“Both Sides Are to Blame”

Area Man Diffuses Mideast Tensions

Image by Cole Keister.

Talk about Palestine, and inevitably you will come up against the persistent fallacy of its “self-defeating” tendency to embrace “violence”. This uninformed and implicitly racist assessment of Palestine’s history, its people, and their struggle, is just as often proffered by those claiming some degree of sympathy for their plight, as it is enshrined into hard right Zionist propaganda. It speaks to the success of the latter in implementing colonial-settler ideology into discourse meant to condemn it.

Palestine is the thorn in the side of ‘woke’ ideologues. They would sooner crush a Palestinian (or even a supporter) under a Pride Parade float than risk losing out on the rewards that come with excluding them from the prevailing victim-centered narratives informing academic discourse. Condemning a Kardashian Instagram selfie with critical race theory tropes, while helping to defend a theocratic apartheid regime against a barrage of projectiles lobbed over a concentration camp wall, is the paradoxical challenge every establishment liberal has to overcome in order to achieve the irrelevance necessary to remain on social media. Watch them artlessly dodge the inevitable blows that Israel delivers to anyone attempting to express solidarity with Palestinians, by prefacing it with pursed lip condemnation of “the violence on both sides”. They might add: “Such a shame that perfectly nice German soldiers were targeted by the more lawless elements of the French Resistance”. Today, often unwitting apologists for a brutal occupation force “stand with Palestine” insofar as some of them stand to urinate. It’s a familiar posture. You just have to hold your dick and aim low.

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Jennifer Matsui is a writer living in Tokyo and a columnist for the print edition of CounterPunch magazine.

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