The focus of this essay is the subject of Israel on Facebook, but it combines two separate posts that began on Facebook, but then I decided to publish them here together instead.
I use FB for a barometer of what many of my friends are paying attention, naturally, but also keep track of the amount of them post ‘clickbait’ and ‘clicktavism,’ a practice rampant within the various political stripes that appear on my feed. At any moment, my feed will have memes defending gun ownership (and use) right next to others condemning whatever the lefties are on about this week… it’s very jarring sometimes. So in the case of my feed, the overall effect is to diminish my interest of the real subject and focus on the behavior and the effect of the behavior over time.
So the same person on my feed who shares the repost calling for the public shaming of the cheerleader for her safari hunting, and who also regularly posts shared reposts with her flare for the invective, posted this photo with same outrage. Thus she’s has effectively reduced the impact of all of her posts…. the theory of diminishing returns… but she’s the last to know.
A famous director poses next to a prop, mistaken by the indignant to be a “corpse” of a dinosaur
What we see with this is a much deeper activity at hand, the behavior like any other addiction that compels the addict to repeat self-destructive behavior unconsciously; however, by layering in the feelings of participation and “spreading awareness” with good intent, the effect is to either memetically spread outrage to others or meta-memetically undermine their own credibility and everyone who engages in that form of communication and sharing. It’s not enough to quip, “the stupid stay stupid,” as the harmful effect of their behavior on those around is to have stupid spread to them, “for the benefit of awareness.” Just like a junkie or an alcoholic at a certain phase of their addiction, they want everyone around them to feel as they do and to feel as ‘enlightened’ as they feel they are. Oxytocin produced by their brains from the likes, comments, or shares which their ‘outrage post’ spawn assuage the isolation and feelings of alienation.
Lately, one issue that I get pretty upset about, but often reserve commenting about, has reared its ugly head again. Interesting and disappointing, but ultimately informative, for all the clickbait stories of social and political outrage that many of the “political types” whose updates fill my feed, so far, no outrage to about what the state of Israel’s “defense forces” are doing, AGAIN.
There have been three distinct times when I came to understand what is happening in occupied Palestine at the hands of the IDF. The first time was in 2001, when IDF were demolishing Palestinian homes in total violation of so-called International Law. After imposing a curfew on the Palestinians, the IDF would move into a “neighborhood” with tanks and specially-built bulldozers from Caterpillar company in the US. As soon as the demolition began, people fleeing the structures met gunfire by the tanks for violating curfew. I use quotes around the word neighborhood, because to understand a neighborhood in the Occupied Territories, one must understand that these areas are some of the most densely populated spaces on the planet. More refugee camps than neighborhoods, what were called ‘homes’ may have been ramshackle structures build on top of one another with hundreds of people living in each one. There were many witnesses who reported entire buildings being bulldozed full of living and dead people and they reported the tanks and bulldozers would go back and forth over the sites to pulverize the remaining rubble leaving little more than piles. International observers remarked on the overwhelming smell of bodies in some areas; however, talk of investigating the sites as “mass graves” was quickly quashed in the media. Then of course, 9/11 happened and that justified anything Israel, England, and the US wanted to do to muslims abroad.
The next event important enough to me to have formed my viewpoint on the state of Israel came in the Spring of 2003 when, while maintaining the illegal policies of bulldozing homes, an IDF soldier purposefully ran over and killed, crushed, and then backed-up over Rachel Corrie, an activist from the US with International Solidarity Movement who felt compelled to travel to Occupied Palestine to help defend homes. Rachel was the same age as my wife and the story of her life was like ours except she chose to follow her heart and compassion and try to help people who were suffering in Palestine.
Rachel Corrie, dressed in Safety-Orange and after getting the attention of the pilot with a bullhorn, just before the pilot aimed at her and ran her down, killing her on March 16, 2003
At the time of the incident, there was video of the incident taken by other ISM activists with Rachel posted to the internet. There were also clear images of the soldier acknowledging her presence and avoiding her; then after conferring on his radio with his commanders, he opened the throttle and murdered Rachel by crushing her body under his machine. What would happen if this had happened in any other country? How would media and the government respond if any other US citizen were targeted and maliciously crushed by a soldier of any other military in the world occupying and ruling another country? It doesn’t matter, if this is the first you’ve ever read of the incident, then clearly, the popular narrative in the media which omits it enforces the idea that the state of Israel and it’s IDF can do anything they want to anyone they want and the US government, military, or media won’t do anything in response.
The last time I was vocal on the subject was when the IDF boarded a Turkish boat in International Waters, murdered several people including one United States citizen, and jailed the survivors on Memorial Day Weekend in 2010. This event happened after Facebook was dominating the social media market, but it was before it turned into the meme-sharing platform it serves as today. It didn’t get any attention in the US media other than the obligatory story about how a shipped of protesters attacked the innocent armed soldiers who boarded their vessel supposedly to protect the state of Israel. Truth be told, the week after the incident was the last time I watched an episode of either The Daily Show or The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. Sure, I’ve seen segments since then, they are still very funny to me and I enjoy the clever writing. But their flippant remarks about the incident really reminded me that given the subject at hand, US media voices and even those on Comedy Central may say all they want about what happens that seems to “threaten” the state of Israel, but they may not ever show the actions of the state of Israel as being anything other than ‘in her defense.’
I have always been vocal with my criticism of so-called “issue-oriented politics” because in my experience with it, it is distracting from the overarching problems with the economy or the state. Issue-oriented politics also undermines real solutions to problems that go beyond the fickle attention that gets directed at political issues. It’s hard for a person like me not to roll my eyes at posts expressing anger about what republicans are doing or mad about liberals’ policies. I just sigh loudly when I see posts wanting to shame someone for saying something construed as racist or sexist, regardless of the context of statements in private. When I see the posts shrieking shame on some safari-hunting cheerleader for tastelessly not being remorseful for her legal actions and instead posting pictures of her trophies with a big smile that’s when I want to delete my profile and be done with the stupid. As crazy as the cheerleader thing was, it was followed up by the even more outrage that Steven Spielberg had killed a triceratops during what was assumed to be some fantastical, time-travelling safari that the super-rich get to do. Okay, enough already. Facebook is not the place to look for any informed political or social dialogue, my use of Facebook as a barometer of opinion is totally flawed given the fact that Facebook has admitted to manipulating the emotions of its users by way of negative and positive stories on users timelines.
As I said before, criticism of the state of Israel is verboten in the US media and certainly frowned upon in social situations. This is why there aren’t a lot of ‘outrage’ posts from me about it on Facebook. I feel I have informed myself of the history of the region and the zionists’ plan of establishing Israel and stay abreast of the overall events in the area, so it is hard for me to understand how anyone can isolate their sense of compassion for the Palestinians being used as pawns in some sick, international blackmail game and defend the state of Israel.
“Yes Virginia, there are people paid to post pro-Israel propaganda to Facebook.”
As you read all the IDF talking points being repeated ad nauseam on comment threads about the state of Israel policies of ongoing genocide in Palestine, and as the ‘shills’ get apoplectic, huffing and puffing about the supposed ‘war crimes’ of Hamas, and shifting the responsibility for aggression by the IDF on homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza be sure to ask them:
How many homes has Hamas bulldozed? (Answer 0, IDF has used special bulldozers provided by Caterpillar,Inc. to destroy, crush, and pulverize buildings since 2001, some of which were still occupied.)
How many International volunteers from the US has Hamas crushed with bulldozers while they bulldozing homes? (Answer 0, most notably, the IDF murdered American, ISM volunteer Rachel Corrie by crushing her with a bulldozer as it destroyed a Palestinian home. At the time she was wearing safety-orange on a sunny day and was shouting through a bullhorn and the pilot acknowledged her before he was then ordered to run her down.)
How many ships in International Waters has Hamas boarded and murdered the people defending themselves? (Answer 0, the IDF attacked and boarded the Mavi Marmara, murdered 9 people including a US citizen, seized the vessel, and jailed all the survivors for attempting to bring toys, medical supplies, and food to Gaza. The media framed the very act of bringing aid to the occupied territory as “attacking Israel” and that threat justified force by the IDF.)
Don’t get taken in by the Trolling… their talking points are all very similar. They focus on the rockets and repeat that Hamas hides their weapons where children are so when IDF bombs a hospital, etc. They will always justify aggression within the concept of self-defense, thus the Orwellian named “Israel Defence Force.”
Copy, paste, and repeat this sentence in response:
“One shouldn’t have to go into a neighbor’s house and hold the family at gunpoint to support their own home’s defense; but if one has done that for fifty years, then the family’s act of feeding itself, breathing, or even existing at all, would be considered a threat against one’s home.”
Inevitably, they will get all righteously indignant that any suggestion that the disparity of the body count after Israeli airstrikes is a racist wish for more dead jews. They will twist logic and their comments will need mental gymnastics to decipher because they will always be enforcing the racist idea that the Muslims want to murder all the jews and the rest of the world is helping them do it when the rest of the world criticizes Israel for murdering Muslims.
All of these points are disingenuous and deceitful, but the people who are on Facebook and other social media sites making sure to insert themselves into every thread and crying and moaning about poor state of Israel will be very forceful with their racist invective against Muslims and Palestinians. Israeli law requires all citizens to serve in the IDF, so even without being paid or told to do so, many will reflexively defend their criminal state the same way many US soldiers will reflexively defend US imperialism and occupation abroad. But there are also legion paid to say these things and spread the talking points.
In the last 14 years, there literally has not been a year pass wherein the IDF and the state of Israel did not commit overt, outrageous acts against the native population of the nation they OCCUPY, Palestine, and flout all notions of international law. The conflict is not thousands of years old, as the trolls will often repeat; jewish immigrants started arriving in Palestine in the 1880 after the pogroms in Russia. The population swelled after WWII when Western Europe and the United State flat-out denied entry to jewish refugees and they were sent to Palestine. With all the excess weaponry leftover and all the European countries needing a capital injection to begin rebuilding, a pipeline for armaments was created and the most militant settlers went about fulfilling their ideals of their mythology’s promise to indemnify themselves of all the crimes they believed had been committed specifically against themselves throughout all of history. These ideals have developed into the state of Israel, a sociopathic pariah that abuses language, poses as a victim even as it dominates and humiliates and occupied population, and ultimately victimizes all jews by the way uses Judaism like a human shield.