On Genocide: Looking for Nuance on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


I wrote the following essay on March 24, 2024, posted it on Facebook (as one does).

Since then I have been keeping an eye out for additional information consistent or inconsistent with the idea that various groups are trying to leverage a political split in the US to disrupt elections and/or policy.

That is, using misinformation and propaganda techniques that would tend to divide to conquer the Left, using the issue of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Eh, I’m no expert and I’m just as biased as anybody, but I haven’t seen anything inconsistent with that idea, and plenty that is consistent.


From the April 16th edition of Letters from an American, by Heather Cox Richardson, regarding the April 14th attack of Iran on Israel:

On Sunday, April 14, 2024, Iran fired about 170 drones, more than 120 ballistic missiles, and more than 30 cruise missiles from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and areas controlled by Hezbollah in Lebanon toward Israel. The strike was in retaliation for a strike on Iran’s diplomatic complex in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, which killed two top commanders in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, along with other officials. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the Syrian strike, but officials from other countries believe Israel is responsible. Iran warned its attack was coming, and Israel and the U.S., along with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and France, shot the missiles down. Israel sustained almost no damage. One Arab-Israeli girl was critically injured.

In the leadup to the attack, Arab countries shared intelligence and radar tracking, opened their airspace while closing it to Iran, and even supplied forces to withstand Iran’s attack. According to David S. Cloud, Dov Lieber, Stephen Kalin, and Summer Said of the Wall Street Journal, in March 2022, top military officials from Israel and Arab countries met in Egypt at the invitation of U.S. Marine General Frank McKenzie, then the top U.S. commander in the region, to discuss coordination against Iran’s growing military capabilities.

That prospective coordination had never been tested, but the fact that Arab states stood alongside Israel against Iran highlights changing dynamics in the Middle East. In the aftermath of the attack, a source connected to the Saudi royal family charged Iran with instigating the Gaza war to stop normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Hamas, the Houthis in Yemen, and Hezbollah in Lebanon are Iran’s proxies.

On Facebook, I’m not seeing a lot of talk about Iran funding Hamas in order to prevent Saudi Arabia from finding common cause with Israel.

It seems important.

The good news is, I’m seeing far fewer posts that look like bot-generated, blatantly anti-Semitic content. I probably should have saved some examples while it was floating around in force, but I didn’t, and now a lot of the ones I saw getting posted have vanished, right around the time I originally posted the essay. Certainly by April 1 they were less prevalent.

Here’s an example of one of the apparently bot-generated ones:

I read somewhere that that weird font was being used by a botnet and had been for some time (years?), but of course I forgot to save that article and now I can’t find it.

At any rate, the numbers of the posts using the font have decreased, at least on my feed. The pro-Palestine posts I’m seeing have been posted from sources that look like actual people and/or news outlets, and not accounts whose sole purpose is to post clickbait.

I still don’t approve of genocide.

It is likely that unsavory actors are flooding social media with posts about how the people of Palestine “deserve” what they’re getting. Ugh. Exceedingly likely. But it remains unwise to flatten the situation into something black and white.


Here we go.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is probably going to lose me some friends. But I think it’s important and if I keep my mouth shut about this kind of thing because I’m scared of the consequences, well, my integrity kinda dies.

I’ve already lost at least one person. Yay.

I’m going to write about this here so the people likely to read this can work things out with me now rather than later. You can direct comments toward me here in comments, via messenger, email if you got it (ask if you want it), by tagging me in your own posts, and by unfriending/blocking me. As you do.

I am listening. People who try to pressure me into a change of opinion with a decent argument will get asked to clarify, then taunted, then unfriended/blocked. If you can change my mind fairly, I’ll roll with it AND talk about it publicly. Linking to relatively unbiased sources is a plus.

I’ve been following (loosely) along with the Israel-Palestine conflict for some time, trying to take in a variety of perspectives.

My current opinions are as follows.


  • The current government of Israel appears to be bent on destroying Palestine as a state.
  • This appears to be without regard to human life, except as tradable pawns.
  • While the situation has escalated recently, policies have been in place to dehumanize the individual people of Palestine for quite some time, without regard to whether those individuals are part of Hamas itself.
  • I think that what is happening now goes beyond self-defense and crosses into genocide.
  • The current leadership of Palestine appears to be either Hamas-led or under Hamas’s thumb and has been for quite some time.
  • The current leadership of Palestine and/or Hamas appears to be bent on provoking Israel into murdering every last Palestinian citizen, except perhaps a chosen few who will get to run away at the last minute. Who knows.
  • The current leadership of Palestine and/or Hamas appears to have zero commitment to ending the conflict and in fact seem determined to increase its intensity.
  • The leadership of Palestine and/or Hamas seems to be attempting to undermine or destroy Israel and appears to be willing to murder/torture Israel’s individual citizens whenever they are able to do so.
  • I don’t have any clear sources for knowing whether they’re trying to start a war to try to unify the Middle East, but that’s what it seems like to me.
  • As far as a bunch of reasons back and forth about “who got there first” and “who is right?” and “should X do Y?”: I think those questions are distractions, engineered arguments, so I won’t delve into them here, other than to talk about them as distractions.

United States and allies:

  • Both Jewish and Muslim people are subject to harassment, prejudice, and physical harm here.
  • I am seeing a fair amount of pro-Palestinian arguments that border very closely on “All Jews suck and should personally experience harm because they are representative of the current Israeli government.”
  • Because I am left of center, I don’t see the arguments about how Muslims are going to blah blah blah and should be blah blah blah. I believe those are mostly happening on the right, right now. I don’t think those arguments are relevant here right now.
  • The false equivalence on the left seems to be: Israel’s government is the same as all Jewish people everywhere, who all move in lockstep; Palestinian people are individual victims not responsible for their government’s or Hamas’s actions.
  • People making this argument seem to be willfully forgetting that pretty much every English-speaking nation has a history of genocide behind it and still enacts genocidal policies as a matter of course.
  • I’m not willing to discuss whether the US is committing or has committed genocide other than to acknowledge examples of where it happened or still happens. I grew up just off a rez back in the day.
  • Nobody’s hands are clean. That does not excuse anyone’s genocide, but it is important context.

What I’ve been thinking lately:

  • It seems like some individuals on the left are splitting this into a black and white situation: Palestinians good, Israel bad (note plural versus singular).
  • I don’t agree with this. It’s a false equivalence.
  • If you’re the kind of person who thinks in black and white, it’s easy to go, “The Right is bad. Everything the Right supports is bad. Israel is bad. Therefore all Jewish people are culpable.”
  • Thing is, most Jewish people aren’t on the right. All this line of thinking does is split Jewish people off from some people on the left.
  • Whenever you run into a black and white situation where it feels like there’s a clear answer, it’s should be a red flag to start asking yourself “who benefits?”

I realize that I’m paranoid from having grown up in shitty immediate and extended family systems, but hooh boy I have experience with different ways to split people’s loyalties and play them off against each other. I know how it’s done. I know what it’s like to be brainwashed. What is happening on the left smells like brainwashing.

Who benefits? Nobody on the left.

The real enemy here are authoritarians and warmongers, who DO NOT WANT peace and are 100% thrilled to split Jewish people off from the left and vice versa during a US presidential election cycle. They are 100% pleased whenever people are so disgusted by infighting that they go, “There’s no difference between sides, so why bother voting?”

I’m already seeing bullshit rhetoric around not voting, because there’s no difference between the GOP and Democrats, because Biden “supports Israel’s genocide.”

Biden’s a lifelong statesman who’s applying pressure on the Israel government over time. I don’t always agree with his choices but I can see a pattern to them.

Trump authorized locking migrant children in cages and tried to increase the damage Covid could do by derailing our response. He practices different techniques for letting inconvenient people die. He’s already done it, openly, as president, and bragged about it.

If you’re one of the people saying that what the Democrats are doing isn’t justice, well, fair. I’ve long argued, though, that there’s a fundamental difference between being milked as cattle and being led to a slaughter. Yes, the Democrat party takes advantage of people, they don’t always have benign or good tactics or motives.

When the authoritarians are done with us, we will be consumed.

What am I asking for:

Please be careful in calling for “Israel” to be punished for its treatment “Palestinians.”

That’s it.

And, bonus points, commit to voting and helping get out the vote.

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