Foolish Child #96: It’s Not Complicated

Dickens directly faces and talks into "the camera." They are in a green shirt, against an orange and grey background, creating the colors of the Palestinian flag. They say to the camera: "A power imbalance between two entities, that leaves one of those entities perpetually fighting for their rights and their lives, is not a ‘complicated matter’ that requires a graduate degree to push back against. Coding is complicated. Recipes are complicated. Tax law is complicated. Navigating the system of interconnected strips of asphalt that Los Angeles likes to call 'highways'? That shit is complicated. Launching a deadly attack against people who have been forced to live in what is essentially an open-air prison, as you violently remove them from their homes, steal their land, and push them further out, is not 'complicated.' Trying to disguise those crimes behind a global propaganda campaign to paint them as terrorists for fighting back? This is not 'complicated.' It's genocide. Even when it's enacted and funded by the United States of America."..

Before you go! 99.9% of our readers don't support Autostraddle. Still, it takes funding to keep this indie queer publication running every day. And the majority of our funding comes from readers like you. That's less than 1% of our readers who keep Autostraddle around for EVERYBODY. Will you join them?

I am a queer coparenting mama to Dickens Jr. Doodler by day, 911 dispatcher by night. All my favorite shows look better on Tumblr. I am two years and 450K words deep into constructing a fanfic called Ages and I'm never giving up on it. Bering & Wells.

Alana has written 106 articles for us.

48 Comments

  1. Knew this was coming, know I’ll get a lot of shit for this, but this is pretty serious and I feel I have to say something.

    Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is majorly crappy. But it actually isn’t genocide. Genocide has a legal definition and crappy occupation isn’t it. In fact the Palestinian population continues to increase every year. That is not the mass murder of genocide.

    Why am I fighting this battle? Not to say Netanyahu is okay. But because charges like this paint Israel as uniquely evil among all the nations of the world. And since Israel is the world’s only Jewish nation, this paints Jews as uniquely evil. And when that’s done, well, yes, that has led to genocide.

    Please call out Israel in a way that does not paint Jews as uniquely evil.

    And finally, if you haven’t objected to things that actually are genocide—like Assad in Syria or the treatment of Uighurs in China—then…why…are Jews being uniquely targeted?

    Basically, what’s happening is bad enough. It doesn’t need harmful hyperbole to distract from it. Because when I see something like this, I feel I have to shift my energy from “f**k Netanyahu” to “alert alert broad statements that historically lead to bad things for Jews.”

    In general, I beg that people stick to specific criticisms of Israeli government policy instead of broad generalizations that half the world’s Jews are implicated in a uniquely evil venture. Yes it takes more words to say, but it also decreases the likelihood I’ll be killed in a synagogue.

    • For more, please read this pamphlet about making resistance to antisemitism part of Left movements. It is beautifully and clearly written.

      https://www.aprilrosenblum.com/thepast (see p. 21 this specific topic).

      And Autostraddle, I’m not surprised to see this here, but I am nonetheless devastated. I’ve seen nothing about antisemitism, about educating people about it, about resisting, etc, even though I have seen work for many other kinds of discrimination.

      It is really devastating to see what I thought was my community go this way. But no longer surprising.

      • The definition of genocide are written to allow for war crimes & settler colonialism to continue without justice.

        Changing a conversation from the complicity of the US government in these systems to calling something anti-Semitism out of the fear of a hypothetical future genocide when the Israeli government is killing literal children Right Now is a distraction.

        As a Jewish person, I focus on this in particular because it is a place where I have power and am consistently brought into the conversation. It is a place where the US government is widely supported rather than held accountable. And it’s happening right now.

      • Hello Ebook,

        I just wanted to briefly join in the comments to say that as editors, we took a great deal of consideration into how we’d approach this conversation, and we recognize this is a serious and sensitive time — one that we don’t take lightly.

        As one part of our coverage, we will also soon be publishing content from queer Jewish writers on why they believe it’s important to be anti-zionist. We hope you read that perspective as well.

        • Ok, but you’re not going to publish a completely different point of view, just anti-zionist perspectives? So you don’t care about listening to and respecting differing opinions, but just about the cultural identity / religious affiliation of those who are writing those articles? (It’s important that Jewish writers write these texts, but they all have to express the same opinion?) I find that a weird decision.
          Honestly, if you are putting up a controversial political statement that has nothing to do with queer culture, you should at least be impartial and make space for different opinions on that matter. Because this is a queer website and a queer community, and not a specifically anti-zionist website and community, and not all queers are anti-zionists. But queers with ideas and opinions on this that differ from yours should still feel welcome and included here, right? Or is that not what this website is for? (If it’s not, I’m afraid I’m out and canceling my membership. You do you – but in that case it’s just not the kind of community I thought I was supporting.)

          • It is our intention to enter this conversation with the utmost care and thoughtfulness, but you are correct that Autostraddle is standing in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

            For a very long time the stance of this publication was to stay out of discussions about Israel and Palestine, but as with many people across the internet and worldwide, we no longer feel comfortable standing on the sidelines (so to speak). Moving forward, we will be publishing perspectives that I hope continue to contribute thoughtfully and provide nuance to a variety of points of view, but none of those perspectives will be in support of the violent occupation of Palestine.

            I would also like to clarify one of your points above, which is that “if you are putting up a controversial political statement that has nothing to do with queer culture, you should at least be impartial and make space for different opinions on that matter.” That is not what Autostraddle is about, and you can point to a lot of our recent history — including our very public stance in support of defunding the police in the United States and against the state-sanctioned murder of Black people in the United States. That is not an explicitly “queer issue” but it is one that matters greatly to us, and one that we have no intention of being impartial or making space for both sides of the matter. As a Black editor, it is not lost to me that the phrase “Ferguson to Palestine” came about after Palestinian young people took to social media to teach Black young people in the United States how to care for themselves in the face of tear gas and violence by police officers. In addition to our support of the movement for Black lives, we have also written pieces that speak out against anti-Semitic violence in the United States or spoke out in support of EndSARS in Nigeria. And there are others; this just is what came to the top of my head immediately.

            I am proud of all of those stances, and when Autostraddle uses our platform to take a political stance it is always discussed within our editors’ group ahead of time. And sometimes we will not all agree as editors, and we have to still find a way forward together that we can be comfortable with. (Though — to be clear — this is not one of those instances).

            All that said, I want to be exceptionally clear that if you are looking for is a queer community looks the other way, then you are correct that Autostraddle may not be the publication for you. I do hope though that you’ll stay and read more of what we publish, because I believe this is an important conversation, and one I hope we all participate in and learn from. But no, it is not one that we have the intention to stay neutral about.

          • Going to reply to my own comment because for some reason I can’t reply to your reply, but I think this is important. You’re suggesting I’m looking for a “queer community that looks the other way.” Honestly I find that offensive, and it is not at all what I said. My point is not that you shouldn’t write about politics, but that you should do so keeping in mind that there are differing opinions within your own community, and that all those different opinions should be heard and respected. I’m neither pro-Israel nor pro-palestinian, but that doesn’t mean I want to “look the other way”: It just means that I care about the interests of both parties and I don’t see any simple answers and solutions. And I feel like even such a moderate position isn’t welcome here. And that’s fine because it’s up to you to decide what you want your website and community to be, but that’s just not a club I want to be a member of, and I just wish this had been more transparent, because then I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place. I also feel like the conversations here are a lot about attacking people personally, twisting their words, and this definitely doesn’t feel like a safe space where people can speak their mind without being judged, and I think this could have been handled better through moderation. So to be clear: I canceled not because I want to “look the other way”, but because I don’t agree with the way controversy is handled here and, quite frankly, because I don’t feel welcome here.

          • I apologize that my word choice “look the other way” offended you, because I never want to offend our readers. I also think that neither of us want to twist words, as you very eloquently pointed out. You don’t see moderation as the same as “looking the other way,” and I respect that. I also believe that there are times when as a publication (which I believe is different than priorities may be for any one individual, because it is speaking on a larger scale) — Autostraddle has a responsibility to use our platform beyond moderation.

            As I mentioned before, we already have an established history of doing so that goes beyond this instance and moment — though we believe this instance and moment is an important one. That said, we also realize that Autostraddle entering a conversation about Israel and Palestine is new to our readers and we are not taking it lightly. I respect if our way of contributing to this conversation is not a project you are interested in being a part of, and I wish you the best.

          • i wasn’t going to comment here as i feel largely unqualified – yet i couldn’t help but notice that queer woc of color, who are not safe in their own country, have taken notable effort to offer a thoughtful rationale on the issue, are taking heat about community-level inclusivity.

            and i get that Carmen is a decision-maker here, but it’s hard to imagine that this is not wrenching decision that was made in consult with staff members of diverse ethnicities and faiths.

            very sorry for everyone’s pain here and hoping we can all find a little grace to share with eachother.

      • Ebook, did you read page 21 of that pamphlet? It explains quite plainly why this comic falls squarely under the “Clear criticisms of Israeli policy and its backers” column. You provided a great resource, but I’m not sure you’ve taken in all of its messages.

      • @Dickens response // more broadly at editors

        It’s this kind of dismissive attitude that is so infuriating. The comment is thoughtful and engaged and on the basis of a choice of language you totally fail to engage. To be clear I agree that the concept of an ethno-state is fundamentally appalling regardless of the history of a group, and that Israel is a settler colonial state (regardless of the fact that many Jews come from other areas in MENA). But pointing out the unique attention that Israeli atrocities, and the importance of precision in language is important.

        I don’t even think this attitude stems from anti-Semitism I think it’s Americans being once again mindlessly self-centered such that their attention can only focus on the atrocities of groups they construe as extensions of the US based on an implicit misconception of Jews as white (even if you also consciously know about Beta Israel, Mihrazi, and the many other non-Ashkenazi group), and an ignorance of the US’s broader complicity (selling weapons to the Saudis to murder Yemeni children anyone?). Seriously if AS wants to take a position on broader human rights issues (which would be great!) why nothing about Uighurs (again “US War on Terror” important in the early genesis of it), or police violence why not HK police force against protestors (again colonial history clearly playing a role)? This silence has always been pretty weird, and even more so now. Anyway, as non-American I am done with this website, for all the conceptual left-wing internationalism you ultimately are just another North American outlet with the same blinders.

        • Imho it all boils down to conscious or unconscious antisemitism. As you pointed out – there are so many human-rights issues. But the only one where a lot of people are suddenly up in arms is the middle east conflict. That’s more than suspicious! Especially given the fact that Isreal is the only constitutional democracy down there and in the neighboring countries women don’t even have basic rights.

          Also very good point on people completely missing the point of what’s going on in that conflict!

          What gets me as well is the level of hypocrisy employed here. I’d love to see how people would react if the US were faced with constant suicide-bombings and missile (!) attacks!

    • A. It is genocide. Take a look at the UN definition and examples.
      B. Dickens is VERY clearly talking about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and not equating it to the Jewish religion or Jewish people.
      C. She’s also explicitly calling out the United States’ complicity in these actions, so it’s not just Israel that she’s calling out.
      D. Multiple things can be true simultaneously. That Jewish people are widely demonized and persecuted. And that the state of Israel is conducting genocidal actions against the Palestinians.

      • A. No it’s not. Genocide ist defined as killing with the intent of wiping out a whole population or destroying a whole culture / ethnic group. You’re implying Israel is aiming to actually kill the whole palestinian polulation. That is very obviously not true. (Yes, I actually looked up the UN definition.)
        B. She’s not – but many others are, very publicly and with very grave consequences, and she’s not distancing herself from that in any way either. (Because she’s oversimplifying and apparently thinks that doesn’t need to be mentioned.)
        C. That doesn’t change a thing. In fact, internationally, anti-americanism and antisemitism are very often connected. Far-right-groups in many countries tend to be staunchly anti-american AND very critical of Israel.
        D. Yes, but she’s only talking about one side of this truth AND actually, by claiming that it’s not complicated, suggesting that the other side doesn’t even need to be considered because everything’s so simple and it’s so obvious who’s right. HUGE oversimplification.

      • That is SO not what I said. Please read it again. Also, the definition of “genocide” isn’t actually “killing a lot of people.” It’s “killing a lot of people with the intent of destroying a whole ethnic group.” Do you honestly believe that Israel is trying to kill all palestinians? (Like, you know, the Nazis actually wanted to wipe out the entire jewish population of Europe, and Hutu militias actually wanted to kill ALL Tutsi?)

        • Do you realize how much what you’re saying mirrors the ongoing denials of the UN-recognized genocide at Srebrenica or the people who complain that Canada’s TRC shouldn’t have called the residential school system a genocide?

          The destruction of a culture via genocide doesn’t have to mean killing every single person. It can just as easily mean killing enough (or displacing the, enough) to drive the majority of them into exile, for example.

      • You’re implying that by saying “X is not genocide” I am also saying “X is ok”. I should be obvious why that is not the same thing. Rape isn’t genocide – and it is absolutely wrong. Murdering a single person isn’t genocide – but that doesn’t make it ok. See how that works? Same thing applies to: Killing hundreds of people isn’t necessarily genocide; that doesn’t mean it’s ok and doesn’t matter.

    • I don’t think “it’s arguably not genocide, just warcrimes” is a fantastic argument to make.
      And criticising Israel as a state is not the same as vilifying all Jewish people.

    • As a Jew, I really don’t see this article as a broad “this is because of Jews” thing, it seems a lot more like “We’ve been fed a lot of baloney about Israel (the country), especially because they’re such a strong US ally, but wrong is wrong.” There’s really no getting around the disproportionate magnitude of force used by the Israeli police and military against Palestinian people and those protesting their displacement/inprisonment. I definitely grew up in a heavily zionist temple and had to sort out a lot of my own biases as I grew up but the Israeli government is- and there’s no getting around it- colonizing land in real-time; with all the violence that entails. As for the genocide- there’s really no other word for the systematic killing of a group of people. It’s true that there are other large crimes against humanity happening, but the recent wave of violence against Palestinians in Isreal has brought their crimes to the forefront.

  2. none of you know anything about Jewish history in the middle east or MENA jews at all….you erase and demonize for your justice cookies. Please tell my Afghani and Iraqi Jewish family who found safety in Israel how they are genocidal maniacs——autostraddle this is gross and untrue. If i don’t also hear from brown MENA jews of which most Israelis are-i don’t want to see this performátive bull and embrace of khazar theory or that my family never existed in the region. Also this unwillingness to call out HAMaS as a terror organization is horrible. Ugh honestly a lot of queer MENA jews are sad and disappointed in you.

    • The way people look at the political situation in the middle east is generally a joke. Israel was basically founded as a reaction to terrorist attacks on jewish settlers who had legally immigrated and bought land in palestine.
      Once the state was founded all of the muslim countries around it ganged up to destroy it and – founded by religiously motivated antisemitism – declared war on Isreal. That happened multiple times throughout the 20th century and as unlikely as it is, Isreal actually prevailed.
      However even during times of peace Isreal was constantly besieged by terrorist attacks and suicide-bombings. In the nineties there was hardly a week going by without a suicide-bombing targeting civilians.

      It’s funny how that is so willingly being ignored.

      Remember how the US freaked out over 9/11? Well Isreal have had terrorist attacks 24/7 long before that. But somehow they are not allowed to defend themselves?! Get real!

      So to answer the comic (love you Dickens and like everything else you do – I just don’t agree with you here):

      It’s not complicated: Isreal is surrounded by countries that are dead-set on destroying it and committing genocide against its citizens. The Palestinians voted for a terrorist organization to lead them and they are housing terrorists in their midst. What do you realistically expect Isreal to do? (And please take into account what has been tried over the years – there have been numerous peace talks through the nineties and early 2000s – they didn’t fail because of Isreal)

  3. As a German I have learnt my entire life about the Holocaust and I can honestly say that I also spoke up my entire life against antisemitism and will continue to do so. But criticizing Israel is not antisemitic. I am not claiming to be an expert, I have just been trying to gather as much information as possible this past week. I don’t care where it happens, human rights violations break my heart every time. I try to stay informed and educate myself as much as I can, as long as my mental health doesn’t suffer. I hate how there’s barely media coverage of Belarus, Colombia or Myanmar. I don’t know how it is in the US, but what really gets to me with Palestine is that there is so much media coverage, but they usually paint Israel as an innocent victim and Palestians as terrorists. That is why I feel like I have to speak out.

    Like somebody already said, both things can be true. Israel has killed over 60 children and it is horrific what is happening. At the same time, of course antisemitism is dangerous and we have to fight it as much as we can.

    As a German I can be horrified and ashamed of my country’s past and feel an extra responsibility to make sure it never happens again. I am also heartbroken by how much my grandparents suffered during and after the war as children. And I am proud that my great grandmother risked her life to save a Jewish woman. If I learnt one thing from history it’s that we have to fight for the oppressed, no matter who it is or where it is happening.

  4. Thank you for publishing this. Obviously you’re already getting pushback: it takes guts to stand up for Palestinians in the US.
    It’s an important conversation to have in our communities as organizations like A Wider Bridge use target queer American Jews for zionist propoganda and use the existence of queers in Israel to pink wash human rights violations.
    I recommend people check out Al Qaws if you’re interested in supporting queer Palestinians specifically.
    http://alqaws.org/about-us

  5. I really associate this kind of thinking – complicated situation involving many humans with a lot of history is actually simple answer if you just call a spade a spade, no need to think further – with demagogues, whether on the right or the left, and I do not trust it. Historically, this type of rhetoric has encouraged anti-Semitism, again on both the right and the left.

    I see that I’m going to have to take some time to consider whether Autostraddle is a publication I will continue to read, not so much because of this strip in itself but within the context of how people are reacting to it in the comments.

  6. SO SO WRONG. It IS complicated. You’re completely ignoring the fact that way too many Israeli lives have been lost to terrorism and that Israel is constantly under threat from neighboring countries – I’d be so scared if I lived there. Also, yes, criticizing Israel isn’t automatically antisemitic, but there is SO MUCH blatant antisemitism on display in pro-palestinian protests around the world, and violent anti-semitic attacks are on the rise. I’m German, and there have been several attacks here recently in connection with those protests. In Germany. Please let that sink in… Here of all places that should NEVER happen again. And PLEASE don’t use the term “genocide” like that, you are trivializing actual genocides like the one my country committed when it murdered 6 million jews, or the Rwandan Genocide where it is estimated that half a million people were killed. I am NOT saying that it isn’t horrible that so many palestinian civilians have lost their lives, I am NOT saying that the conditions palestinians have to live in aren’t horrible, or that that doesn’t need to be changed. But I’m afraid there’s no easy solution to this conflict, and denying that it’s a complicated conflict where a lot is at stake for BOTH sides is just… I dont’ know… naive? Ignorant? And dangerous. It’s definitely dangerous.

    • You keep bringing up numbers, but it’s not the number of people killed that makes something a genocide. When the Canadian government acknowledged the genocidal nature of the residential schools, it wasn’t based on the number of people killed, but the displacement of those generations of children from their culture and communities. And multi-generational displacement is such a huge part of what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians.

      I said this upthread, but trying to put a minimum number of deaths on the genocide label is what Serb nationalists are doing when they try to claim that *despite international recognition*, the massacre at Srebrenica couldn’t have been a genocide since under 10,000 people were murdered (never mind that displacement was a bigger part of the ethnic cleansing that was going on there). Is that really the argument you want to make here too?

      Yes, there has been antisemitism at protests lately (and hypocrisy – I have definitely seen people happily post #FreePalestine who would roll their eyes at #LandBack or punch a protester with a #FreeKurdistan sign). And that absolutely needs to be stopped. But the fact that some fascist-types are co-opting the protests (or that some don’t see the imperialism of their own people) doesn’t cancel out the validity of the original argument.

      I’m not in the US, and I do think this is getting American attention because the US has weird ideas about Israel in general (and on both the right and the left for that matter), but I hope the answer to eventually see US-aimed media talking about similar issues in more countries with more regularity,and not to stop talking about this one. I honestly don’t think it will happen, which is its own issue though…

      • Right. Genocide is based on intent. This isn’t hard.

        And 99% of the time “But their population is going up!” is based on “They’re outbreeding our attempts to kill and oppress them!” which is, uh…gross and…genocidal. Like, it exposes the intent right in its premise.

  7. As a Jew from a former Soviet country that is in Asia, I agree that Israel is in the wrong doing. But they were enabled by both the US, & before the UK. Why aren’t we see a comic on what is happening in China with the Muslim population or the Ethnic cleansing going on in Yemen or the situation with the Kurds in Iraq, Turkey, & Iran. Or a comic on what the Turks did & still are doing to Armenians or what Azerbaijan is doing to the Armenians. Or what Canada & most countries in the Americas are doing to their indigenous population. It feels kind of unbalanced seeing as all these countries are committing war crimes but we only focus & talk about on countries actions. It’s why I only support peoples of a nation and never a nation itself cause those all suck.

    • autostraddle is part of the oppression dogma that only allows jewish voices after a purity test by non Jews

      anyways unsurprising disappointed but not surprising

      i’m a hard line progressive and very sad about what’s happening in my leftist spaces-no room for History and no room for ethiopian jews, mizrahi(aka brown jews), and just took for dog piling on “white jews”. not everyone is seth rogen or fran fine and the worlds Jews are unsafe and this kind of one sided “it’s simple” dogma actively increases antisemitism and does literally nothing to free Palestine from Hamas

      i’ve recently walked away from queer spaces who silence Jews unless they pass a purity test-and walked away from spaces that hyper focus on I/P and give no worry or thought to other increasingly bigger and more powerful countries( Turkey and Iran and Iraq’s war on Kurds & Armenians, Russia, Hungary, India, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen). and American leftists have a problem with not realizing no matter how marginalized they are in America-still benefit from America’s imperialist complex and therefore have an obscured lens on geopolitics that often get passed through a western racial lens unhelpful to many regions of the world.

      • The Anglophone west, and especially the US, do have a nonsensical way of applying their own flawed interpretation of race on the Mediterranean in a way that doesn’t make sense. And that’s true even in non-contentious situations: Autostraddle used to repost a piece on race in Oscar winning films every year (although they skipped it this year) that stated that Persians and Armenians are different colours, which is absurd.

        And there’s very clearly an understanding of colonialism and post-colonialism that centres the British (and to a lesser extend French, Spanish, and Portuguese) sphere to the exclusion of the Russian and Ottoman imperial history. Obviously there’s a history of imperialism in East Asia as well, although in a West Asian context the Russian and Ottoman/Turkish bit is the essential piece that’s missing.

        However, that doesn’t in any way excuse Israel of it’s colonialist behaviour. It just means that using a US framing of whiteness might be incorrect. Although frankly in a Mediterranean context there are many people who are “white” at home but “brown” in a US/UK framework. And since you mentioned it, maybe we should also be talking about how those Ethiopian Jews are being treated in Israel as well, rather than using them as a reason to not call out the colonialism.

        It’s bizarre to me that the call seems to be “If you don’t talk about China, Turkey,and Russia, don’t talk about Israel” rather than “Since you’ve started talking about Israel, let’s also talk about China, Turkey, and Russia.”

  8. I’m a queer Jew and I hold citizenship in the US and Israel and I live in the US. The whole thing is mired in religion and oppression and antisemitism and Islamophobia. My fellow Jews asking why the focus isn’t on other countries committing atrocities? It’s because the evangelical Christian US government doesn’t provide those other places with the type of support it provides to Israel based on the anti-Semitic Revelations trope and maybe some Shoah guilt. The Israeli government is an oppressive force and the US is complicit. I love Israel and fear for my family and friends who live there and I weep for the Palestinians and their disproportionate loss of life and property.

    @dickens, thank you.

    • Let me add: Yes, there is A LOT of antisemitism on the left and it’s jarring. This comic is thoughtful and directly challenges a worldview of Palestinians and an uneven power dimension with the US-backed Israel. This is not antisemitism.

  9. Sometimes the conversations I see about Israel/Palestine remind me a lot of the conversations I see people I have about race in the US. I’m not from America, but I have lived in Israel, so apologies if I get any of the terminology wrong or my language isn’t quite right.

    But. I think everyone on AS (and everyone in my country) supported black Americans when they protested against a racist state, that oppressed them, that enacted violence against them, and not just them as individuals, but generations. I saw right wing people complain about the use of protests and violence, but I think most people can understand that many means of protest is legitimate as a reaction to a system that is violent towards you and threatens your life.

    It’s the same in Israel. Palestinians live in abject conditions, with far fewer rights than black Americans. Their food, water, right to travel, medical care etc is limited by Israel. They can’t leave, they can’t raise their families in peace, they are at constant risk of violence. They have no bodily autonomy, no right to life, in the eyes of the Israeli state.

    This part is not complicated, as Dickens says. Israel is unequivocally in the wrong. People should not be treated like that, full stop, however bad their government (and Hamas isn’t great): saying it’s the fault of Palestinians for protesting or being against the state that is oppressing them reminds me of the rhetoric I’ve read from the American right, saying it’s the fault of black people, and if they just kept their heads down and behaved….

    Both of these should be rejected. I also reject the idea that what Israel does to Palestine is inherently Jewish: it is not Jewish to oppress people, to trap people
    – children – in a prison of a strip of land and then bomb them. I absolutely reject that, and in fact, think that is a kind of anti-Semitism.

    Many other countries commit atrocities: Israel is not alone in this. Israel is alone in that its atrocities are supported by the world’s superpower, America, and by many, many people around the world, who somehow see an oppressed, starved, desperate people as deserving victims.

    The situation for the Palestinians is not sustainable. You cannot live like that, you cannot watch your children grow up like that and have no hope at all for change. There is only so long you can survive in a situation like that, and I hope Israel finally realises what it is doing, and reaches her hands out to another suffering people. When the Jewish migrants first fled to Palestine, there was a great hope that they could work together with some of the most educated and literate Arabs, as they have in history. I still somehow have hope that will happen.

  10. As someone who cancelled their A+ membership a while ago because of AS’s “neutral” stance on Palestine, this is really nice to see. The previous comment policy here used nearly identical language to that of people who as Carmen said prefer to “look the other way”. Personally speaking, I was more turned off by the site’s insistence on shutting down any conversations about Palestine and anti-Zionism than the lack of a stance of its own. It felt notable to me that for years any mention of anti-Zionism was shut down by commenters as anti-semitism and then again by the editors who referred to a comment policy that insisted it was an issue too complex for them to moderate discussions on. While I’m glad this has changed and AS is taking a firm stance and standing behind it, I wanted to say that it was very notable to myself and other queer Muslims and anti-Zionists that AS more so than other queer spaces insisted on both looking the other way and silencing conversations for years. I’m glad AS is finally recognizing the harm of its inaction.

  11. Thank you for publishing this, as N said the previous silence of AS on the occupation of Palestine was disturbing and felt particularly pointed because the publication is otherwise very concerned with various liberation movements.

    I’m looking forward to more Autostraddle content about how queer and trans movements connect to and are informed by a free Palestine.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!