Get this “Washington Post” headline from today May 11th
“Dozens dead as warlike violence erupts in Palestinian territories, Israel”
Notice a few things here. Violence “erupts” like volcanoes erupt and humans are the victims, not the cause. So violence suddenly erupts like Mount Saint Helens.
Last I checked, there are no volcanoes in Palestine, just an occupying army with walls and guns and checkpoints and the curtailment day and night of freedom of movement, and more recently, the violent suppression of the freedom to worship for the faithful on their most sacred feast day at one of their most sacred sites.
Yet, violence erupts? When I shot the tear gas into Al Aqsa, Mosque you could say the canister erupted. Or more like exploded. But it was not spontaneous like a volcano. Someone sent me there and gave me orders to fire.
Notice that “Israel” only comes as an Add-on at the end of the headline. It is as if Israel is an afterthought, that they perhaps are the pure victims here and we just tag them at the end. Keep them out of the story as best we can.
Notice too that it is not just violence, but “warlike violence”. Shades of “A Few Good Men”s “I strenuously object.” Warlike must mean tanks and rockets and planes and bombs. It does not mean rocks or fire crackers. Now, of course, there are two sides but only one side with an army, of 176,000 active soldiers and 3 million in reserve, nuclear weapons, F15s and F16s, and tanks and a standing army ready to act with force. Hamas has rockets, yes and can launch them but as far as warlike violence goes, there is only one side ready and willing and equipped to launch it. And demolishing 13 storey apartments qualifies as war like violence.
The passive voice clues us to the fact of no agent in this headline. Something is happening in Palestine to somebodies who died and it seems like war, is what it is saying. No one is doing anything and as a headline, nothing could be more inane.
Next it is “dozens dead” not dozens of Palestinians or dozens of Gazans dead. No, let’s make this generic and inclusive too, so that we don’t have to show the death toll in terms of proportions, just like “warlike” does not reveal which side is built for war. How convenient. If 25 Americans died and 3 French, would an American paper say “Dozens dead?” Hardly? A more honest headline might say “29 Gazans dead after Israeli Airstrikes following Hamas rocket attacks to stop Israel actions at Al Asqar Mosque and Sheik Jarrah evictions.”
But no, we get this inane example of how violence is mostly covered by the Post in Israel Palestine. Who are they covering up for? What the headline veils over is the warlike occupation where violence is happening every day and it is going mostly one way, from Israel and its IOF army to the occupied Palestinians.
This outbreak in violence is not a volcano. The Israeli nation is at war with the Palestinian people. Sometimes it is hotter and sometimes it is just hot or warm, but this is what war does. It is a live volcano in a way, come to think of it, as in a war permanently declared by one side on the other and war is what war does. It kills innocent people and people who resist it’s force.
The public are led to think that it is simply a disagreement over the land. But it is war of aggressor against victim. There is no cease fire, there is no peace deal, there is no negotiation, there is no trustworthy mediator, there is no global outrage strong enough to push each side to de-escalate. (Yet)
Israel has no leader they trust, and Palestine has no leader they trust. But the civilians on both sides will have to suffer the consequences, like in any war. At least the Israelis have had a chance to vote, four times, to change their leadership, but they seem more than happy with war. Palestinians have no say. Israelis are getting what they voted for.
But watch for more volcanoes to erupt. And watch as Mount Zion and Temple Mount suddenly wake up and spew lava and fire from the depths of the suffering of an oppressed people who have finally decided that they can take no more. When you wake up that giant, it could be a modern Krakatoa, an eruption that will be heard around the world. Then we will pray like Jesus did, for the grieving children of Jerusalem who cry their leaders lost the Temple again because their hearts were so stubborn. They saw it coming and refused it.