In our current social climate, it can be difficult to express dismay about atrocities and war crimes perpetrated by one organization or government without coming across as a partisan of an opposing one.
For example, expressing dismay about Hamas killing people can easily come across as Islamophobic, or anti-Palestinian, or settler-colonialist; and expressing dismay about Israel’s government killing people can easily come across as antisemitic.
But I would like to join the voices who are dismayed with all of the killing, regardless of who did it.
I am not equating Hamas’s behavior with that of Israel’s government, nor am I saying that one of those organizations is more justified or less justified than the other. I am saying that both of those organizations have done horrific and distressing things.
I am closing comments on this post; I think that the likely comments would do more harm than good. A lot of people—worldwide—are feeling legitimate pain, grief, anger, and fear over recent events in Israel and Gaza, as well as over the century-long (arguably millennia-long) tangle of events and circumstances that have led to the current situation. Many of the things that I’m seeing people say online are making things worse for other people. I’m not willing to host yet another instance of the widespread debate over who’s worse, who started it, and who’s justified.
Instead, I’m saying that my heart goes out to all who’ve been killed or injured or made homeless or traumatized or otherwise directly hurt in the conflict, and to all who’ve been less directly hurt, and to all who’ve been the victims of the heightened antisemitism and Islamophobia that the world has seen in recent weeks.
I have more to say on these topics, and I hope to say some of it in the coming days. But I feel like this is the basis underlying everything else I might say, so I wanted to start here.