Today is “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” which is perfect timing. I recently wrote a letter to a friend, to rebut some of the criminally lazy Zionist talking points that are making the rounds, and I thought I would post a generic version of this letter for my loyal audience.
Dear confused Zionist, ...Before I address each of your claims, point by point, I want to say that the allegations against Israel are incredibly serious and it bears considering whether you are so sure about what you're saying that even allegations of genocide and torture, do not warrant from you a couple earnest hours of steel manning the critical literature? -------------------- Claim 1: "the IDF are not rapists and thugs". The IDF is a conscript army comprising all kinds of people, from the well intentioned to the extreme psychopath. That's the reality of armies. Does the IDF have a well documented history of sexual violence? Yes. Both inside the IDF and against Palestinians. And it's a big problem. A major component is probably coming from these "Rabbinical Fatwas" ordained by the IDF chief rabbi's interpretation of extreme statements about "goyim" found in the Talmud. It's indefensible. https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-taps-chief-rabbi-who-once-seemed-to-permit-wartime-rape/ https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-691641 https://jordantimes.com/opinion/ramzy-baroud/untold-story-abuse-palestinian-women-hebron https://www.arabnews.com/node/299646 Claim 2: "Hamas brainwashes children". Let's say this is true, there is a context that facilitates this: the total annihilation of hope imposed on young people in Palestine by a brutal siege. Further, one could easily say the same thing about Israel, which pours enormous resources into propaganda. Hamas has also taken steps to tone down its initial charter, such that it is more focused on self-determination for Palestinians, and not the destruction of Jews. That is a fact. This particular fact is anti-Jewish to the extent that Judaism is relentlessly conflated with Zionist expansion for propaganda purposes. It is true that Hamas is explicitly anti-Zionist by any means available, and they do want to dismantle the state of Israel. After watching the genocide in Gaza for the last 50 days I think it's fair to say that it is not just Hamas that isn't in love with the state of Israel. It's also worth acknowledging that international law does allow for people under military occupation to fight back. And Gaza is effectively an occupation due to it being enclosed, even if Israel is not the day to day authority. Also, the origin story of Hamas is hardly something Israelis can honestly sweep under the rug. Started by the orphans of Zionist massacres. Nurtured by people like Netanyahu to undermine Palestinian moderates. "Hamas, in their 1988 covenant, purposefully fused these two struggles into one against the Jews and Israel....In contrast, the 2017 covenant denies the connection in its only direct mention of Jews everywhere..." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas_Charter https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_resist Claim 3: "since 1948 there has been non-stop terrorism aimed at Israel". Nobody serious supports terrorism, like for example, the attack on the King David hotel, or Count Bernadotte being assassinated by the Stern gang, as well as suicide bombers. Are the non-stop expansionist policies that simply allow settlers to steal the land and houses of the indigenous Palestinians a form of terrorism? Palestinians feel terrorized by it, and it's all illegal under international law and has been condemned many dozens of times by the UN. Let's get serious about the direction that most of the terrorism is being directed. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel Claim 4: "the Palestinians have rejected all these various peace plans over the years, so this is their own fault". In each case there were excellent reasons to reject these "offers". For example, if you actually look at the offer made at the Camp David accords, it was completely grotesque, and the very definition of Apartheid. Even the minister of foreign affairs Shlmo Ben Ami later admitted it was a shit deal. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_peace_process Claim 5: "expect to have been raped just for raving". Possibly, but Israel has provided very little evidence of this, took almost no measures to preserve or disclose that evidence, and have already had many aspects of their account of Oct 7 discredited. There were no "40 beheaded babies" discovered, nor any babies found in ovens, for example. Yes, rape might happen during a big prison break, which is part of why it would be better to not imprison the people of Gaza. The primary tactics employed by Hamas relate to defensive urban combat, not sexual violence. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/10/israel-womens-groups-warn-of-failure-to-keep-evidence-of-sexual-violence-in-hamas-attacks https://m.jpost.com/israel-news/article-772181 Claim 6: "Hamas gets millions of dollars from Iran and have helicopters, millions of guns, and all the basic necessities of life they could want or need". Even if Iran supplies Hamas with millions of dollars, and training, and "helicopters", this is an absolute joke compared to western support of Israel, and Israel punishingly controls what goes in and out of Gaza. A Gazan can't even buy a surfboard, let alone threaten Israel with some helicopter. Ridiculous. https://www.npr.org/2023/10/26/1208456496/iran-hamas-axis-of-resistance-hezbollah-israel https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-11-18/ty-article/.premium/israeli-security-establishment-hamas-likely-didnt-have-prior-knowledge-of-nova-festival Claim 7: "Israel's prisoners were violent criminals, not innocents like Hamas's hostages". The majority of Israel's returned hostages were held without charge as administrative detainees. Many were children when they were taken. The "violent crimes" of these people are very difficult to evaluate since Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank do not have access to the same level of justice as Israeli citizens. One woman, Israa Jaabis, was returned by Israel burned terribly all over her body, having been held for attempted murder, but all we know is that she was in a car accident that resulted in her getting burned up, and which may have been a suicide by cop attempt. Okay. That's possibly a violent criminal given her circumstances? And what about all the children Israel was holding hostage? Children alleged to have been tortured by solitary confinement at least. "A Save the Children report earlier this year found that the majority of Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military who we consulted experienced physical and emotional abuse, including being beaten (86%), threatened with harm (70%), held in solitary confinement (60%) or hit with sticks or guns (60%). Some children reported sexual violence and abuse, and 69% reported being strip searched during interrogation." https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/save-children-condemns-exploitation-children-geopolitical-end-first-group-child-hostages-and-child-detainees-released https://www.forbes.com/sites/willskipworth/2023/11/25/israel-released-39-palestinian-prisoners-heres-what-we-know-about-them/ Claim 8: "there is a massive surge in anti-semitism around the world, which just goes to show how serious Israelis need to take their own protection". There is definitely a massive surge in anti-Zionism. Many of the protests are being led by Jewish groups, and leading Israel critics are Jewish themselves. Anti-semitism is routinely denounced at protests and the protestors have massively established this as a norm. The idea that the protests in the west are pro Hamas, as opposed to pro Palestinian self-determination, is complete bullshit, and references aren't needed for that since I can simply point anyone to my Jewish friends who attend and help organize these protests. -------------------- Now, I have responded to each of your claims in good faith, and in return you will do the same for me out of respect. Claim 1: Israelis are denying medical treatment to innocent civilians in Gaza, despite it being very possible to deliver this aid without it going to Hamas. So imagine having this conversation not with me but with a child needing a limb amputation and having no anesthetic. The international community is effectively unanimous in saying that Israel is inflicting this pain as a form of collective punishment. https://press.un.org/en/2023/sc15473.doc.htm Claim 2: Israeli leaders have openly been calling for war crimes to be committed. They want to "level" Gaza. They muse openly about nuking the place. The IDF uses banned munitions like white phosphorous. They've been caught using human shields. They have been attacking "soft targets" like hospitals and schools without providing any evidence or just half-assed post-hoc joke evidence. Do you believe that international laws about war crimes, established in the aftermath of the holocaust, are optional suggestions? Claim 3: Israel is being led by a psychopath, who has already been tried successfully on corruption charges. Netanyahu has a long history of being the worst. Nobody likes him and he has long been implicated in war crimes along with earlier brutes like Ariel Sharon and Menachem Begin. Do you actually like the Likud party? Do you agree with Netanyahu's recent attacks on the independence of the supreme court of Israel? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_war_crimes https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/15/lawyers-for-gaza-victims-file-case-at-international-criminal-court Claim 4: Israel is trying to make us hate Arabs and deny us our freedom of speech to criticize Israel. Do you think that people should be losing their jobs, just because they express horror at the genocide they are seeing with their own two eyes through their phones? Sincerely, Me. For more media: https://wootcrisp.com/favourite-tik-tok-videos