A Gaza Breviary

27 Jul

1. One benefit of the carnage in Gaza is that it has given people who’ve never said a word about the carnage in Syria an impetus to say a word about the carnage in Syria.

2. On Friday night, there was a fundraiser for “Friends of the IDF” at a synagogue on the Upper West Side. On Shabbat. Which means cessation, stopping.

3. “It’s all but inevitable…that civilians will die.” A law professor defends Israel’s actions in Gaza.

4. Next time someone tells you that an academic boycott is a bad idea because Israeli universities are bastions of dissent against the Israeli state:

Tel Aviv University is giving students who serve in the attack on Gaza one year of free tuition.

“Tel Aviv University embraces and supports all the security forces who are working to restore quiet and security to Israel, including its students and employees called up to reserve duty,” the institution says in 24 July statement on its official website.

Meanwhile, a notice circulated at Hebrew University announces a collection for goods including hygiene products, snacks and cigarettes “for the soldiers at the front according to the demand reported by the IDF [Israeli army] units.”

The notice, signed by the university along with its academic staff committee and the official student union, says “we have opened collection centers on all four campuses.”

5. The world’s greatest expert on overdoing it says that Israel is overdoing it.

6. If only the Palestinians had revolted in April. Then everyone would be supporting this Arab Spring, amirite?

7. Fifty Israeli reservists write against the Israeli way of war:

To us, the current military operation and the way militarization affects Israeli society are inseparable. In Israel, war is not merely politics by other means — it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard.

8. An oldie but a goodie. Harvard scholar Ruth Wisse writes, “Palestinian Arabs, people who breed and bleed and advertise their misery.” Not for nothing is she the “Martin Peretz professor of Yiddish and professor of comparative literature.”

9. All those liberal journos and commentators who are silent on Gaza: you can almost hear them praying for the GOP to launch a new war against Social Security so that we can all get back to business.

10. A group of Jews occupy the office of Friends of the IDF in NYC. Read a list of the Gaza dead killed by the Israelis. A counter-terror unit of the NYPD  shows up and arrests nine of these righteous men and women. There is balm in Gilead.

11. Say what you will about Mia Farrow, she’s been tweeting and retweeting messages like this: “Tell the U.S. to stop arming Israel.” And kudos to the seven other Hollywood celebrities who’ve spoken out on Gaza. Without retracting their statements, as Rihanna did.

12. James Baldwin in 1979, in response to Jimmy Carter’s firing of Andrew Young after Young met with the PLO at the UN:

But the state of Israel was not created for the salvation of the Jews; it was created for the salvation of Western interests. This is what is becoming clear (I must say it was always clear to me). The Palestinians have been paying for the British colonial policy of ‘divide and rule’ and for Europe’s guilty Christian conscience for more than thirty years.

13. The literal othering of Palestine: Washington Post subhead reads, “13 Israeli soldiers, 70 others killed.”

14. If Netanyahu really believes that Hamas’s strategy is to amass “telegenically-dead Palestinians” and display them, why is he being so obliging in his cooperation?

15. The United Nations estimates that roughly 80 percent of the casualties are civilians, many of them children.” Let’s assume, for the sake of the argument, that the Israelis aren’t targeting civilians. If you’re getting numbers like these, does it really matter?

16. Nicholas Kristof writes, “Hamas sometimes seems to have more support on certain college campuses in America or Europe than within Gaza.” In support of his claim about support for Hamas on American college campuses, Kristof links to a Washington Post article about the American Studies Association vote for BDS. In which the word Hamas appears…never. Not even in the comments. In support of his claim about European support for Hamas, Kristof links to a New York Times article about Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott of Israel. In which the word Hamas appears…never.

17. When it comes to opposing Israel, everyone always has a better tactic. So many better tactics: it’s a wonder we haven’t won yet.

18. The Senate passes a unanimous resolution—100-0—in support of Israel. (Libertarian hero of the anti-imperialist right/left Rand Paul complains that the resolution isn’t strong enough.) Next time an opponent of BDS tells you that we should be focusing instead on cutting off US aid to Israel, ask them how they plan to scale that 100% wall.

19. I get an email from some religious Zionist group called American Friends of the IDF Rabbinate asking for a donation to support “the necessary funding for the religious needs of the combat soldiers.” After all the murder and mayhem those soldiers have committed in Gaza, I can see why their “religious needs” are great.

20. It’s July 18. First tweet I read this morning is from The New Republic: “‘Israel is acting strategically, not emotionally, in Gaza,’ writes Leon Wieseltier.” Second tweet I read this morning is from Alex Kane: “Israeli military analyst: Israeli tanks ‘received an order to open fire at anything that moved.'”

21. A reporter at Vox tweets this: “Israel-Palestine conflict has killed 14 times more Palestinians than Israelis since 2000.” David Frum responds thus: “Never enough dead Jews for some.”

22. Thirty-three Israeli academics condemn the bombing of Gaza. Thirty-three. That’s why we’re not supposed to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Because of these righteous 33. The logic is almost biblical.

23. It is not just the normal anxiety of airstrikes in a crowded city.” Imagine that phrase—the normal anxiety of airstrikes in a crowded city—applied to any urban center in the United States.

24. Gideon Levy on “our wretched Jewish state“:

The youths of the Jewish state are attacking Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, just like gentile youths used to attack Jews in the streets of Europe….The Jewish state, which Israel insists the Palestinians recognize, must first recognize itself.

25. Israeli artist Amir Schiby commemorates the Israeli killing of four Palestinian children playing on a beach in Gaza.

Four Boys on a Gaza Beach

 

8 Responses to “A Gaza Breviary”

  1. P.M.Lawrence July 27, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    James Baldwin was wrong about “Europe’s guilty Christian conscience” (about the Jews); there was no such thing. A very few Europeans had no problem with what happened to the Jews at all, most considered that they had not contributed to it at all and so had incurred no guilt as they felt no obligation to seek out and thwart such things, and the remainder – quite a few – considered that they had indeed acted in respect of a more generic evil, as, when and if it became known to them and they could act at all, and that they had only ever been obligated in that generic way and had not failed that. So Europeans in general felt no specific failure about the Jews, figuring at most that they were as deserving of rescue as anybody else.

  2. Palermo, Joseph A July 27, 2014 at 12:44 am #

    Great compilation! Cory

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. BillR July 27, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face–forever.”

    George Orwell

    “On making the entire globe look like one large State of Israel.”

    http://www.countercurrents.org/sagar150714.htm

  4. Jim Brash July 27, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Good post. Corey, I how your next book is, ‘The Conservative Jewish Mind-From Harvard to Tel-Aviv’.

  5. Rudolf Taylor July 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Good lord, which anti-imperialist leftists like Rand Paul?

  6. A. Wachtel July 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    What we need in relation to this conflict is not ranting that leaves out minor details like rockets being shot from Gaza at Israel before the state found it necessary to intervene. We need responses that try to develop ways for these various peoples to live together. I developed one approach to that in an article published today:

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/07/27/israel-palestine-play-it-like-it-lies/

    Check it out.

  7. GerardO July 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Sounds like several weeks (maybe years?) of pent-up frustration was just released in one almighty burst. Feeling better, Corey?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I’m joining Norm Finkelstein tomorrow to commit civil disobedience in protest of Israel’s war on Gaza | Corey Robin - July 28, 2014

    […] mission at the UN in New York City. If 100 people agree to do it, it will happen. After writing countless posts on Israel and what has been happening in Gaza, I believe it’s time to act. I’m going to join […]

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