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What about Israel Should Americans Support in 2023?


Israel has moved from problematic nation engaging in a new form of apartheid against its colonized people while at least making legitimate claims to being a liberal democracy to an outright global pariah engaging in an ethno-nationalism seeking to destroy any meaningful institutions that would control Netanyahu and his allies. This is just so horrible and…..well, it’s really hard to see what in Israel is something American liberals should support. Of course there are some good people in Israel, but way too many of them are basically the Good German now in how the nation treats Palestinians (yes, this is an intentional comparison and no it is not anti-Semitic to note how Germans who didn’t really like the Nazis did nothing to stop anything aren’t that different than the passivity over the Israeli apartheid regime). And when we see things such as what has been going on in Israel recently, which really is not receiving enough attention, it is not only dispiriting, it is absolutely outrageous. For example, from several days ago:

On Saturday night, Israel’s new, far-right minister of national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, called for the immediate sealing of the family home of a Palestinian gunman who, a day earlier, had killed seven people in East Jerusalem before being shot dead by the police.

Within hours of Mr. Ben-Gvir’s comments, security forces arrived early Sunday morning at the family home of the gunman, according to Daniel Shenhar, a human rights lawyer. They woke up the residents, gave them an hour to gather some possessions before evicting them, then blocked the doors and windows — usually a prelude to demolishing a Palestinian home.

The Israeli military said it had issued a required warrant before the sealing, as is customary in such cases. But Mr. Shenhar said none of the inhabitants had seen it before the security forces moved in: The gunman’s parents were in Israeli detention at the time and were only released, without charges, after the house had been sealed.

Israel defends such home demolitions as a deterrent meant to prevent future attacks, and the new government, the most right-wing in Israel’s history, is pursuing the policy more aggressively after a surge of violence in recent days. Mr. Shenhar said that 75 houses have been completely or partly demolished since 2014.

The government said it would also seal the home of a 13-year-old Palestinian accused of injuring two people in another shooting in East Jerusalem — though in the past, that measure has been typically reserved for the perpetrators of fatal attacks.

Israel’s decades-old practice of sealing and demolishing the family homes of assailants accused of carrying out deadly attacks on its citizens has long drawn criticism from human rights groups that call it collective punishment, prohibited by international law, leaving innocent parents, siblings, spouses and even children homeless. Critics also question its effectiveness, after hundreds of demolitions have failed to halt the attacks.

But the new government announced that it was accelerating the policy, a change reflected in its recent actions.

What is this supposed to accomplish? And why is it never done to Jewish Israelis who do terrible things to minority populations? Wait, I think I know the answer to that question…..Meanwhile, not nearly enough Israeli liberals really care about these outrages. But I guess international human rights don’t apply to one or two countries, i.e., the United States and Israel.

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