Another rant about the Genocide in Gaza

For the last six months, I have found myself sounding off every few weeks on Facebook about the ongoing atrocity that is the Israeli massacre of  the people of Gaza. I figured I should copy and paste it to this blog I don't use much just in case Facebook deletes it, or I eventually delete my account. It's good to have a record, you know?

[Big sigh]

It's one of those times again where I feel like I need to lay out recent events, mainly to organize my thoughts for the next time someone asks me why I'm wearing a Palestinian flag on my kippah.

First, there's the blockbuster 972+ report on the targeting process for the bombing campaign. They built a chain of AI tools that rank everyone in Gaza in likelihood of being a Hamas fighter, then programmed another one to report when it believed that they arrived at their family home. And finally, they lowered the confidence thresholds so that basically any man over 15 in Gaza qualified, and set the collateral damage limit to "none" and then hit "Run". That was the targeting process for the bombing campaign at the start of the war. That's genocide.

Then there's the anonymous physician who has tried to blow the whistle on how a major detention camp has turned into a torture camp. Hundreds of detainees held without charge are handcuffed at all times. Not allowed to sleep. And if the cuffs cut off circulation, they amputate or execute them with impunity.

Next, we have reporting by The Guardian of widespread reports of children being carried into what remains of Gaza's hospitals dead of sniper bullets. We already have had plenty of reports that the IDF is killing on sight, including the elderly and Israeli hostages, but it continues. They shoot children from afar for simple gratification. 

And then finally we have the assassination of the World Central Kitchen convoy. Unlike hundreds of other aid workers, this broke into international news because the victims included non-arabs, but we need to be really clear here: they were assassinated. The IDF knew who they were shooting at, and hunted each individual aid worker strike-by-strike as they tried to escape until they were sure there were no survivors. It wasn't an accident: aid workers are targets because they are obstacles to a campaign of extermination. And it worked. Most remaining aid organizations are pulling out. Hundreds of tons of food that the WCK folks were going to pick up from a ship got turned around and sent home.

I feel terrible for the people this is happening to, but also for Israelis and Jews. I grew up in an era where antisemitism felt like an artifact of history. But the damage that is being done -- not just by Netanyahu, but anyone who is silent in the face of this genocide -- is going to be far reaching. What will being Jewish mean to Calvin? Will he feel guilt or shame to be Jewish? Will he feel SAFE? I don't know. 

Wearing the pin is very uncomfortable, btw. It's awkward. An Israeli coworker I don't know asked me in a lunchroom this week who I work with, and I have no idea whether she was being politely curious or looking to figure out who the fuck I am and what my deal is. I'm going back to Pittsburgh this week, and I want to take it off. I don't want to have to walk around the heavily Jewish community I grew up in wearing it, thinking about how my family will feel being seen with me or whether they'll be concerned about being associated with me. But fuck... if I were being exterminated, I'd really hope people would find a enough chutzpah and say, "Um, you know what? I'll say it: genocide is BAD, actually." 

Also, fuck Netenyahu, fuck Ben-Gvir, fuck Smotrich. And fuck Biden, both for knowingly providing the material support for genocide but also because I'm pretty sure he's decided to let Trump end what's left of US democracy over his weird Zionist fervor. If anyone is confused, Biden is throwing the game. I'm really not excited about the dawning era of American fascism. And for god fucking sake, #freegaza and #BringThemHomeNow.