FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is Gaza Our Mirror?

by

Listening to the stinging condemnation of Israel by both conservatives and Labor on the floor of the British parliament on July 14, viewers in the US might well have felt they were in a different planet. Israel was excoriated for its bombing of disabled shelters, for targeting water supplies, for damaging UN shelters, and the current invasion was characterized by as one of “illegal settlements and stolen land.” It would be unimaginable for such a conversation to be carried out in the House or Senate in the US today.  I am compelled to think this is so not simply because politicians fear political suicide in taking up the cause of Israel but also because in some uncanny way the violent and inhuman destruction of Palestinian life mirrors in exaggerated fashion the inequities of our own society.

If Gaza with its 1.82 million inhabitants is the largest open air prison in the world, the US with its 2.6 million incarcerated, with an additional 4.8 million on parole or probation has by far the largest prison population in the world—far exceeding that of the arch villain of capitalist totalitarianism, China.  With almost 3% of our own population in prison or parole/probation—disproportionately populated by people of color—and a society with infamous “stand your ground” laws that make it possible to legally kill anyone one fears, it is little wonder that most of our population, politicians
included, see Israel justified in its inhuman violence against a people who are simply demanding their rights.  Moreover our own apparatuses of security are in active alliance with those of Israel. Witness a subsidiary of the Israeli company Elbit Systems, the largest supplier of military surveillance technology and drones to the Israeli military, winning a $145 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to install surveillance systems along the U.S.-Mexico border.

At a rally for Gaza in Gainesville, Florida last week, a student eloquently pointed out that what was missing in the statements of support for Gaza in the last two weeks was a recognition of the importance of Palestinian resistance. In the face of a brutal military offensive, carried out under the pretext of security, Palestinians continue to resist Israel’s draconian attempts to slowly exterminate the population by blockading Gaza and imprisoning hundreds—hence the refusal of the so-called “truce” proffered by Egypt.  They continue to press for their rights of movement, to fight against the expropriation of their lands, and to protest the wanton killings of their youth and the destruction of their homes.  They continue to remind the Israeli government of the inconvenient fact that Israel is a settler colonial State founded upon the expulsion of half of the native population and forced upon a people who have legitimate demands for liberation.  In continuing to demand their rights, Palestinians not only draw attention to their case but stand as exemplars of courage for all of us.  They teach us that injustices against people of color in our own carceral State must be resisted, as must the lack of refuge for minors seeking to cross the border and join their parents.

Over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations have called for the world community to support BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) as a means of putting pressure on the Israeli government.  As the collective punishment in Gaza continues unabated we need to work through our own organizations to support BDS. It worked in South Africa; it can work for Gaza.

Malini Johar Schueller is Professor of English at the University of Florida. She is the author most recently of Locating Race: Global Sites of Post-Colonial Citizenship and co-editor of Dangerous Professors: Academic Freedom and the National Security Campus.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 27, 2017
Darlene Dubuisson – Mark Schuller
“You Live Under Fear”: 50,000 Haitian People at Risk of Deportation
Karl Grossman
The Crash of Cassini and the Nuclearization of Space
Robert Hunziker
Venezuela Ablaze
John W. Whitehead
Trump’s America is a Constitution-Free Zone
Ron Jacobs
One Hundred Years That Shook the World
Judith Deutsch
Convenient Untruths About “Human Nature:” Can People Deal with Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons?
Don Fitz
Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Advocate for Climate Stability?
Thomas Mountain
Africa’s War Lord Queen: The Bloodstained Career of Liberia’s Eleanor Sirleaf Johnson
Binoy Kampmark
Short Choices: the French Presidential Elections
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Monetizing My Mouth
Michael Barker
Of Union Dreams and Nightmares: Cesar Chavez and Why Funding Matters
Elier Ramirez Cañedo
“Let Venezuela give me a way of serving her, she has in me a son.”
Paul Mobbs
Cellphones, WIFI and Cancer: Will Trump’s Budget Cuts Kill ‘Electrosmog’ Research?
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
The Closing of Rikers: a Survival Strategy of the Carceral State
April 26, 2017
Richard Moser
Empire Abroad, Empire At Home
Stan Cox
For Climate Justice, It’s the 33 Percent Who’ll Have to Pick Up the Tab
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Machine Called Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
The Dilemma for Intelligence Agencies
Christy Rodgers
Remaining Animal
Joseph Natoli
Facts, Opinions, Tweets, Words
Mel Gurtov
No Exit? The NY Times and North Korea
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Women on the Move: Can Three Women and a Truck Quell the Tide of Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse?
Michael J. Sainato
Trump’s Wikileaks Flip-Flop
Manuel E. Yepe
North Korea’s Antidote to the US
Kim C. Domenico
‘Courting Failure:’ the Key to Resistance is Ending Animacide
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Legacy of Lynne Stewart, the People’s Lawyer
Andrew Stewart
The People vs. Bernie Sanders
Daniel Warner
“Vive La France, Vive La République” vs. “God Bless America”
April 25, 2017
Russell Mokhiber
It’s Impossible to Support Single-Payer and Defend Obamacare
Nozomi Hayase
Prosecution of Assange is Persecution of Free Speech
Robert Fisk
The Madder Trump Gets, the More Seriously the World Takes Him
Giles Longley-Cook
Trump the Gardener
Bill Quigley
Major Challenges of New Orleans Charter Schools Exposed at NAACP Hearing
Jack Random
Little Fingers and Big Egos
Stanley L. Cohen
Dissent on the Lower East Side: the Post-Political Condition
Stephen Cooper
Conscientious Justice-Loving Alabamians, Speak Up!
Michael J. Sainato
Did the NRA Play a Role in the Forcing the Resignation of Surgeon General?
David Swanson
The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
Binoy Kampmark
Mike Pence in Oz
Peter Paul Catterall
Green Nationalism? How the Far Right Could Learn to Love the Environment
George Wuerthner
Range Riders: Making Tom Sawyer Proud
Clancy Sigal
It’s the Pits: the Miner’s Blues
Robert K. Tan
Abe is Taking Japan Back to the Bad Old Fascism
April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail