Naomi Wolf, sharing this video on her Facebook page stated:
“This is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. I dare you to watch it from beginning to end. From today. The death of Rami Ryan. Prayers, screaming, no where to hide or shelter, and not enough left alive and uninjured to care for the dead and dying. And the blasts unceasing. God forgive us. we will be expiating this for the next thousand years”
Now, like Wolf, I ask that you watch it. This is not “death porn”. This is bearing witness to the slaughter of innocents. A slaughter denied by Israel, the US and even our own government. We have a responsibility to prove our case.
According to the latest UN figures, Israel has now killed more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza alone in the latest assault, 1-in-3 of the dead are children, and 8-in-10 are known civilians.
Despite the extreme asymmetry, both in terms of battle readiness (one of the world’s foremost military powers vs. a population with no army, navy, air force or self defense systems) and casualties – public opinion in Israel is almost unanimous in favour of extending the attacks.
A poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute at Tel Aviv University has found that just 4% of Jewish Israelis believe excessive force has been used on Gaza, while more then 50% argue not enough.
In recent weeks, Israel’s Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin has called for the ‘elimination’ of Palestinian life in Gaza, while fellow Likud party lawmaker Ayelet Shaked demanded the murder of Palestinian mothers and children – and got thousands of Facebook likes from doing so. Days later, renowned Israeli academic Mordechai Kedar proposed the use of rape against female relatives of Palestinian armed resistance fighters as a ‘preventative’ measure.
A Facebook page has been set up this week called “Standing With the IDF”, where women are encouraged to post revealing images of themselves covered in pro-IDF graffiti.
A Facebook page titled “The People of Israel Demand Vengeance!” set up in the wake of the murder of three Israeli teens is the same bizarre mix of sex and incitement. Teens post sun-drenched selfies, no different to so many others filling instagram…except for the fact they are holding placards calling for ‘Death to All Arabs’, or the one below, which reads: Hating Arabs is Not Racism, It’s Moral Values’.
And on the same page, this reaction to the kidnap and murder of teenage Palestinian Mohammed Khadir, in a so-called ‘revenge’ attack that saw the boy forced to drink petrol and burned alive.
All the seeds of the incitement of the past few years, all the nationalistic, racist legislation and the incendiary propaganda, the scare campaigns and the subversion of democracy by the right-wing camp – all these have borne fruit, and that fruit is rank and rotten. The nationalist right has now sunk to a new level, with almost the whole country following in its wake. The word “fascism,” which I try to use as little as possible, finally has its deserved place in the Israeli political discourse.
This observer is Israeli. This observer is Gideon Levy, writer and editorial board member of Haaretz newspaper, whose Grandparents fled to Israel in the 30′s as Nazi Germany annexed Czechoslovakia. A man who dare not use the word fascism lightly, uses it now – despite receiving threats of death and violence from his fellow citizens for so doing.
Gideon is joined by those 56 Israeli reservists who refused call up as a protest against the assault on Gaza, by the five thousand that attended the anti-war protest this week in Tel Aviv, by the likes of former IDF pilot Yonatan Shapiro who continue to speak out against Israel’s illegal occupation and war crimes.
But with 86% of Israelis opposing a ceasefire that would bring the massacre in Gaza to an end, it is only this brave minority of Israelis who stand apart from the fascist crowd. Crowds like those below, which cheer the slaughter of innocents, whilst draped in their national flag. They are singing cheerfully “There is no school in Gaza tomorrow, All the children are dead!”