Israel is a very peculiar nation. Israel as a very peculiar nation is doing very peculiar things we have come to dismiss as unthinkable for a democracy. Democracies do not do the kind of things Israel is doing, or so we believe. Of course Israel is under considerable existential threat from it’s neighbors, but even taking that menace in to account, Israeli policies have veered in to a territory that is absurd, especially when you take in to account the special history of the jewish people.
I can unleash a plethora of analysis, about the abused becoming the abuser, or about the truly horribly abused becoming truly horrible violator of human rights themselves. But I am starting to conclude that it isn’t so simple and straightforward. Increasingly I am coming to believe that our western, modern democratic infrastructures are easily co-opted by the mix of absurd amounts of money in the hands of self-serving elites, by the media being complicit, about demographic shifts, about electoral passivity and about passive-observer consumer culture.
We are seeing something truly horrible in Israel – a set of menacing threats by an as unreasonable perceived neighbor population can now sway democracies towards the most gruesome violations of human rights. Some Palestinians might be interpreted as actually unreasonable – quite a few may be uncompromising radicals and prone to terrorism. That in itself is not in dispute.
What Israel has opted to do, on a national level is a response of blanket dehumanization. Israel is now dehumanizing Palestinians, and treating them as less than animals. That at least seems certain to not be a sustainable strategy and policy in the long term – in the old days we could conclude that eventually the international rule of law would catch up with Israel and serve them some harsh international justice.
Yet Israel does what it does, with no evident concern for future fallout, implications or blowback. So I wonder – what does Israel think it knows that it concludes it can get away with this?