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This is unfortunately one of the few essays that reflect what a tragedy the never ending war between Palestinians and Israelis truly is. Both sides believe their terrible actions are completely justified by the terrible actions of the other. But instead of ratcheting the violence down, as happened in Ireland, both sides keep raising the level of violence.

At the moment, Israel is far stronger militarily than the Palestinians, but with every bomb it drops on the Palestinians, Israel destroys more of what made it a unique country.

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To maintain your humanity, you need to set aside ideas of justice, what's happening is a matter of revenge. “𝘏𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴.” -𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘶𝘤𝘪𝘶𝘴

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Mar 4·edited Mar 4Author

I think for a lot of the people arguing in favour of the continued bombardment this is about revenge. And fear.

But I actually think it goes a step further for Netanyahu and his fellow extremists. For them, Hamas provided cover for them to do what they've been wanting to do for decades: wipe out Gaza, kick all of the Palestinians out, and eventually settle the land.

We've already seen the pace and brazenness of settler brutality pick up in the West Bank. 400 Palestinians there have been killed. There's no way to justify this (or even the indiscriminate nature of the response in Gaza), by talking about Hamas' attack. As despicable as it was. But it makes perfect sense if your goal is ethnic cleansing. Slowly but surely, I think the people who blindly defended it are realising that.

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I think you're right. Netanyahu and his even more right wing crazies are taking a play from whoever said "Never let a crisis go to waste."

And unfortunately, Biden's too mired in the old story of "poor Israel, surrounded by enemies" to push back against them. Think of how embarrassing it is that we had to resort to airdrops to get trivial amounts of food into Gaza because our supposed *ally* won't cooperate in preventing the mass starvation of civilians in plain view of the world. And the levels of aid we're sending are far too low to actually change anything anyway.

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Completely agreed. But there’s hope. Kamala’s public call for a ceasefire is huge.

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Mar 11Liked by Steve QJ

I fear we may be too late to answer your last question. The moral high Ground is such a coveted place, and people will commit all sorts of amoral acts to lay claim to it.

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Well said.

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Hear, hear!

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Mar 4Liked by Steve QJ

Thank you for this.

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Yes. These are also examples of ethnic cleansing.

The fact that Jews have faced ethnic cleansing in the past does not mean that Israel is incapable of doing the same to others. Or should be exonerated when it does so.

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Mar 5·edited Mar 6

Yet, when it happens to Jews…crickets…or the continual victim blaming. Not to mention the indiscriminate targeting of Jewish people worldwide for the actions of Israel—a sovereign nation.

The majority of the world body has a fetish-like obsession with Israel, and Jews by proxy. If you don’t believe there’s a double-standard placed on Jews, what evidence would convince you otherwise? Are you familiar with the “Antisemitism tax” faced by Jewish communities worldwide?

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Mar 5·edited Mar 5Author

"Yet, when it happens to Jews…crickets…or the continual victim blaming"

God, this persecution complex is so gross and tiresome. There are genocides taking place, right now, in Myanmar and Sudan to name but two. There are crickets from the media there too. The attention of the world can't be everywhere at once. And certainly not on examples of ethnic cleansing that happened 70 years ago. Otherwise, we'd hear a lot more about the Nakba.

And yes, I stand as firmly against the persecution of Jews worldwide for the actions of Israel as anybody else. This is absolutely wrong and is done by idiots and bigots.

But the reason Israel comes under scrutiny, as it should, is A) because it has the fourth strongest military in the world and regularly uses that military to commit and abet breaches of International law, and B) because many countries in the West are sending Israel weapons and money and therefore have a direct interest in whether it's using them to commit genocide.

And also, speaking of victim blaming, because Israel and its blind defenders are trying to place the entire blame for this mess on the Palestinians instead of recognising the enormous role it's playing in the violence in that region.

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I'll refer to a frequent theme from me; dehumanization of "the enemy." When the problem is the warmongers within a government, but the enemy becomes the people governed by it. A balm for the conscience when you seek to kill them all. They are [dehumanizing slur goes here].

The victim/oppressor thing has become so extreme that it is becoming indistinguishable from insanity.

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Mar 6·edited Mar 6

“God, this persecution complex is so gross and tiresome."

Persecution complex. That’s a very disappointing and really low blow—hard-core gaslighting. I respect your writing and general approach to objectivity, but this statement shows an utter disregard—borderline contempt—for 1700+ years of combined embedded, systemic religious-based oppression between the gears of Christianity and Islam that still impacts Jews. This a reason it was so easy for the holocaust to happen in throughout Europe, and why it would have happened throughout the middle east and north Africa had the Nazis maintained control over the region. Jews in the middle east and north Africa were rounded up and sent to death camps in Europe in the places the Nazis were present.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Catholic Church changed course and stopped blaming Jews for the death of Jesus.

In the U.S, where I am, Jews are 2% of the total population and experience about 60% of all religious based hate crimes. The rates of Anti-Jewish hate crimes in England continue to skyrocket. Jews are being attacked on a daily basis throughout Europe for being visibly Jewish.

We’re under continuous assault from White Supremacy and Jihadism (the latter being a fast growing problem in the west)

Primary schools, college/universities, and even corporations are being bombarded with discrimination suits because of their failures to address incidents of Antisemitism. They let it happen. Where were the “allies?”

So please don’t Jew-splain my experience and history to me or any other Jew. My history is Jewish history—not white, black, asian, or any other history—it goes back much further than 75 years and spans multiple continents.

"There are genocides taking place, right now, in Myanmar and Sudan to name but two. “The attention of the world can't be everywhere at once.”

Right. You are an incredible writer/influencer/thinker with a significant following. You certainly have the power and influence to bring attention to the other horrible issues that deserve as much, if not more attention. You could have easily chosen any other example to better prove your point than piling on to the Arab/Israeli noise.

“And yes, I stand as firmly against the persecution of Jews worldwide for the actions of Israel as anybody else. This is absolutely wrong and is done by idiots and bigots.

Yes, you made explicitly clear when you mentioned how “this persecution complex is so gross and tiresome.” It’s like you’re dripping with empathy.

Many of those idiots and bigots you mention above are in DEI leadership positions and educators/indoctrinators in universities. Hence the inaction on addressing antisemitism. I’ve experienced some of them first hand in the various trainings I’ve attended. They mask their Jew-hatred as social justice.

Based on my experiences, and those of fellow Jews, very few people, if any know that there’s a difference between Jewish and Israeli. People who should know better, like those in DEI industry don’t.

“There are crickets from the media there too. Certainly not on examples of ethnic cleansing that happened 70 years ago. Otherwise, we'd hear a lot more about the Nakba.”

Not sure who which “we” you’re talking about. The U.N. certainly recognizes it and brings awareness, as do lots of Anti-Israel college campus groups. Perhaps a reason you don’t hear as much about the Nakba as you think appropriate is because its premise is that Israel’s existence is equal to Palestinian genocide. That’s why it’s on the same day as Israeli Independence day.

"But the reason Israel comes under scrutiny, as it should, is A) because it has the fourth strongest military in the world and regularly uses that military to commit and abet breaches of International law…

Yes, Israel, should be held to account. But why is Israel held to a much higher level of scrutiny that nations that have far worse records on human rights. And why are known Jew haters allowed to be a the helm of committees that draft human rights resolutions and run the inquiries? The U.N. is the world’s largest anti-Jewish organization. And again, given the broadly assumed conflation of Jewish identity with Israeli, it creates hostile environments for Jews worldwide.

Try holding North Korea, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Myanmar, China, Libya, Algeria, etc. to the same international laws, standards on human rights, racism, political freedom, or any other rights and liberties you take for granted living in a western society. Better yet, try boycotting all the products that are made in those countries.

"B) because many countries in the West are sending Israel weapons and money and therefore have a direct interest in whether it's using them to commit genocide."

And Russia has been feeding their Arab League nation clients, their guerrilla proxies, and Iran and its proxies, with weapons and money for them to continue their attempts at genocide of Jews.

With the exception of France, the U.S. and its allies did not start providing offering military aid to Israel until the 1960s, and even that was begrudgingly. This a strategic decision to keep the Soviet Union in check. The Arab nations were flooded with the latest Soviet military hardware, and Soviet military advisors. The Middle East region was/is as much as cold war proxy as South East Asia, and a money maker for the Russian arms industry.

When the Arab nations attacking Israel with best Soviet hardware and tactics were repeatedly defeated militarily, it was an embarrassment to the Soviet Union. That caused the Soviets to switch tactics from military to PR. Inspired by anti-black racism in the U.S., this gave birth to the "Zionism is racism" movement. Far more successful and enduring than anything militarily.

All that said, should the U.S. and western allies stop supplying Egypt and Jordan with the equal amounts of aid they give Israel? Egypt and Jordan, the previous occupiers of Gaza and West Bank respectively share the burden of containing Palestinians at their borders and restricting access.

"And also, speaking of victim blaming, because Israel and its blind defenders are trying to place the entire blame for this mess on the Palestinians instead of recognising the enormous role it's playing in the violence in that region."

I think you’re omitting the enormous role that Iran, Qatar, and even Russia play in the violence in the region. And yes, Israel certainly shares the blame for its missteps.

Anyway, this is all the time and energy to respond for the moment. Writing is not my primary profession (obvious from the typos and grammar). But for real real, that was a super shitty thing you said about persecution complex. I am certainly tired and beaten up from the double-standards applied to Jews, being in the cross fire of White Supremacists and Islamist Extremists, and being expected to be an apologist for Israel because I’m Jewish.

Steve, maybe you should learn more about Jewish history, and the multitude of Jewish identity beyond a western lens and the holocaust. I’d be happy to provide some recommendations.

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Mar 6·edited Mar 6Author

“ That’s a very disappointing and really low blow—hard-core gaslighting.”

If you’re familiar with my writing, you’ll know that one of my core principles is that you don’t get to hide behind group oppression forever. I don’t indulge this for black people invoking Emmett Till and slavery every time they want to justify some stupid idea about persecuting white people, I don’t indulge it when terrorism apologists use the Nakba to try to justify Hamas, I don’t indulge it from trans people when they ignore women’s rights and safety, and I don’t indulge it from Jews when they want to justify something atrocity Israel is committing.

As I said above, and as you seem to want people to have the intelligence to do, I don’t blame Jews in general for Israel’s actions. That would be antisemitic and stupid. But the flip side of that is I don’t allow Israel or Israelis to use Jewish oppression throughout history as cover for atrocities. Again, every holocaust survivor I’ve heard speak on the topic shares this view.

So I’m not denying that millions of Jews, none of whom were you, have been horribly persecuted at various points throughout history. I’m saying that none of that, NONE of it, excuses what Israel is doing right now.

None of it justifies the Israeli politicians and journalists calling Palestinians “cockroaches” and worse. Or the Israelis screaming “Death to the Arabs” and other horrible racist epithets (https://youtu.be/b0faSzYcmbM?si=De1hI8f7CXC4ENJJ). As the Israeli defence minister said at the time, “it is inconceivable that one could hold the Israeli flag in one hand and shout ‘death to the Arabs’ at the same time. This is neither Judaism or Israeliness…these people are a disgrace to Israel.”

None of it justifies the Israeli citizens who are forming human barriers, right now, to prevent aid from reaching the starving, innocent people in Gaza (https://youtu.be/pyGyrz06ljg?si=PZTr3Z8iqCB4YpXe).

None of it justifies the settlers and their prolonged, despicable campaign of violence against innocent Palestinians on their own land. Or the IDF and Israeli government for supporting it.

So I’m sorry if you find it disappointing. But I simply can’t stomach people talking about things that happened 1700 years ago, or even 80 years ago in another country, to justify this brutality. I don’t have any patience for people who use the Nakba to try to justify Hamas’ actions either.

So I understand the instinct to defend Israel if you’re Jewish. Truly. But there has to be a limit to the atrocities you’ll justify. And I’m increasingly saddened, and honestly, a little sickened, to discover there seems to be absolutely no limit to what some people will defend.

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Mar 6Liked by Steve QJ

To your credit, you are the only writer who has compelled me to comment anywhere on the internet.

Things that happened 1,700+ years ago are stilling impacting Jews today—that’s why they are systemic. That is the ongoing, and mutating legacy of millennia of Jew-hatred. It’s not a sole identity, but it is what we carry. It's what we've adapted to in the diaspora to survive as a people.

To be clear, I am not defending what Israel is doing, its government, or policies. Like many American Jews, supporting Israel is about supporting it's right to exist as a Jewish homeland in a small fraction of its biblical footprint, along side a sovereign Palestinian nation.

I live in the U.S. There's more than enough crap to fix here, and opportunities to be an example of how people can live peacefully as neighbors, regardless of their differences.

Anyway, I'm closing out with this post. Hit me up for sushi and beverages if you're ever in the Baltimore/DC area.

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A guess here: the author of this article is another soft hands professional opinion haver who’s never served in a military ground force. His hypothetical wreaks of notional nonsense uninformed by blood, sweat and tears.

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Mar 9·edited Mar 10Author

Haha, guilty as charged. Well, my hands aren't soft, but I do get paid for expressing my opinions. And no, I've never served in the military. Of course, nor have most people speaking about this conflict. Historians, politicians, your run-of-the-mill grifters. Many of whom you likely agree with. So do you have a point? Or are you resorting to ad hominems because you don't?

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Yes, my point is this. If I came at you with a hundred men, to kill your extended family, and we killed 10, then retreated, your family would be wise to pursue us and either get our surrender or kill us all, thus ensuring that we could never do it again. That’s what Israel is doing, knucklehead. Go chop some wood and build those callouses.

Germany in WW2? They really did have concerns for the Germans living outside the borders of the Reich. But that was heavily co-mingled with a desire to restore the borders of the old German Empire (and more). The Germans arranged a false flag attack on a German radio transmitter on the border with Poland, to justify their invasion of Poland. I don’t see evidence of Israel creating a false flag operation that killed ~1200 of their own citizens. But hey, you can write anything on Substack.

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Mar 9·edited Mar 10Author

"If I came at you with a hundred men, to kill your extended family, and we killed 10, then retreated, your family would be wise to pursue us and either get our surrender or kill us all, thus ensuring that we could never do it again"

Of course! I couldn't agree more! But that's not quite what's happening here is it?

To improve your analogy, this is like 30 men coming from the next town over and killing ten members of my family, and me responding by indiscriminately killing three hundred of the people in that town, maiming around seven hundred more, destroying countless homes, cutting off access to food, water, medicine and power, and making videos on TikTok mocking them while 150 of their children starve and die.

But it gets better!

The people in that town? I've trapped them in there! I blockaded them there by land, air and sea for 17 years, subjected them to oppressive, international law-breaking military rule, and have killed tens of times more members of their family over the past 75 years than they've killed of mine.

And let's not forget their extended family in the nearby town of "West Bankia." Since the attack, I've killed 400 of them too! Why? No reason, they weren't involved, but I've been systematically stealing land from them for decades too, killing them as needs be, and this seems like a good excuse to crack down on them.

*That's* what Israel is doing.

I have no problem with Israel destroying Hamas. I have a problem with tens of thousands of innocent people who *aren’t* Hamas being wilfully slaughtered. And I have a problem with people acting as if the history of this conflict started on Oct 7th. The goal for any sane person here is a lasting peace. I wish both Israelis and Palestinians every success in this. But you can't demand peace while your foot is on somebody's neck.

p.s. Seems like you didn't understand the point being made in the introduction. But hey, anybody can read articles on Substack.

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Where did you deploy for your combat experience?

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I did not deploy. Did you go to Ranger School (and lose 30 pounds)? Did you serve in a light infantry unit? Did you sleep on the ground under your ‘cho liner and wake with snow accumulation on top of you? Do not test me - I am not going to stand for it. I put my butt on the line, suffered, and had no guarantee on how it would turn out.

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"Do not test me - I am not going to stand for it. I put my butt on the line, suffered, and had no guarantee on how it would turn out."

Why don't you chill out William. We're quite a nice bunch here. Nobody's going to "test" anybody on the internet.

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I was just curious if your attitude toward Arabs/Muslims was because of your combat experience.

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No, it’s due to my understanding of history, culture, & religion. Hamas is in the grips of an honor culture downward spiral (think Hatfields and McCoys), and like a fever breaks after holding some exceedingly high value for a time, I am hoping that the downward honor culture spiral will also break (or exhaust itself), at which point they may be open to creating a justice culture (with justice meaning the Judeo-Christian notion of honoring God’s judgment, not the judgment of men - obviously a large hurdle for Muslims to clear).

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The roots of the current global Zeitgeist can be found in the "survival of the fittest, there isn't enough to go around" ethic that was popularized by Darwin and others of his time. Standing on the premise that the "earth is the result of random events," the science of war proceeded for two hundred years with a scientific endorsement.

When people realize they are eternal beings engaged in a brief mortal experience; when they grasp the fact that they are Gods in microcosm, just like the beings that created this earth, perhaps a global awakening will be upon us.

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