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Israel and the West: a joint enterprise in genocide/ethnic cleansing

Do they, Biden and Sunak, turn away their faces, avert their eyes, block up their ears, against the images and sounds of Gaza so desperately pleading for their attention?

 

Paying the cries no heed, committed only to perverse, bloodless political calculation, the USA, the UK and the West in general are now Israel’s collaborators in a joint enterprise of ethnic cleansing.


I say collaborators in a joint enterprise because each – USA, UK, the West – has, to a greater or lesser extent, the means to insist Israel immediately halt its onslaught on Gaza, or cause it to do so.


Collaborators and joint enterprise because each, to a greater or lesser extent, is politically and militarily fuelling, by arms supply and political cover, the wild murderous fire that Israel has unleashed and stokes. Israel shows no meaningful signs of relenting until it has achieved its goal: a further step in the ethnic cleansing of Gaza; and, indeed, of the West Bank and East Jerusalem too. 


The USA, UK, the West, have allied themselves to a state that is essentially spiritually and morally ill - addicted, as to a hallucinatory drug, to the pursuit of a Jewish supremacist state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And while Western leaders cosset and protect this renegade state, civil societies across the continents of the world watch in mute horror as death, maiming and now starvation are enacted before our eyes.


Whilst Israel deploys directly the means – its unrelenting military assault on the civilian population – of ethnic cleansing against Gaza’s Palestinian population; and also, plausibly pursues genocidal intent and action, the USA, the UK and the West carry a high degree of culpability. For they have chosen – chosen – not to exert the power at their disposal to bring a halt to Israel’s onslaught. 


In an earlier blog, I wondered whether Israel has the internal resources – ethical, psychological, imaginative, political – to reflect upon itself critically; to shed its self-imposed, self-defeating burden of maintaining and justifying a state founded on Jewish Supremacism.  I concluded that it did not. It appears that Israel is unable to see, think or apprehend beyond its self-contained myopic world of perpetual self-justification.


In a court of law, once a guilty verdict is handed down, the court turns its attention to the question of mitigation. Mitigation not affecting the verdict, but what might be done, or not done, in the light of it.


In mitigation, one might understand Israel as a state and society that is ethically sick, and that since 1948, and at gathering pace, it has severed or treated with disdain the bonds that could have connected it to an ethical framework grounded in universalist values. Values that are negated by the ideology of Zionism.  


Instead, it has welded itself to an essentialist, ethnonationalist worldview, and therefore to all the cruelties towards the Other – Palestinians – that such a worldview requires and enables. This has led, inexorably, inevitably perhaps, to an Israel that pounds without mercy Gaza’s civilian population; and an Israel Defence Force (IDF) that appears to rejoice in that.


The West, along with those Jews who have enveloped Israel in a protective bubble such that no criticism or rebuke is allowed to break through, have protected Israel, but to its own detriment.  For in eschewing any criticism or censure Israel has been robbed of the capacity to see itself as it truly is. Instead, it lives in a bubble of protected illusion believing, or purporting to believe, that it is a genuine democratic state; and that all criticism is motivated by antisemitism.


And so, paradoxically, the state that thinks of itself always as a victim is in fact the victim of those that declare themselves as friend.


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Originally posted by Bernard Spiegal in his blog:

Brief bio: Previously I wrote, and worked in, the areas of public space, children and teenagers play, issues to do with risk in play and related areas. Articles on these and related topics can be found at www.playlink.org, and earlier posts to this site (pre-2017). However, I’ve had a long-term interest in Palestine/Israel (P/I) issues, most recently visiting the OPT in particular in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022. This blog now focuses on P/I issues, though I may, if so moved, also discuss other matters.

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