Friday, May 10, 2013

retaliation is not punishment

Justin Raimondo says collective punishment is always wrong. He's worried about the good Israelis. He explains the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction view:
The peace camp isn’t “sizeable” enough for the BDS’ers, so it’s okay to write it off. In short, there are no innocent Israelis, they’re all somehow beneficiaries of an oppressive system – and, therefore, they must be punished, every single last one of them. That is the de facto BDS view, and it couldn’t be more wrong. 
That's a decent summary (though with a misguided concluding statement), but "punishment" is what the oppressor does to the oppressed. Raimondo's use of the term displays his misunderstanding of systemic oppression.
The Israelis do not benefit from the occupation: quite the opposite. The occupied territories are a millstone hung around their necks, and their possession will soon make it impossible for Israel to continue as a state which is both Jewish and democratic. Demography and time, not boycotts, are the ultra-Zionists’ worst enemies.
This is true but irrelevant to the question at hand. Misogyny makes boys miserable, turns them into self-hating homophobes. It doesn't mean they don't also benefit from misogyny by, in effect, pushing others still lower. And of course it's true that Israelis materially benefit from the occupation, even as it destroys them.
The BDS movement has written off an entire people, and in doing so closed the door to the only possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: changing the tribalist politics that dominate both camps.
When someone's got their boot on your neck, and you say, "ahem, would you kindly get your boot off my neck?" (assuming you're too nice) and they say "no" and you say "I meant get your fucking boot off my neck, you dick" and they say "well, I don't think that's a very appropriate thing to say because of blah and blah," you might notice that the complaint about civility is just one more weapon among many used to keep you down. He who oppresses also wants to dictate the terms, because there's advantage in this. And he generally can because he has the advantage to begin with. He has the nerve to tell you what is and is not an acceptable way to file a complaint.

The idea of concerning oneself with the suffering of Israelis, in comparison to the plight of people Israel has forced into poverty, is fucking laughable, akin to making a moral plea to slaves not to be too angry at their slavers. It's an argument in support of slavery. Insofaras there's anti-oppression, it's a consequence that flows from the oppressor.  The people of what is decreasingly called "Palestine" did not turn this into an either/or, Israel did.

Any Israeli who is not a part of the problem takes a distance from that terrorist government, tries to become less complicit, and understands that there will be blowback.

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