It’s not anti-semitic to want this to stop

Even though it does not matter, it is impossible to know where to begin. In the face of so much darkness and such an appalling absence of light, no combination of words perfectly placed, meticulously checked for truth, will make any of this okay. Or make any of it stop. This writer is as trapped as you, the reader, helplessly, vainly bearing witness in the hope that one day humanity will learn from its endless cycles of hatred, the monstrous ebb and flow of history’s tides of blood. 

Last week, during my poorly conceived morning routine, before the coffee infusion but after plugging my eyeballs into the livestreamed genocide accessible via the glowing brick that charges beside my bed, I saw a video I hope to one day successfully repress into the darkest, deepest sealed sections of my mind. I would rather not have flashes of it as I am hugging my son or making his school lunches or thinking about his excursion to the aquarium. A father in Rafa holding aloft a headless child, nothing but sinews from the chest cavity upwards, the stunned man displaying the corpse left, then right, then left again, as if challenging the world to ignore this. This atrocity held in his hands. Tents, bodies, hope and the sky burn as set dressing. The Watching on in horror epoch knows no chill.

Do not lose sight of just how depraved it is that these words need to be written at all. The cognitive dissonance inflicted on so many by Zionist lobbying, by imperial propaganda, by eurocentric education, by Holocaust guilt and the complete dehumanisation of Palestinian humans, by ahistorical myths and settler-coloniser framing devices, is a truly confronting spectacle. It has created an unthinking walking, talking, voting, op-eding mass of fervorous brain damage that insists, relentlessly, that the people losing all of their land and suffering 96% of all the casualties over the course of this seven-decades’ long conflict are in fact the aggressors. Like the Palestinian children turned into mist, this cannot be unseen once it has been glimpsed. 

The human capacity for denial must be having its limits tested but thus far it has not faltered. 

Israel initially celebrated the “precision” of this attack, which left 45 total Palestinians dead, all eviscerated in a field of tents inside one of the IDF’s “safe zones” for the million-plus displaced refugees helplessly seeking safety. The next day, at Al-Mawasi, another “safe zone”, 21 more Palestinians in tents were murdered in the exact same fashion. 

Benjamin Netanyahu, as monstrous a human as any that has ever led a nation, days later called this first massacre a “tragedy”, or a “tragic mistake”, depending on your translator. Either way, it is a sentiment only a glue-sniffer or an imperial stenographer at a shithouse Australian news outlet could accept at face value: Netanyahu himself having recently, loudly and repeatedly foreshadowed his desire to commit this exact “tragic mistake” in Rafa – this time in defiance of the orders of the International Criminal Court. 

Agreeing with Piers Morgan about anything makes me extremely uncomfortable, but here we are. The world is upside down, things are not good.

Facing growing public outrage from demonstration-filled streets across the world, as the week rolled on US President Joe Biden pretended to ponder if enough Palestinians had died to warrant pulling American funding away from the massacre machine. The answer, for as long as he can get away with it, is no, not yet. 

On the contrary, by June 5, one week later, the US had passed a bill through Congress sanctioning the International Criminal Court for pursuing arrest warrants against Netanyahu. “The International Criminal Court has overstepped its authority and set a dangerous precedent,” said House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul. That dangerous precedent being doing something the Empire disapproves of. 

To provide some extremely relevant context that never gets mentioned on the news for some fucking reason, no American politician has received more money from Zionist lobby groups than Joe Biden. He is literally at the top of the list, having accepted US$5,761,804 for his various campaigns since 1990, twice as much as the next politician on the list. This means exactly what you think it means. 

Netanyahu has been invited to speak inside the US Congress next week. Bernie Sanders announced on Xwitter that he won’t be attending, a rare American politician screaming against the chorus of war crime apologia and genocidal complicity.  


Today, the West exists in a state of hypocritical depravity. The American empire we are mesmerised into not comprehending the existence of is flailing about on its death throes, two geriatric genocidal freaks – one a dimwitted authoritarian racist criminal pervert; the other a bought-and-sold hawkish soft-brained liberal – compete to fiddle as Rome burns. Israel’s 75-year-long annexation of Palestine has moved into the ‘dropping bombs and decapitating refugee children sleeping in tents’ phase of colonisation, all the while accusing everyone who isn’t cheering on the bloodlust mindlessly of being anti-semitic. And the media: the nonsense that enables this bloodthirsty edifice. 

In seeking to bolster support for the annihilation of Gaza, mainstream news outlets have contorted into logic knots denser than blackholes: history beginning eight months ago; the openly genocidal rhetoric and actions of Israel not making the transition from a thing that is transparently occurring repeatedly in the real world into the “news”; the contradictory spaghetti-jumble moral compass of the West and its flaky dedication to the “rule of law”; and the perennial New York Times special, passive voice for Palestinian deaths, flowery adjectives for hurt Zionist feelings. 

Though the competition was stiff, The Atlantic took this month’s psychopath crown by explaining how, under the right circumstances, it is “legal to murder children”. The implication, of course, being that Israel has these precise circumstances for mass legal baby murder and oh geez isn’t it sad what we have to do. “Never again”… 

Even framing this as a “war” is a loaded political choice. Wars do not play out this way; this is slaughter. 

And Australia, forever faffing about the margins, furrowing its brow, wagging Penny Wong’s finger on social media and then voting with the Coalition 80-5 to not reject the standing orders and hold a vote on Adam Bandt’s motion to recognise the state of Palestine. 

Last week, Labor stalwarts insisted Bandt’s motion was a cynical Greens stunt, and in Detached Decorum Land to some degree it may have been, but passion and conviction do not exist there, and I’d ask those same Labor supporters to honestly envisage a set of circumstances where the ALP would have voted any differently. It is utterly implausible. 

Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie was the sole non-Green in the House capable of understanding that occasionally – like when our allies are blowing kids heads off with bombs dropped using Australian technology – Parliamentary convention can go fuck itself and you can just do the right thing. Some things can’t wait until Monday, ya know??!

Every step of the way through the eight-month intensification of Israel’s 75-years-and-counting dispossession of Palestine, the Australian Government has supported Israel materially and politically, applying only the piddliest amounts of pressure – what it perceived it could get away with without upsetting the American motherland – in the face of habitual and enthusiastic crimes against humanity. If Prime Minister Anthony Albanese could sit down with student leader Anthony Albanese, preferably under the observation of CSIRO scientists, to talk about whether Palestine deserves to be free, whether children in Gaza deserve an existence safe from the 2000 lb bombs of one of the most sadistically advanced armies in the world, we’d learn an awful lot about the human capacity to sell a soul for power. 

Just as there is no bearable place to start a piece like this, a good ending is impossible. There just isn’t one. So instead I ask you this: is it really anti-semitic – as the Israeli lobbies, detached journalists and Western politicians insist – to feel like enough Palestinians have been slaughtered? Is it really a threat to Judaism to want a ceasefire? Are student protests and chants for peace, for freedom for Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, the real hate crime we should all be so concerned about right now? Has the IDF killed enough civilians to make Israel safe from terrorism yet? Is the army that is filling mass graves the length of Gaza with journalists and aid workers and doctors with their hands zip-tied behind their backs really the “most moral army in the world”? Could the news, or Julia Gillard, or Josh Frydenburg, please feed me some more “it’s complicateds” to make all of this make sense?

The West’s political leadership, stuck on repeat, was always going to accept the challenge of the desperate father in Rafa, holding aloft the shattered remains of his happiness. It will be ignored, and there will be more. 

Since October 7, at least 36,550 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, 15,000 of them children. 10,000 more are missing, almost certainly dead. 527 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, 132 of them children – all of them at some geographic distance from Hamas and its sprawling CGI tunnel network, all of them the victims of hate. 

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