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

What Happens To Israel If They Accomplish Their Genocide

So, all aid except some totally inadequate air-dropped supplies have now been cut off from Gaza and Rafah, the last refuge is being bombed and invaded.

As I pointed out October 8th, the real danger isn’t the bombs and drones and so on—it’s famine and plague and lack of water. The official numbers of dead in Gaza are hardly going up, because State capacity (the numbers come from Gaza’s government) is trashed. The numbers were always massive understatements, because many bodies are buried in the ruins, but now they’re vastly too low.

The best way to kill people, absent nukes, is pretty much always hunger. Deaths are going to SOAR in Gaza and once it really gets rolling, it’s entirely feasible for Israel to kill a million+ people.

This has always clearly been the Israeli goal: wipe the Palestinians in Gaza out.

But what happens to Israel if it happens? They may think it makes them safer, but does it?

A lot of people make horrific predictions of what will happen if Israel ever stops being an ethnostate, but it doesn’t have to be horrific: there were no mass deaths in South Africa after apartheid, for example.

But if Israel completes its genocide and is eventually conquered, well, Israelis are going to be at great risk of retaliation. Even if it’s not official policy, a lot of troops are going to take revenge. And a completed genocide will make Israel a pariah for a couple generations: even Muslim leaders with no morals (most of them) won’t be able to be on good terms with Israel—their people will rise up if they do.

Israel’s being foolish. It’s always been foolish: a modern day crusader state. That didn’t end well last time, and it’s not likely to end will this time, but Israel keeps making themselves completely abominable, even as their patron, the US, goes into steep imperial decline. Ten years from now, the US isn’t going to be able to protect Israel even as much as it did this time.

“Not just evil, but a mistake”, as the saying goes.

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What Catholic Confession Is Meant To Do And How It Goes Wrong


Open Thread


  1. ventzu

    I recall Ralph Nader estimating 100,000+ dead, a couple of months ago. I expect Israel will be ostracised, but the West will work hard to neutralise this.

    We all see the videos of snipers targeting civilians, or the aftermath of bombs attacks on women and children, the amputations, and now the starvation.

    I can’t really process the following, and what it implies about human beings and our ‘civilisation’:
    a) videos of Israelis, dancing and celebrating this slaughter
    b) western journalists looking the other way – compare and contrast with the manufactured outrage of Russia’s SMO in Ukraine
    c) western politicians of all colours seeking to defend the indefensible
    d) western publics – especially the PMC – not caring about a genocide going on, presumably because they have not been stirred up by mainstream media and political opinion. There are too many people who don’t have an opinion, until it is spoon-fed to them.

  2. because they have not been stirred up by mainstream media
    There are too many people who don’t have an opinion, until it is spoon-fed to them.
    For the oligarch’s that’s a wonderous feature they’ve spent decades cultivating. The masses refuse to think for themselves and simply believe the “experts” even when they yell how
    Genocide is defense
    Chronic disease is good health
    Obedience is morality

  3. Jan Wiklund

    I have always wondered where the European/American selfinterest in defending Israel lies. They could easily have a less blatant sub-imperialist watchdog, e.g. Egypt, which is deeply indebted anyway.

    Is it only emotional colonial racism that governs them? In that case, another instance of imperial decay since vigourous empires aren’t emotional but interest-driven, like China.

  4. This death by deliberate starvation is unforgivable. (I do not know whether to call future deaths by starvation by climate change and resource depletion deliberate or not.)
    What is frightening for me, is the still strong support for Israel’s version of the October 7 Hamas attack present in the comments sections of “The New York Times” and “The Wall Street Journal”. People still repeating falsehoods of mass rape and executions of civilians by Hamas despite admission in Israeli media of many casualties caused by the IDF. Even the relatively sanitized photographs published on the aforementioned newspapers of the IDF assaults are horrific. How that does not lead to reader revulsion makes me doubt the capacity for empathy that my fellow citizens possess. We have a cruel populace that is impervious to any correction to our government’s discourse. These events will split us into two groups: those with humane impulses and those psycopathic.

  5. bruce wilder

    Caitlin Johnston has an especially clear statement of her general thesis today. It is worth reading in the context of the Israeli genocide in Gaza (protest against is a context for her remarks). It is worth reading, though there is nothing new there.

    What happens after Gaza depends on what narrative prevails. It is a bit of a “who are you going to believe? [Authority] or your lying eyes?” type situation.

    We have a multiplying number and variety of such situations developing in the zeitgeist. Memory — collective memory, the politically potent kind — of many recent events is increasingly fractured, shredded thru, with many contradictory variants floating around.

    WMD in Iraq, election interference in 2016 or since, COVID-19 and vaccines and lockdowns, Putin as Hitler, Russiagate, the many trials of Trump.

    I don’t know what will happen in the aftermath of the Gaza genocide. I am not sure even what I might want to happen.

    The Holocaust or Shoah during World War II and the War itself formed bedrock narratives in the West — examples of “one true story” which “everyone” knew in outline and accepted as true as commonly told.

    We do not have such stories or at least they do not hold together for very long. We are told stories about COVID-19 or Russia invading Ukraine or October 7 with the clear expectation that our moral judgment will be engaged, locked and loaded.

    We will get the jab and scorn those who don’t and then . . .

    Will there be a reckoning with however many corpses in Gaza?

    Time will tell . . . or be gagged, perhaps?

  6. Willy

    Ever notice how when bad people gain control, there’s little their associated mob is able or willing to do about it? Yet this isn’t the same when good people take control. Good people are far easier to debate, shame, depopularize, criminalize, or vote off the island. But does this basic fact change perceptions about who or what the mob allows into positions of power?

  7. someofparts

    From Hamilton Nolan’s substack –

    “After the immediate intensity of this issue recedes, the Left is going to be different. The leaders who could not bring themselves to call for a ceasefire when justice demanded it are not going to be the leaders any more.

    The Bernie Era of the American Left is over. … I am sure that the leaders who failed to find the moral clarity or courage to be in the right place on the issue of Gaza’s decimation have lost their credibility to a degree that will make it impossible for them to maintain their status as leaders on the Left.”

  8. Feral Finster

    The rulers of the Arab states sleep soundly in their beds, as long as the loyalty of the police and army is assured, as long as they still will shoot when ordered to do so.

  9. Feral Finster

    Seems we are now at the “bargaining” phase.

  10. Ian Welsh

    I said from the start genocide or ethnic cleansing was the goal and that they might succeed. Also that hunger/thirst/disease were the real weapons.

  11. Mark Level

    If someofparts’ source is correct, that means that the old, sold-out lapdogs of Capitalist Austerity will be permanently discredited as being “left”, & a new generation of thinking & (possibly) actual Leftism (in the sense of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) will be rekindled even in the US as well as world wide. That would be refreshing if so!! No more Bernie sheepdogging short term, anyway (ashamed that I once believed him, but many others were in the same boat.)

    I think of the old Leonard Cohen song, “Democracy Is Coming (to the USA)”. The Evil Empire is now seen as such, & for those who are forced to live in the Belly of the Beast (as Jose Marti put it), seemingly they’ll have to face the truth too.

  12. someofparts

    “There are too many people who don’t have an opinion, until it is spoon-fed to them.”

    Reminds me of one of may favorite scenes in one of the Monty Python skits. The protagonist turns to the crowd massed on the street in front of his window and shouts “You must all think for yourselves” whereupon the crowd chants in unison “We must all think for ourselves”

  13. someofparts

    On one of the latest podcasts from Garland Nixon, one of his regular weekly guests explained the real reason for the original revolution by the founding fathers. It was not, as I was taught, because they objected to taxation without representation. It was because good King George had decreed that they would not be allowed to expand west and ethnic cleanse the original indigenous inhabitants. They had helped the UK defeat the French, so the king considered them allies.

    That means that the right to practice settler colonial genocide against the indigenous population was the real thing that the founding fathers of this grate nation cared enough about to protect. Color me not surprised.

    Also, note to Mark Level – I’ve been watching Plaza Sesamo and learning bits of baby Spanish from Elmo. Absolutely my favorite learning tool so far.

  14. Jorge

    At some point, someone (possibly Jewish, possibly Muslim) decides to bring it all to a boil and blows up the Al-Aksa Mosque. This would trigger every nation in the neighborhood to expel their unpleasant neighbor.

    At which point up comes the super-interesting question: how much control the Americans have over nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

  15. Ventzu

    On Israel being a pariah, I read somewhere that UAE tried to bribe South Africa with economic development funds, to withdraw the genocide case at the ICJ. Not sure if this is true? Seems consistent with their behaviour, which suggests Israel may get away with it.

  16. Jan Wiklund

    To these who have denounced Bernard Sanders, above: I think you have too much belief in what an elected politician can do. Politicians are compromisers, that is their job. They fix workable compromises between positions that have been formed by other players. It is up to them to fight for the right things.

    Even FDR began as a rather conservative bloke. It was the marches and occupations of the 30s that made him into a progressive, of sorts. It is also reported that he used to say to people who met him to ask for this and that reform: “I agree with you. But go on pressing for it so that I can implement it.” He understood his job: to fix compromises.

  17. Poul

    Well, we are back to pure Might is Right. Which is great as long as you are one of the mighty, but no one ever is forever. Next century will bring huge changes in power due to demography.

    Care to place a bet which European counties will suffer genocide on the original population? I look at France or Italy as the first cases.

  18. Soredemos

    @david lamy

    Something the last half a year or so has done is function as a kind of great filter. It has wonderfully clarified who is worth listening too, and who can be forever ignored. It has made clear, if it wasn’t clear already, how utterly worthless both institutions like the NYT are, as well as how utterly intellectually and morally bankrupt the kind of rancid c**t (please let this comment through, Welsh, the ugly language fully conveys my utter disdain) who apparently makes up the majority of NYT subscribers is.

    We’re at, what, at least 15,000 confirmed dead kids? And even now the real number is likely far higher, and before long the bodies will start dropping by the thousands a day as famine begins to take its toll. Yet many people will still continue to insist that this is just a reasonable military operation and Hamas should just hand over the hostages and it will all be over. The hostages are the only leverage Hamas has left, and even likely then that leverage doesn’t amount to much as Israel is a nation of stunning psychopaths that doesn’t care about safeguarding its own citizens.

    Anyone who can look at Israel murdering an equivalent or more number of Palestinians as the total number of hostages every day or two, and pretend this is reasonable, is themselves a subhuman racist. It’s actual colonial racism, it’s the idea that some lives matter less than others.

    A great filter, and a huge number of institutions, politicians, celebrities, and entire swathes of regular people representing large slices of the political landscape have revealed themselves to be utter scum who should never be listened to about anything ever again.

    This is American Liberalism, in all its glory.

  19. Mark Level

    A quick reply to SomeofParts, good on you for getting started, we all have to start somewhere. . . sadly, I’d been learning French on Duolingo for 2 years or so, making pretty good progress, but then they just froze my account!! It didn’t take me long to realize that I never spent one dime on there, & that has to be the reason.

    I can research alternatives or I can just start reading simpler library works in French, I suppose. Duolingo is not bad, though the graphics are somewhat childish (but no more than Elmo, I guess?) Also I highly recommend graphic novel format books. On my first trips thru Mexico I picked up some great works by a comic artist whose pen-name was “Rius.”

    He was quite a good writer as well as artist & a couple of his books are still in my library including “Cuba para Principiantes” (for Beginners), “Christo de carne & hueso”, Christ in flesh & bone (not sangre, blood like we say) & “Palestina: del judio errante al judio errado”, copyright 1983– errante & errado are obviously literally erred-against, & erring-against-others, but I think “victim” & “victimizer” would be a more basic translation. If you live near any large Hispanic populace, do look at kids’ books, it’s surprising how much you can learn.

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