American Pravda: Gaza and the Antisemitism Hoax – Ron Unz 11/27/23


Over 14,000 Gazans have died from the relentless Israeli bombardment of the last few weeks, two-thirds of them women and children and almost none of them members of Hamas. That total represents the official figures of identified bodies, and with most of the local medical system destroyed and so many thousands more missing, buried under the rubble of the tens of thousands of demolished buildings, the true death toll probably already exceeds 20,000.

We are certainly witnessing the greatest televised slaughter of helpless civilians in the history of the world, with nothing even remotely comparable coming to mind. Over the last two years of the bitter war in Ukraine, a Russian missile fired at a military target occasionally caused twenty or forty civilian deaths as accidental collateral damage, and the resulting story spent days dominating the global headlines, then sometimes suddenly vanished once evidence appeared that an errant Ukrainian missile had actually been responsible.

By contrast, what we are now seeing is the deliberate massacre of civilians, aimed at driving out the Palestinians living in Gaza and rendering their enclave uninhabitable. Most of Gaza’s hospitals and medical facilities have been eliminated, and when the Jordanians established field hospitals in South Gaza, those too were bombarded. Schools, bakeries, and other facilities necessary for continued human existence have also been deliberately destroyed, along with the bulk of the housing stock, while the Israelis have blocked the inhabitants from any access to food, water, and fuel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly identified his Palestinian adversaries as the tribe of Amalek, whom the Hebrew God had commanded be exterminated down to the last newborn baby, and many of his country’s other political leaders have used equally genocidal language, with one Cabinet minister suggesting that Israel utilize its illegal nuclear arsenal to eradicate Gaza and its population. Polls show that more than 80% of Israeli Jews support their government’s extremely harsh military measures, hoping to see all the Palestinians killed or expelled.

More and more evidence has steadily accumulated that a majority, perhaps even a large majority of the Israeli civilians killed in the Hamas attack died at the hands of their own country’s trigger-happy military, the victims of tank shells and Hellfire missiles. So the actual number of unarmed Israeli civilians killed by Hamas fighters might have been as low as just 100 to 200, suggesting that the body-count of Palestinian civilians is at least 100 times larger. Yet despite this 100-to-1 casualty ratio, a recent front-page article in the New York Times by longtime correspondent Roger Cohen treated the tragedy in less than even terms, with a decided tilt towards the Israelis.

In recent years, public life in America and the rest of the West has become inordinately sensitive to the nuances of political correctness, with many regarding the misuse of pronouns as morally unconscionable. Therefore, the widespread graphic images on social media of the public slaughter of so many thousands of helpless babies and children has produced considerable unease, with well over half of Democrats being critical of these developments along with a substantial minority of Republicans.

Back in 2015, the widely broadcast image of a single, accidentally-drowned Syrian toddler led European governments to open their borders to millions of migrants, both from Syria and from everywhere else in the world, mostly young men in the prime of health. Greater Syria had traditionally encompassed Palestinian Gaza, so if a single accidental victim from the former had such enormous, nation-transforming political impact throughout Europe, surely the images of the many thousands deliberately killed in the latter must at least be raising a few personal concerns, though since some of these countries have prohibited expressions of pro-Palestinian sentiment, it’s difficult to be sure.

Many European Jews have wholeheartedly backed the Jewish State even as it commits this gigantic public massacre, and this has naturally provoked a certain amount of popular criticism. Deeply concerned by this latter situation, the New York Times last week ran yet another major article on the desperate need to combat such “anti-Semitic” sentiments in Europe, obviously one of the world’s most dreadful problems.

A few days ago, I’d asked an American academic friend of mine how his colleagues were reacting to this astonishing situation and he replied:

People are too scared to broadcast their views, I think…But I think a good fraction of even normie academics realize there is something monstrous going on.

This sounds plausible to me, and another senior academic I know reported a roughly similar situation. Fear stalks the land.

Students at our most elite universities have been threatened with permanent employment blacklisting if they supported the Palestinian cause, and a long list of Jewish billionaires have mounted similar attacks against the academic institutions themselves, something I cannot recall ever happening in the past. As a result, a legal analysis article commissioned and approved for publication in the prestigious Harvard Law Review was scrapped at the last moment.

From its earliest roots in the terroristic Irgun, Israel’s ruling Likud party has always endorsed the creation of a Greater Israel—“From the River to the Sea”—proclaiming that territory must be placed under Jewish rule, with all non-Jews subjugated, expelled, or killed. But in recent decades, progressive anti-Zionists have co-opted that same ambiguous slogan, using it to symbolize their goal of a unified country of Palestine, a secular democratic state providing equal rights for both Jews and non-Jews, two populations of similar size. This would naturally involve the dissolution of the existing Jewish state, absolute anathema to committed Zionists.

Propelled by the horrific images of dead babies in Gaza, this controversial phrase soon began trending among anti-Zionists on Twitter along with talk of “decolonizing” the Israeli settler-state. Wilting under intense Zionist attacks, owner Elon Musk—the world’s wealthiest man—declared that these rather vague and innocuous progressive slogans constituted incitement to “genocide,” with their use being grounds for an immediate ban from his platform. By contrast, I haven’t heard that Musk has banned any of the Israeli politicians or activists publicly calling for the total annihilation of all Palestinians.

Famed Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon had spent decades as a prominent progressive activist, involved in a very wide range of political causes, many of them denounced as “anti-American” by her conservative opponents, and she earned the enthusiastic praise of her peers for her commitment. Yet when she recently showed some public sympathy for the Palestinians, a helpless people now being butchered by the thousands and perhaps soon by the tens of thousands, she was summarily “cancelled” by her longtime talent agency, and others have suffered a similar fate. Around the same time, Maha Dahkil, one of Hollywood’s top talent agents, was demoted and nearly fired for similar reasons. Even before the current fighting began, 80-year-old leftist rockstar Roger Waters of Pink Floyd had been vilified in the international media for supporting Palestinian rights and even bizarrely threatened with a German arrest warrant for supposedly glorifying Nazism.

The lethal accusation of “anti-Semitism” is the charge leveled against all of these individuals, and fear of suffering a similar fate surely keeps a vast number of their like-minded peers silent. In our current Western world, that indictment carries the same weight as “congress with Lucifer” might have held in the Old Salem of the Witch-Trials era.

I discovered that such timidity even extends to many alternative websites and left-liberal bloggers. Although the horrific events in the Israel/Gaza conflict have totally dominated the global headlines during the last few weeks, I’d become rather disappointed that the coverage of such matters had seemed relatively subdued and circumspect.

The Moon of Alabama blogger had fearlessly reported so many controversial facts about the Ukraine war and other important matters, but a few days ago he ran a rather apologetic post entitled “There Are Certain Things I Can Not Write About,” opening with:

I have tried to write about Gaza. But I am too aghast, outraged and depressed to create a sensible piece.

So instead of coming up with something by myself I will leave you with a few links…

Given that the blogger is a German living in Germany, he may have also reasonably feared a knock on the door and a prison cell if he were too candid in his views.

Although the Naked Capitalism blogsite was originally launched with a heavy economics focus, other topics regularly constitute a substantial majority of the total content, and I’d therefore been disappointed at the lack of heavy Gaza coverage. However, its proprietor Yves Smith finally published a good post last Wednesday, arguing that the proposed truce and prisoner exchange might merely represent a bump in the road for Israel’s success in achieving its extreme objectives, with her closing sentences reading:

Perhaps enough international pressure could eventually be brought on the US to get us to finally pull Israel’s choke chain. But by then, it seems highly likely that Israel will have established facts on the ground in Gaza (deaths plus built environment destruction) for Israel to have decisively won in its aim of removing substantial numbers of Palestinians from Israel permanently.

I only very rarely glance at the resulting discussion-threads, but for some reason I did so this time, and I noticed this exchange between a commenter and Lambert Strether, one of the bloggers:

cnchal: The choke chain runs the other way. Since the “globalists” sit at the top of the economic heap they could induce an instantaneous world wide depression with a capital strike. Now, where would Biden be if that happened?

Fifteen to twenty thousand dead Palestinians so far and another million, nine hundred and eighty five thousand to go, then off to the West Bank for moar is the trajectory. Peace in the desert will be achieved eventually on the globalist’s terms.

Lambert Strether: The only way that your “choke chain” comment makes sense to me is if “‘globalist’” (your quotes) is a euphemism for (capitalist) Jews, since in general, global capital is doing very well for itself right now. Therefore, there’s no reason for capitalists qua capitalists to stage a strike. Since this euphemism is both analytically false and politically destructive, please clarify your usage of the term.

cnchal: Yes, my use of the word globalist in this context is a substitute for the word Jew…

Lambert Strether: Your statement is anti-semitic. We can’t have that here. We’re not entertaining it. (It’s also just analytically terrible and destructive, positing as it does that the first loyalty of capitalists is not to capital, absurd on its face.)

Go away.

And that goes for anyone else with the same view.

UPDATE And if anyone’s thinking of sneaking this false construct through using artful language, don’t even try it. Our moderators are good at doping out things like that, and we’ll whack you, too.

The Jews of Israel are currently committing one of the worst public massacres in the history of the world, with the actions of their government loudly cheered on by many or most of the Jewish elites and populations of Europe and America, but taking notice of that obvious fact even using euphemistic constructs is regarded as a mortal sin. In a 2018 article, I described this sort of bizarre reaction now so widespread across the West:

I believe one factor is that over the years and the decades, our dominant media organs of news and entertainment have successfully conditioned most Americans to suffer a sort of mental allergic reaction to topics sensitive to Jews, which leads to all sorts of issues being considered absolutely out of bounds. And with America’s very powerful Jewish elites thereby insulated from almost all public scrutiny, Jewish arrogance and misbehavior remain largely unchecked and can increase completely without limit.

This distressing media landscape also exemplifies a very shrewd aphorism widely misattributed to Voltaire:

To know who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

As these examples suggest, the accusation of “anti-Semitism” has become an enormously powerful political weapon in today’s West, wielded by Jewish and pro-Israel groups as a trump card that still seems to carry the day against all others. So the historical reality of that concept is an important and interesting topic, one that I had discussed at length in a pair of 2018 articles….

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