Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
You see kids, Israel needs to keep dropping bombs on buildings full of children and targeting civilians with siege warfare and murdering Palestinians in the West Bank and censoring the media and arresting dissidents and killing journalists, because if it doesn’t, the bad guys will win.
No no you don’t understand: if Israel stops killing children by the thousands in its relentless bombing campaign, the nation could be taken over by murderous terrorists.
Normal person: It’s wrong to kill children by the thousands by dropping military explosives on the places where they are known to be located.
Crazy person: Oh so you’re saying you love Hamas and you want them to kill every Jew in the world???
Normal person: It’s wrong to drop bombs on buildings full of children and it needs to stop right now.
Crazy person: BUT A BAD THING HAPPENED TWO WEEKS AGO
One of the dumbest things Israel apologists ask us to believe is this bizarre narrative that Hamas bears 100 percent of the responsibility for the children killed by Israeli bombs, and Israel bears zero percent of the responsibility. It’s just self-evidently moronic and nonsensical.
And the thing about this framing is there’s no upper limit on it. If Israel kills 10,000 children, Hamas killed 10,000 children. If Israel kills 100,000 children, then Hamas killed 100,000 children. If Israel exterminates all the Palestinians, then Hamas exterminated all the Palestinians.
It’s plainly absurd.
Israel-Palestine is not complicated, it only looks complicated after you add in all the freakish mental contortions Israel’s apologists ask you to perform to make it look like its self-evidently indefensible abuses are justifiable.
The thing about Israel apologists who say Israel needs to go scorched earth on Gaza or else there’ll be another Hamas attack is that, in the sense that they mean it, they’re correct. Because they have already ruled out the option of rolling back the many Israeli abuses which led to the rise of Hamas and the attack on October 7, it is a safe bet that if they agreed to a ceasefire right now and returned to the abusive status quo which provoked the attack it would only be a matter of time before Gazans launched another one. So, from within that framework, the only other option is to kill and kill and kill and destroy and destroy and destroy until Gaza can pose no further threat.
The problem, of course, is that their framework is bullshit. The obvious other option is to move toward peace and reconciliation and right all the wrongs which gave rise to the attack on October 7, which would mean a one-state or two-state solution that Palestinians are happy with instead of the status quo of apartheid and tyranny and ghettos and a giant concentration camp of profound human suffering. That would allow the possibility of a ceasefire without the need for continued Palestinian resistance.
But Israel is unwilling to do this because it would mean ceding a bunch of land or ending Israel’s existence as a Jewish ethnostate, so that option is framed as unthinkable nonsense instead of the glaringly obvious fix for this problem that it plainly is. Murdering children by the thousands and carpet bombing Gaza is seen as preferable to the measures that would be necessary to achieve a lasting peace.
Officially Israel has three options:
1. Make huge compromises and right all wrongs so the Palestinian resistance has no further reason to exist,
2. Return to the status quo and accept that there will be more attacks in the future, or
3. Go scorched earth genocide on Gaza.
A hidden fourth option which nobody wants to talk about would be to address the uncomfortable fact that Israeli intelligence probably allowed the Hamas attack to happen. It seems highly unlikely that Hamas spent two years coordinating and openly training for an attack of unprecedented scale and sophistication involving motorboats, drones and motorized paragliders in an enclosed area the size of Philadelphia which also happens to be one of the most spied-on places on earth, and that the attack was carried out so successfully even Hamas was surprised at how many Israelis they were able to kill and capture because it went completely undetected by Israeli intelligence those entire two years despite being warned by Egyptian intelligence that an attack was coming, and despite the fact that US intelligence was aware of unusual activity by Hamas on October 6.
If Israel got real with itself and investigated and found that officials in Israeli intelligence kept operatives looking the other way to allow the October 7 attack to occur, then simply acknowledging this and taking steps to ensure that it never happens again would be enough to feel secure that Israel won’t suffer any more attacks of that scale, because Israeli intelligence can indeed prevent them from happening. The premise that Hamas needs to be eliminated to prevent such attacks would be proven false.
This is perhaps the least likely of all possible options, though, because the internal political fallout that would occur when the Israeli public learns their nation’s intelligence services sacrificed massive numbers of their own citizens to advance a pre-existing agenda would collapse the entire national order.
Israel apologists are like, “All you goddamn anti-semitic terrorist lovers just don’t get it: if Israel doesn’t go full scorched earth and completely obliterate Hamas right now, what’s to stop another massive Hamas attack from being intentionally allowed to happen by Israeli intelligence?”
Funny how empire simps spent the last seven years screaming the word “whataboutism” and saying it’s evil, and now their response to all criticisms of Israel is “what about what Hamas did” and “what about those other countries who do bad things”.
Westerners who didn’t already know about Israel’s criminality have been learning that Israel
- Routinely bombs hospitals, churches and mosques
- Constantly lies and circulates disinformation
- Is fine with killing children by the thousands
- Sees Palestinians as sub-human
We’re fast approaching the point where the emotional heat of October 7 wears off and people start looking at Israel’s actions more rationally, after which point they’ll look over and just see Israel murdering children by the thousands and reducing Gaza to rubble for no legitimate reason.
Caitlin’s Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.
Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2
Featured image via Adobe Stock.
Subscribe to Caitlin’s Newsletter
Articles, poems, stories and thoughts by Caitlin Johnstone and Tim Foley. Everything published here will always remain free to read.
Categories: Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy