I want to write something on Israel / Palestine, and I've tried about six times to gather my thoughts, but there's so much to the situation, and there are so many people who will take you to task no matter where you stand, that it's hard. I think it's important to stand up for human rights at times like this, but I'm struggling to be coherent in the way the situation demands.
Right now it boils down to this: Stop killing children. Stop sieging hospitals. Turn on the power. Let aid flow in. But while there are real human rights violations in progress, it's also absolutely true that there is some anti-semitism in play; some of it unsubtle, and some a contiguous part of the quiet xenophobia that sits under the skin of American and European society. There are a lot of people who don't like Jews and are enjoying the excuse.
And it's also true that the attack conducted by Hamas was abhorrent and inexcusable.
And it's also true that Palestinians have been described as animals, in the most dehumanizing, Islamophobic language imaginable.
It's anti-semitic to conflate Israel with all Jews, or to suggest that Jews are a monolith, just as it's racist to do the same with Palestinians. Criticism of Israeli policy is not inherently anti-semitism, and shutting down those discussions is anti-democratic.
I find the calls to shut up about human rights abuses (on all sides) profoundly depressing. People are being killed. It's not some abstract game of chess. It's relentless death and suffering.
This demand to sit along pre-defined ideological lines rather than stand for the principle of human life and equality for all keeps me up at night. The idea that we either have to stand for Netanyahu or Hamas, or align ourselves with American interests or the interests of any nation, is obviously ridiculous.
Stand for life. Stand for peace. Stand for not killing children, for fuck's sake.
The information warfare has been turned up to 11 in this conflict, and it must stop.