“Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian territory!”
Under the Palestinian definition of “occupation”, every single person on Earth “occupies” land that once belonged to Aztecs, Carthaginians, Druids, Etruscans, Seminoles, or Visigoths– who themselves stole the land from someone else, who stole the land from someone else– in an unbroken chain of appropriation that goes back to the dawn of civilization.
But it never occurs to the keffiyeh-wearing, “co-exist”-ing hipster that his dorm, local farmer’s market, and favorite shawarma restaurant sit atop “occupied” Chumash territory.
“Israel is the only nation that tries to avoid civilian casualties!”
The clear implication of this statement is that Israel avoids collateral damage out of moral and/or cultural superiority.
We need look no further than Hollywood or Manhattan’s Upper East Side for evidence of these superior values.
Israel is forced to limit civilian casualties to (1) appease the world community and (2) deny its enemies anti-Israeli propaganda.
If Israel could wipe out the Palestinians without economic and/or military repercussion, it would (just as any nation that has ever existed would wipe out their sworn enemy).
“Palestinians use nail bombs and suicide bombers! Gawd, they’re sooo barbaric!”
That this argument is so pervasive, while so easily dismissed, suggests there is a racial element at play (the racists don’t realize they’re the same race).
The tactics employed by Palestinians are not objectively more heinous or immoral than those employed by the IRA— and to the extent their tactics do differ– it is certainly not enough to account for the wide gulf in perception.
Even at the height of the Troubles, Americans never viewed the Irish as negatively as it views Palestinians and/or Muslims.
No American ever suggested bombing Ireland.
To punctuate this point, prominent Republican Peter King received little, if any criticism for these remarks:
If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.
Substitute “Hamas” for “IRA”, and imagine the outcry that would ensue.
Note the discrepancy between our attitudes towards Palestinian suicide bombers and Japanese kamikaze. The former is despised, while the latter is romanticized in the zeitgeist.
For ex: The 1996 blockbuster Independence Day…
Most theatergoers perceived Russell Kaye’s climactic kamikaze attack on the alien spaceship– not as terrorism– but as a selfless act of heroism.
In truth, we don’t choose sides based on logic– otherwise, these talking points would hold no water.
Geopolitics is high school. We never left, we’re all still in cliques.