RAWI Condemns Israel's Aggression in Gaza

From the Radius of Arab American Writers

RAWI, the Radius of Arab American Writers, condemns in the strongest
possible terms the ongoing Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in the
occupied Gaza Strip. Various news agencies around the world have
reported the terrible impact of Israel’s military aggression in Gaza,
which has resulted in nearly 400 Palestinian deaths, the majority of
them children and civilians.

A particularly gruesome illustration of Israel’s brutality can be found
in its effect on specific households, such as the Hamdan family, who
lost two daughters, the Balusha family, who lost five daughters, the
Absi family, who lost three daughters, and the Kishku family, who lost
two daughters. In all, Israel has killed over fifty Palestinian children.

Commentators on the political right have applauded Israel’s destruction
of Gaza and the massacre of civilians, in the same way that they
applauded the deadly economic strangulation preceding the current
military violence. Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum went
so far as to accuse the Palestinians of photographing children
pretending to be injured.

It is the response of traditional liberal media that has been most
disturbing, however. Nearly all corporate media in the United States
and a majority of its progressive forums have conceptualized Israel’s
attack as retaliatory, a position that has no basis in fact and that
would be unjustifiable even if it were true. In fact, the majority of
American media appear to believe that the death of Palestinian civilians
is an unfortunate byproduct of their own innate barbarity. Famed
Israeli writers and noted doves David Grossman, writing in the New York
Times, and Amos Oz, quoted in Ha’aretz, appear to be much more
preoccupied with the purity of the Israeli soul and with finding a
quieter way to suppress Palestinian resistance than they are with the
belligerence of their government.

We deplore that media continually emphasize Israel’s retaliation as if
to simultaneously justify and absolve its cruelty. We would point out
that most of the Gazans are refugees who are indigenous to the villages
and cities Israel claims to now be protecting. Gaza’s population does
not consist of irrational Muslim extremists who inexplicably dislike
Jews and take a perverse joy in undermining Israel’s timeless and
innocent democracy, as American news outlets relentlessly suggest; it
consists of people who have been systematically dispossessed, starved,
tortured, and economically exploited. Nor does this population exist
outside of history; it is engaged in a colonial war against a powerful
state that has long undertaken a program of ethnic cleansing.

RAWI calls on artists and writers of all cultural backgrounds,
nationalities, faiths, and political affiliations to vocally condemn
Israel’s extensive human rights violations, along with the odious
discourses of justification that allow those violations to continue.

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