Home | About | Donate

How the Left Also Dehumanises Palestinians in Gaza


How the Left Also Dehumanises Palestinians in Gaza

Susan Abulhawa

Along the political spectrum, from the far left to extreme right, and spanning racial and ethnic lines, nearly everyone who has something to say about protesters in Gaza seems to fail the task of recognising Palestinian humanity. If it's coming from the right, the narrative is of terrorists, rockets and Hamas, a legitimate Palestinian resistance fully cemented as the Boogieman in the western imagination.



Once again proving that Palestinians also have some things to teach us. Much of the critique is applicable to the media propaganda machine and the subtlety of observation is well taken. Many activists are tuned in to discernment and appropriate articulate response, but there is always a need to challenge and sharpen perceptions.
The “government” of the US has been working assiduously for a very long time to render us - and the world at large - ineducable as a society. This will be a struggle engaged for the rest my life - and probably that of many others.



I see it as a difference between left and right. From the right denial is a form of coverup.
From the left, a form of enlightenment.
There is always room for improvement since we are all so flawed.

1 Like


“It must be said again and again that our struggle against our tormentors is legitimate in every form, whether nonviolent or violent.”

Surely, it is universally accepted that there is no military solution for the Palestinians against Israel.

And we have seen that these relatively ineffectual rocket attacks always result in a revenge attack from Israel well beyond any proportionate response. In reality, they strengthen Israel by reinforcing the Zionist propaganda that it is the Israelis who are the ones under siege.

Can some one suggest a reason why when the non-violent fence protests are exposing the true aggressors, why any Palestinian should advocate getting involved in violent action?

One aspect that dehumanizes the Palestinian people is to patronize them by accepting that some of their groups and organisations are above reproach and cannot be criticized when they are in fact part of the problem.



Your argument that these relatively ineffectual rocket attacks do nothing but facilitate Israeli government propaganda and thus being ‘part of the problem’ implies that omitting rocket attacks by any Palestinian source over the years just may have resulted in lessening the crimes against humanity Israel has perpetrated for generation after generation, as charged by international bodies. I don’t think those who make themselves at least somewhat familiar with the topic, to include yourself, would believe that for a second. Israel has broken cease fire agreements, initiated violence all as a pretext to get a Palestinian ‘response’ and then ‘justify’ a military assault. But that its absence would have had any serious effects on Israel’s plans for expansion and subjugation seems very unlikely.

The only way Israel would have had its criminality effected is by world pressure. And the whole world has known for over half a century just what has been happening to the Palestinians. Yet it’s an open secret, the Israeli government has even flaunted it, that the rest of the world can think whatever it wants as long as Uncle Sam is protecting Israel’s south side. It’s not unlike the situation that existed with apartheid South Africa. It wasn’t until US lawmakers made the effort and changed direction from that of the racist Ronald Reagan that the shield for S. Africa was broken.

The problem lies right here, in the ‘bastion of democracy’. Where so many other problems reside. Even dying empires are dangerous.

1 Like


Certainly, you are right, eyewitness, that politically, stopping the rockets would have little influence on Israel’s annexation plans. Materially, they are a minor irritant to Israel but as I said they reverse the narrative and turn Israeli military action into self-defence. We see the results in the Israeli elections - a contest between war mongers.

I’m old enough to remember the various liberation organisations’ hijackings of aircraft and their role in drawing attention to the existence of a Palestinian resistance when there was no media coverage of the Palestinian plight.

I see no such constructive role in the rocket attacks.

The non-violence of the fence protestors has not stopped their murders by army snipers. Because one side is committed to non-violence does not necessarily mean the other side follows suit. The fact that Israel has to wage an extensive propaganda campaign of lies to justify the killings demonstrate how effective such a non-violence strategy is.

But one thing ending those rocket attacks would do is reduce the casualty cost upon Palestinians when Israel retaliates.

Still I do await an actual answer to why such groups practice such tactics and why people such as the author accepts the principle of a futile violence strategy as legitimate.



I keep falling victim to there only being 24 hrs in a day. One result is getting behind on answering emails.

The Palestinians have be occupied since 1967. There has been an embargo, a near total blockade on the Palestinians for a generation. Nothing going out and barely enough permitted to enter to keep the population alive. Their water is contaminated. Sanitation and and health services are virtually non-existent. Unemployment is more than double employment. They live under an apartheid reality. And before the second half of the 20th century even started they were removed from their home land by force and terrorism. A population greater than the present size of of Denver or Boston or Seattle was expelled. I’ve written a gathering of information in the CD comments a few times when countering some particularly vulgar lies and distortions of history by Israeli apologists. We are compelled by human decency to ‘un-redact’ false history, because we know all too well that truth is often the first casualty.

(Palestinians: 70 Years of Suffering)

I can’t tell you or anyone why some Palestinians seem to ignore the logic that you and others see so clearly from our detached vantage point. However, considering what the Palestinians have lived through for generations, what they’re born into, the rape and theft of their land, their livelihood, their culture, their very society, the vilification directed at them for just living, the lack of action by the rest of the world, the criminal commission of US policy because they (the Palestinians) are not “in the interests of the US”, how can we, in our privileged positions, judge some of their actions as if it were a chess game?

While your comments seem to be addressing the efficacy of Palestinians using violence, you appear to disagree on the author’s position that resistance is legitimate. It would seem that in the shared Israeli/Palestinian history, the charge of lacking legitimacy would be directed at the source that has occupied another people’s land for generations while committing international human right violations for most of a century. Palestinian resistance to obtain their own freedom, a freedom stolen from them, is legitimate. One can debate strategies and tactics and what’s more or less effective but the legitimacy to resist is not in question.



I think most of the “rocket” attacks are false flag events.