or a multi-thousand acre cotton plantation in Mississippi.

    What is true about how Jews fared under Arab rule as compared to how Jews fared under Christian rule is irrelevant to how Jews who remember Arab rule remember about how they fared before Arab rule came to their countries in North Africa and the Middle East. How the Arab Jews remember THAT . . . . is part of what will influence their response to their dwindling demographic preponderance in the face of continuing Palestinian demographic expansion.

    Here is my very longest-range prediction for what will happen with Israel-Palestine over the long run.
    IF! . . the Palestinians retake the whole country and rename it all Palestine, THEN! . . . an unknown number of Jewisraelis will leave and an unknown number will stay. IF! it appears the Palestinians want to re-introduce dhimitude for the Jewisraelis who stay, many of them will leave as well, if they can. In the end, I suspect it is the traditionally anti-zionist ultra-hyperdox Mea Shearim people who will stay permanently. No matter how anti-Jewy the Palestinians will become otherwise, they will let the Mea Shearim people stay on as a kind of beloved mascots in a cultural petting zoo.

    But that is not the very longest-range prediction I promised. So here it is. The Palestinians will rightly attribute their eventual reconquest, if they achieve it, to their faster-growing population thanks to having more children. They will decide that since it worked for them, it will keep working for them if they keep at it. So they will rapidly reproduce to refill the space vacated by several million fleeing Jewisraelis. And then they will keep on reproducing, to the point where their overpopulation going up will meet the available food and water supply going down as Global Warming MegaDrought becomes a permanent feature of the Eastern Mediterranean. Of course that will take 2-3 centuries to play out and I will be far too dead for far too long to laugh at if this prediction turns out wrong.

  24. realitychecker

    Well, the censor has decided that while it is OK for Tom to use “grilling implements” to attempt to make the point that Israelis are WORSE than the Nazis, it is NOT OK for me to ridicule that effort by advocating a ban in grilling implements.

    I think that is too restrictive.

    Am I permitted to simply say that I have a personal rule to never compare anyone to Nazis until they have produced lampshades made from the skins of their victims?

    Am I permitted to say that the greatest hypocrisy seems to me to be exhibited by those who shamelessly criticize Israel for not living up to an idealistic behavioral standard that none of the critics would be saintly enough to live up to in similar circumstances?

    Am I permitted to say that I continue to be disgusted by the modern left’s insistence, on issue after issue, that their favored side is purely virtuous and never has any responsibility for any consequences that follow from their own bad behavioral choices?

  25. EverythingsJake

    Change that to “…Bernays (and his admirer Goebbels) style propaganda…” because it bothered Bernays, a relative of Freud and godfather of Madison Avenue, not as all that his books formed a core part of Goebbel’s library.

  26. Hvd

    I had the interesting experience of visiting Israel in ‘71 at which time my perspective on Israel changed dramatically.

    First I discovered the lie that the Israelis had come to a barren, empty land and made it green when I was able to drive on a gas delivery truck through Gaza. Back then it was by far the most intensively farmed area I had seen south of Tel Aviv.

    Second I had the pleasure of being spat on, cursed, pushed and shoved by Israelis for the crime of walking and talking with a Christian Arab “dog” in Haifa.

    I also spent some time with Sephardic Jews who were relegated to the lowest places in Israeli society and who regaled me with stories of out and out discrimination at he hands of the ashkenasi.

    The future was already apparent in these encounters.

    Rc raises the straw man that the left always finds their side pure and the other evil. I don’t know what left he is speaking of. Very little if none of that is seen here and for what it’s worth I have found that the “left” is far more willing to admit fault than the “right”. That most argument spotlights the good of the argued for side should not surprise an exlawyer. Beyond that it is an obvious moral point that those in power must be judged by a stricter standard than those without.

  27. Willy

    Am I permitted to say that I continue to be disgusted by the modern left’s insistence, on issue after issue, that their favored side is purely virtuous and never has any responsibility for any consequences that follow from their own bad behavioral choices?

    WTF are you even talking about here? Virtually all of the bad behavioral choices on the part of any “modern xx” has come from the right. I’d include any and all bad political capitulations on the part of the Clintons or Obama, which are always inspired by the right.

  28. DMC

    Am I permitted to say that Israel has exactly the same right to defend itself as a thief and murderer entering a house has to defend himself from the houses inhabitants?

  29. Tom W Harris

    Actually the killings are a result of Hamas leading a mob of invaders to storm the border. Of the 62 deaths, 50 were Hamas agents, according to Hamas itself.

  30. someofparts

    @Tom – thanks for your post. It sent me to Wikipedia where I just bookmarked entries on the history around the British withdrawal from Palestine.

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