Should citizens be blamed for the atrocities committed against Palestinians in Gaza?
Do you believe Israeli Jews and American Jews, and for that matter citizens of countries who have voted against or abstained form voting for the ceasefire in Gaza, have blood on their hands for the atrocities that the Israeli government is committing against Palestinians in Gaza enabled by American weapons?
"Notwithstanding this ghastly record, nearly 60 percent of Israeli Jews believed a month into the assault that Israel had deployed too little force in Gaza, while less than two percent believed that Israel used too much force. Israel has a citizen army. Its combatants executing singly and en masse this genocide are broadly representative of Israeli Jewish society. In other words, overwhelmingly, Israeli Jews are either by their actions or vicariously war criminals. But there’s more. Consider the Jewish diaspora. As the genocide proceeds apace, fully 81 percent of American Jews oppose and just 12 percent support a ceasefire. (I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to the deeply inspiring Jewish youth who have stood in the forefront of the resistance to Israel’s genocide.) Based on these salient data points, it would appear “obvious that a vast number of people in the Jewish community worldwide ... are powerfully deranged.” Mr. Harris kvells that “There are 15 million Jews on Earth, most of them are impressively secular.” It happens that they are also in the grip of an impressively genocidal rage. “Most of them,” he reassures, “believe very little that would motivate them to die for their religious identity.” But they manifestly do believe enough to kill with abandon the people of Gaza on account of their religious (or is it secular—for the love of Yahweh, what difference does it make?!) identity."
I am not sure about the above position...
1) 'They voted for these governments so they are responsible for their actions'. To what extent do people have agency and self-determination? I reckon very little in this day and age... Citizens in so-called democratic countries are under the illusion of democracy. Indoctrination (manipulation of history), hate suckled with breast milk to create enemies, propaganda and censorship stand in the way of true democracy and informed opinion.
2) Even if they voted for these governments with their full intellectual capacity... Are citizens responsible for the deranged policies of their governments? Just think about government overreach during Covid... the lockdowns, school closures, masking children, coerced vaccination... are citizens responsible for these harmful policies? So when Netanyahu spews out genocidal statements like “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” or dehumanizing statements by Yoav Gallant like "Palestinians are human animals", we can't blame Israeli citizens or Jewish people for these statements. The incumbent Israeli government is a fascist racist government that believes in a jewish-only state. They will steep as low as possible to achieve their aims, to save face and salvage their political careers. We have to remember that there are many Israeli grassroots organisation like @btselem
that oppose the politics of the Israeli government and are working for reconciliation and peace and many jewish experts like @pappe54, @normfinkelstein, @DrGaborMate, @AliceRothchild who are speaking out against the Israeli atrocities.
or expressing genocidal wishes emanating from the ideology of the promised land for the chosen people
These are deranged extremist individuals. We can't lump all Israeli citizens in the same basket and we certainly can't blame judaism for such extremist deranged opinions. Otherwise, we would be making the same mistake that Islamophobes make and that is attributing the opinions/actions of extremist deranged individuals to all muslims and to Islam. We must remember that most Israeli citizens are kind people just like the rest of us and that Judaism is built on the same 10 commandments that are reiterated by Christianity and Islam and that all human rights and ethics are based upon. Listen to this Rabi distinguish between Zionism and judaism.
4) Should we really trust opinion polls? Polls are used by governments to fake public opinion. They tell the population that most people believe so and so in order to make those who don't believe in so and so to conform to that opinion. We humans don't like to stand out so we conform to what we believe the majority believes. Governments also use polls to justify their policies ("This is what the people want. We are giving the people what they want"). It's a basic behavioural science technique heavily deployed during Covid too.
Blaming Israeli citizens and jewish people is not helpful in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Maybe if we show those (because not all of them are) Israeli and Jewish people who are under the spell of "everyone hates jews" and "everyone wants to kill jews" that these beliefs that are essential to create a jewish identity of victimhood, necessary to legitimise an Israeli state that will provide protection and safety for the Jews are in fact very exaggerated beliefs resulting from propaganda... maybe when they are less afraid for their own existence, they can be more open to see the egregious atrocities committed by their government against the Palestinian people and maybe then they will have the courage to speak against them and demand a fair deal for the Palestinian people in order to reach peace.
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About the author
Abir Ballan has a Masters in Public Health, a graduate degree in special needs education and a BA in psychology. She is a children’s author with 27 books.