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“Bounce the rubble”

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Tom has always cottoned to bloodthirsty militarism:

Influential voices in America are intensifying the bloodthirsty atmosphere. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas dismissed worries that mass civilian casualties in Gaza will work to Hamas’s advantage on the world stage. “As far as I’m concerned, Israel can bounce the rubble in Gaza,” he said. That phrase, “bounce the rubble,” is a reference to a Winston Churchill quote about apocalyptic military overkill. To Cotton’s right, the language is even more incendiary. “If it comes down to ethnic cleansing — you want to cleanse my people, I’ll cleanse yours first,” said Joel Pollak, a senior editor at large at Breitbart News, on the webcast of the leading young conservative Charlie Kirk.

We can already see where the total dehumanization of Palestinians leads. This weekend, a 6-year-old boy in Illinois was allegedly stabbed to death by his landlord, who is also accused of gravely injuring the boy’s mother. According to the local sheriff’s office, the victims were targeted “due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.”

If this is the atmosphere in parts of the United States, it is exponentially more fevered in Israel. On Monday morning I spoke to Diana Buttu, a Canadian Palestinian lawyer in Haifa who once served as a legal adviser for the Palestine Liberation Organization. “I can understand what my grandmother felt in 1948 when she fled” from a town near Nazareth, Buttu said. “Because it’s a climate of total fear that you’re next. And this isn’t just in the Gaza Strip; it’s also spread to the West Bank.” Already, according to Al Jazeera, at least 55 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed, some by soldiers and others by settlers. Haaretz reported that five Palestinians were shot dead by settlers in the village of Qusra. A message to the village on WhatsApp said, “We have no red lines. We’ll punish you in order to make an example out of you.”

It’s that non-interventionist mindset of today’s Republican Party! And obviously the fact that the typical member of the right-wing majority in Israel makes Cotton look like the Donald Trump of Maureen Dowd and Glenn Greenwald’s imagination is the even bigger problem here.

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