By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
It’s an inevitability if you’re an online muckraker. It happens all the time. You get dragged down the rabbit hole by some malignant grandstanding troll and, regardless of what the devolving conversation was actually about, somebody gets called a fucking Nazi. It’s so common that it has it’s own name, Godwin’s Law, created by attorney, author, and Electronic Frontier Foundation veteran Mike Godwin. Godwin’s Law was originally an internet adage that declared that any online squabble, if allowed to go on long enough, would inevitably lead to someone or something being inappropriately compared to Hitler or the Nazi regime.
However, like many the internet adage, Godwin’s Law has taken on another unofficial meaning. A more punitive meaning that essentially goes that anyone who makes such a comparison has already lost the argument and in some cases may indeed be an anti-Semite for having taken it there. But what happens when just such a comparison, however ugly, is completely appropriate? What happens when the similarities to the Third Reich become so appallingly obvious that ignoring such a fact becomes an exercise in absurdity? And what happens when those similarities are in fact an indirect result of histories greatest horror? The rotten fruit of the Reich. Are we to ignore such inconvenient truths? And if so, at whose expense and to whose reward?
After two weeks of Israel’s latest hideous bombing campaign against the Gazan prison camp, I find such uncomfortable comparisons hard to resist. The bloodbath began with the ongoing ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem, in this case the embattled Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the IDF’s storm trooper assault on the peaceful Ramadan worshippers of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. In response to such brutish behavior, Hamas decided to launch a volley of rockets into Israel after issuing an ultimatum calling on Israeli soldiers to leave the mosque and the Sheik Jarrah protesters be.
Israel chose war and used Hamas’ puny attempt at self-defense as an excuse to launch a blitzkrieg carpet bombing over one of the most densely populated places on earth, a gigantic ghetto under permanent lockdown by a totally criminal blockade, giving it’s inmates no place safe to hide. It was like shooting fish in a barrel with a goddamn Uzi. Schools, hospitals, whole apartment blocks, nothing was off limits. Whole towers were demolished 9/11 style, including one housing the offices of international journalists. Homes in refugee camps were obliterated without warning before the routes to the nearest hospitals were mined. Hundreds of civilians, many of them helpless women and children, annihilated without mercy.
Categories: Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy