Thursday, March 06, 2008

Disappointing--why are Palestinians seen as less human than Jews?

Okay, I guess the honeymoon is over. I definitely think Obama is the best of the three candidates now standing to be president of the U.S.

But I was deeply disappointed to see the Obama campaign release today a resounding condemnation of the attacks in Jerusalem today which killed 8 Israeli civilians. Not because I don't think such attacks should be roundly condemned--they should.

Rather because Obama is following the now old-hat U.S. policy of condemning Palestinian violence against Israel, but staying very quiet about much worse Israeli violence against Palestinians. This is so sad. 8 Jews, civlians, were killed today. That's horrible. And dozens of Palestinians, also civilians, have been killed this week by Israeli defense forces. Where is the condemnation of that?

Why do American politicians and the American media tilt their response so strongly? I genuinely don't understand it. Is it an assumption that the Christian God loves Israelites more than Palestinians? I think that may ... touch on it. But I don't think it really explains it. Can anyone help me out?


Chad Minnick said...

Palestinians need their own state. Seriously. I mean, Israel put the smack down on the in the '60s fair and square. But peace will only happen when they have their own state.

It's easy for me to say, but that's how it seems to me thousands of miles away.

They need some land. How about Indiana? Palenstinians love the Pacers and the Colts, right? Just might work.

Benjamin Ady said...

Or how about we give Palestine back to the Palestinians, and give the Jews Indiana? That's what we should have done back in the 40's.

But actually, not Indiana. Lets give them ... Western Washington. That would work ok for me. Declare a Jewish state here on the West Coast. Hell, we mostly stole it from the natives anyway, so it's not like we'd really be losing anything. And all the Jews I've known have been amazingly nice people. So that would work pretty well, I'm thinking.

Joe said...

I guess the US has a lot more invested in Israel than in Palestine. Sadly it seems that the media can call an attack on an extremist seminary a massacre, whilst killing tens of children in Gaza is just collateral damage.

I've been thinking a lot about the way the media report the conflict. On the whole, Israeli government sources have better English and generally make themselves sound more reasonable. So when they say that sending in tanks in response to home made rockets is reasonable, it tends to make the top of the news. When they say that it was the Palestinians that started it, that is what people believe. When they say that they need to be safe in their city, Jerusalem, that sounds reasonable. It sounds like an 'equal' conflict, with Israelis being clearly the good guys.

But an alternative narrative whereby a massive military force pits against a rag-tag band of resistance fighters, in heavily occupied land (including Jerusalem, which is still disputed under international law), a people pushed to the edge of starvation in an open air prison with little to live for and nobody really giving a shit about them or their grievances is surely also legitimate.

Don't get me wrong, violence is always deplorable, disgusting and pointless. But it'd be nice if we stopped punishing the victims for a change.

Claudia said...

There's already a Jewish state on the West Coast. It's called Los Angeles.

Cheers from the promised land!

Megs said...

i have many thoughts on this discussion, seemingly random, odd strands. One strand, dark and hideous, is the holocaust. To experience such horror, as a people, leaves a huge wound. Another strand is how dear to me my Jewish friends are. And another, how dear to me my Palestinian friend, and my Lebanese friend. And another strand is 'am i being innocent and naive to simply wish the world a place where people didn't hurt and kill one another?'