The subjugation and annihilation of innocent civilians, bombed into the dust of "collateral damage," does not support America, Israel or the West's claim for moral high ground and a path to peace.
On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bombed a Palestinian refugee camp with 100,000 inhabitants, producing a hellscape of casualties, 50 dead, 150 injured, with buildings in collapse at the periphery of a massive bomb crater. The stated public intention was to kill a single Hamas commander.
There are two million Palestinians warehoused in the sliver of land 26 miles long and between two to seven miles wide, a containment camp known as the Gaza Strip holding Indigenous peoples of the region hostage.
Mr. Netanyahu has vowed to wipe out Hamas, which is estimated to have at least 40,000 members. If the ratio of 50 -1 holds up, that is 50 Palestinians will die for every Hamas member killed -- then every single Palestinian in Gaza would be killed. This is not without possibility, perhaps the colonizers’ plan.
A refugee camp was bombed again by Israel yesterday, killing 80 Gazans, and, I suppose, another Hamas commander.
There is no refuge in Gaza refugee camps. Gaza is a walled-in slaughterhouse of broken people living on wretched, borrowed time, without food, water, electricity, sanitation, without hope to be spared pain and intense human suffering, until being relieved of their consciousness by sudden death descending into the Gaza maelstrom as a spectral Grim Reaper.
The broken bodies of at least 300 Gazans, pulverized by massive bombs, are being pulled each day from the wreckage of their land.
The further prosecution of this war is counterproductive to the security and survival of Israel and its citizens, who live in an increasingly hostile environment as the images of the plight of Gazans are broadcast to billions worldwide and to hundreds of millions of enraged Muslims and Arabs in the region.
To watch this relentless bombing and to maintain silence reduces the experience to war porn, and desensitizes and dehumanizes the viewer in vicarious complicity.
The objectification and dehumanization of the Palestinians, the overt racism and the obtuseness that accompanies the mounting death toll mark a victory for propagandists but constitute a moral calamity for Israel, the United States and all other complicit countries.
Our lack of moral code, empathy, inhuman response and willingness to escalate the destruction of innocent people as collateral damage is shortsighted and dangerous to say the least. We are inviting objectification, dehumanization and destruction to our own doors.
The murderous actions of Israel, supported by the United States in Gaza, will come home. Each new atrocity visited upon Gazans threatens the long-time survival and the security interests of Israel and the United States. These murderous actions, informed by a murderous consciousness, bring the world to the edge of a major war.
Vengeance will lead to vengeance. Depravity breeds depravity. There is ultimate danger swirling in the human dust that used to be the wretched refugee camp of Jabalia in Gaza. It is dark, magical thinking that fails to comprehend the mortal consequences for the people of Israel and of the United States who support the extermination of the Palestinians.
This has not stopped the media and political leaders who are ignorantly salivating over the promise of retaliation, domination, an opportunity for destruction.
President Biden and congressional leaders of both political parties from readying legislation to intensify the attacks on Gazans.
U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, if they leave the country at all, should go for diplomacy, for humanitarian relief, and to help restore and rehumanize the victims of violence on all sides, including the Israeli families who suffered from the horrific criminal attacks of October 7 by Hamas, which resulted in over 1,400 deaths.
Instead, our government brings fire to a tinderbox.
It is not just that this war must stop and must never start again. The moment requires new thinking to deal with the preconditions of war, the age-old challenges to peace in the Middle East and globally.
This cannot happen with current leaders who are filled with megalomaniacal fantasies, as they breathe in the Apocalypse and exhale death and destruction.
The decision to create a new day, averting ultimate disaster, awaits the people of Israel. We in the United States also face urgent consideration:
Do our leaders, in our name, escalate or deescalate?
Do we/they pursue restorative justice or retribution?
Can we continue to maintain the life of our own society while our government uses our tax dollars to seed death worldwide?
As we choose, so chooses the world. I choose empathy. I choose to be a bridge builder. I choose to lead pathways to peace. It is time to re-engage with our own humanity.
It is only in re-sensitizing and in embracing our own humanity that we will ever be able to bring healing to traumatized communities, whichever side of the fence they dwell.