Yesterday in the Times Standard newspaper I read that in Israel Palestine, the Israeli army had opened fire on protesters, protesting land expropriation, I believe. It was a fairly short story, but this is the Times Standard and not the New York Times. I read in the Times Standard article that thirty-five people were killed outright, and 750 people were hit with live rounds. Today it is reported on the Times Standard website that there were only 18 killed. So, we don’t really know, but it is a lot.
These numbers floored me. I was thinking about it on and off all day. The higher number approaches some of our worst mass killing events in this country and the 750 shot with live ammunition is unbelievably horrible. I believe it is even more than were hit by the horrible attack at the Los Vegas hotel and the country music show a few months ago. However, it was Israel doing it and it was done to quell unruly protesters.
Can you imagine someone opening up with automatic weapons on protesters? Seven hundred and fifty people were shot. Every person is important and deserves life. I don’t even have words for fully explaining this. It is so awful. Why is this happening? This is a merciless, deadly outrageously excessive response to protest. In this country at least, protesting is supposedly protected by the first amendment. But our rights are being undermined, eroded. Same seems to be happening in Israel and Egypt and China and Philippines. There has to be push back or the oppression, the killing will continue. I feel like at a basic level Israel is acting like a big bully and feels they can get away with land expropriation and with the subsequent violent response to the understandable push back from land theft. If a bully is unchallenged they will continue to bully. If a killer is unchallenged will they not continue to kill?
In this country the push back for police killing of unarmed black men has been strong and justified and I believe is having an effect. The same must be done for attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.
It is anti-Semitic or racist to say what Israel does is to be condemned and is terrorism of a civilian population? I think the anti-Semitic charge is a red herring. All lives are valuable not just Jewish life. Just because Jews have suffered and have been exposed to racism and mass killing during the Nazi regime in the 30’s and 40’s doesn’t give Israel a pass when they kill and mistreat others. There are double standards in our media and from our government. We are all humans with hopes and dreams and a right to live and protect what is ours, including land.