03 January 2009

Listen Carefully ...

Israeli activists wave banners during an anti-war demonstration
Tel Aviv. Photograph © Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Well, according to The Guardian, The Independent, and The New York Times, the Israeli military now have launched a a ground invasion of Gaza. This is, in my view, incredibly stupid and, in all likelihood, has been done largely for domestic political consumption in the run-up to elections. the invasion will have terrible consequences for the Palestinians. It will have terrible consequences for the Israelis. It makes me sick. It has - predictably and justifiably - elicited howls of outrage across the globe, at least if one judges by the slide show here. I have lifted the single image above in hopes of amplifying one set of voices that will likely be drowned out in the cacophony.

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Blogger mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

I know -- could anything be worse?

Thanks for posting!


04 January, 2009 01:43  
Blogger Dawei_in_Beijing said...

Jim, what do you make of the charge that much of these protests are fueled by a latent anti-Semitism? When I look at the protests that took place around the globe this weekend, I see people burning, and trampling on, Israeli flags. I see people hold signs with images of the Star of David contorted into a swastika. I see angry, bearded Muslim men howling at the top of their lungs that the "racist Zionist entity" must be destroyed. Are these folks "peace activists"? I know that there are a lot of reasonable people, such as yourself, who want peace and are sympathetic to both sides, but I also know that there's a lot of people who have a Pavlovian response to anything involving Israel.

04 January, 2009 09:48  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...


I think the ground here is treacherous. I have no doubt that some - many? - of those protesting are driven (in part and perhaps not entirely consciously) by antisemitism. On the other hand, especially in the US, any criticism of Israel is too often dismissed or diminished by the knee-jerk claim that it is anti-semitic.

In the current instance, it seems quite clear that the Israelis (government, military and part of the population) are simply acting like bullies - they are oppressing the population of Gaza in unwarranted ways and should stop.

04 January, 2009 11:46  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...


Thanks for al the comments. And congrats on the new novel! JJ

04 January, 2009 11:53  

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