“Those people” Gazans are not human

Those people are the scum of the earth” Mike  railed at me this morning in the shower room.

“Those people?” I replied.

Apparently  they have now reached a non-human status in poor Mike’s eyes. A secular Jew, Mike is not too dissimilar to many I meet in the Toronto diaspora.

Never having been to Gaza or the West Bank, his tribalism erupts. Because of my own background among Jewish people I do understand the attachment to Israel. But one must get beyond pure emotion and enter into an intelligent sociopolitical analysis of the situation. Many are incapable of this. Israel is no longer a state with narrow interests (and terrible leadership which is dominated by militaristic thinking) but it is a mythical state like Oz. Their blinkered supporters’ responses are  totally visceral and  they end up as almost a  paranoid  psychosis. They fly off the handle and use racist terms like Mike: “Those people”.

I told him I heard the same language used about Jews decades ago.The dehumanization sickened me. I heard it about blacks and latterly about Muslims.

“Those people” are people with a history. It is one of depopulation, ethnic cleansing as we would say today. Their country has been stolen. They live under constant fear. They are very traumatized by Israeli power.They are very sad at the world’s blindness as to their real situation. They have been refused repatriation when Jews from the US and Russia have carte blanche and instant citizenship.They are people with no army, air force, gunships or modern weaponry. In their futility they launch pathetic haphazard rockets. some sadly kill people. This is wrong. They are driven to this  resistance because of  their horrible situation, penned up in a small area with little access to the outside world,This latest insanity saw over 160 Palestinians killed, eighty-nine of them civilians. Among them were thirty-one children. Five Israelis were killed in Palestinian rocket attacks. All are children of God. None of them are “those people.”

Sharif Abdel Kouddous is an independent Egyptian journalist based in Cairo who works for Democracy Now. He   sends the following report:

The destruction of Gaza is severe. Dozens of houses, apartments blocks and offices have been reduced to rubble. The Israeli military targeted numerous civil institutions, including a main bridge on the coastal road connecting Gaza City with the rest of the enclave, as well as several police stations, farms, the Islamic National Bank, and a sprawling government compound housing ministries that once issued identification cards, passports and other official papers.

Mike doesn’t want to hear about this. Israel is simply “defending itself”! Do Palestinians have no such rights?

He  is unable to understand why some Palestinians are dealt rough justice for being traitors.It is simple. That is the nature of “those people.”

Dialogue is futile with people like Mike.They will not go and see for themselves  the ongoing humiliation.They will not go and live in Israel either. They too are victims of powerful israeli hasbara, the sophisticated propaganda disseminated around the world and parroted by shallow people like John Baird and stephen Harper. Israelis are victims of “these awful people.” Most of the world however has understood that David has become Goliath.

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    theobloke Says:

    Ted, you have a Canadian journalist who is an ally, Janice Kennedy!!
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/Canada+simplistic+Middle+East+policy/7602557/story.html


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