Jerry Nadler Pushes Tired Gaza Narrative

Jerry Nadler was on Up with Chris Hayes where he got to spout the official United States line regarding Israel:

Here’s the critical part:

We were reminded of one thing that we knew, which is the utter hypocrisy of the UN and the non-aligned movement when it comes to Israel and the Middle East that said nothing when Hamas has fired over five or six hundred missiles at Israeli civilians, each missile being a war crime. And when Israel finally hit back by attacking a leader of the militants and started attacking launch sites, suddenly there’s a UN security council meeting and the non-aligned movement condemns Israel.

I am really not a partisan in this matter. This whole thing is a mess. But I don’t find the Israeli justifications for its actions very compelling in this case. And it seems that American media always pick convenient starting times for any dispute. At this point, I figure all the actions of both sides are based upon the previous actions of the other side.

What people on the left react to is that the Hamas actions are mostly impotent while the Israeli actions are anything but. It would be one thing if Israel’s use of non-proportional retaliation accomplished anything. But all it seems to do is continue the conflict on while killing thousands of Palestinians.

As to Nadler’s remarks: they are entirely one sided. The Palestinians were firing rockets at Israel and Israel had to put an end to it. Implicit in his statement is that Palestine had no good reason to be firing on Israel and Israel has every reason to be firing on Palestine. I’m inclined to say that neither side is justified in this killing. But it is just wrong to say that one side has cause and the other does not. Also note: no mention of the ceasefire.

The coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reminds me of the countless Indian wars here in the United States. In those cases, one could certainly cherry pick examples of the Native Americans behaving badly. But what was really going on was a land grab. Is that what’s going on in Palestine? I don’t know. But the “Israel good, Palestine bad” rhetoric makes me appreciate that narrative.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Jerry Nadler Pushes Tired Gaza Narrative

  1. It’s absolutely a land grab. Israel is trying to annex Palestinian lands. They already control just about every aspect of Palestinian life as it is. They are engaged in an illegal occupation and have committed countless human rights violations.

    Sure there are examples of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas, but the American media frames it as if their attacks are unprovoked. There is no excuse for terrorism, but it can certainly be explained. A population can only take so much oppression before things start to get violent. That being said, there is plenty of nonviolent resistance going on in Palestine, but it’s never covered here in the media.

    When Israel attacks Palestine, almost always disproportionately and with extreme brutality, it’s framed here in the US media as retaliation against terrorism. What they fail to mention in almost all cases (at least in the US media) is that Israel is [i]occupying[/i] Palestine. They are foreign occupiers who are bulldozing houses, imposing ridiculous curfews, torturing civilians, requiring Palestinians to go through checkpoints to get most anywhere, building Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and controlling the resources of Palestine. So who is really the aggressor here? Don’t forget that in nearly every case of Israeli "retaliation" it’s mostly civilians killed, including women and children.

    I despise suicide bombings, terrorism, and war and violence in general. Don’t think that I’m justifying what Hamas does. But Israel’s authoritarian occupation and their frequent, brutal attacks serve to create an impetus for terrorism and an environment that facilitates and reinforces extremism.

    Sorry, long rant. This issue bugs me for many reasons. The endless violence on both sides comes to mind. You’re right that it’s a mess. It also serves to show just how partisan, filtered and controlled our media is. Things like this make me really grateful for the internet.

  2. @Mack – What you wrote is pretty much where I find myself. I have difficulty being too strong in any statements because people on both sides of this issue know a great deal and can tear down what I have to say with data that may or may not be cherry picked.

    The one thing I don’t really understand is that I thought if a country is occupying another, then they are responsible for keeping the peace. Yet I’m always hearing that Israel will bargain with the Palestinians as soon as [i]they[/i] stop the violence. I’m not sure they really have the power to do so. But I don’t hear this argument from the Palestinian side, so I’m probably wrong about this.

    One thing I get tired of hearing is how Israel has to kill civilians because Hamas surrounds their leaders with women and children. This same argument has been used to justify our drone strikes that have killed so many innocents. But I don’t buy this. I think it is just that when people fight these kinds of wars, they don’t have the luxury to separate their wars from the rest of their lives. It all sounds like a justification for murder.

  3. If we could have a sane discussion about this in America, there are many problems with ending the occupation. Probably first and foremost is that Palestinians are incredibly poor and lack reliable access to birth control, so their birth rate is much, much higher than that of Israelis. If Israel were to make them all citizens, then inside of a few years Israel would be a minority-Jewish state. The whole point of establishing the country was to make a place where Jews would never be a minority again, given their history of persecution. I doubt Palestinians would be as murderous towards Jews as, say, European Christians have been (Islam actually has a long history of tolerance for other religions until recently), but it’s an understandable concern.

    The idea of simply allowing Palestinians separate statehood is also problematic. Gaza and the West bank don’t resemble "Risk" territories; they’re more like a checkerboard, with fundamentalist Jewish settlers on the red squares with the best water, fertile land, etc. To make "Palestine" a reality would involve removing those settlers, and politically that would be as problematic as removing the tax exemption for fundamentalist churches would be in America — probably far more difficult, really.

    So there are definite issues with how to end the occupation (which I imagine most Israelis would like to do); we just don’t hear about any of them. To our media, it’s crazed killers who aspire to blow up schoolkids and shoppers versus people who "just want peace." Not a very useful or informative picture; but since when has our media been useful or informative?

  4. @JMF – Excellent points. I never thought the one state solution made sense. As it is, in Israel, I’ve read there are problems with the growth of the size of the non-Jewish population already.

    As for a two-state solution, it seems like it is just a matter of everyone calming the fuck down. The problem, it seems to me, is the extremists on both sides. And now, they seem to be in power on both sides. Most people (As always throughout history!) just want to get on with their lives. They don’t care who they pay taxes to; they just want to be left alone to manage their own lives.

    Certainly Israel has made the problem worse by allowing (and in many cases encouraging) illegal settlements. But as you say, solutions are there. I’m always amazed when I read Israeli coverage of the conflict. Liberals in Israeli are a lot further to the left than liberals in America. What I see from the right in Israel is the same thing I see here: a lot of posturing and dick-swinging.

    What do these people on the right want from Palestine? A completely subjugated people? Because given the history, there are always going to be Palestinians who think they are right to launch rockets into Israel. Is this a reason to keep Palestine impoverished and afraid?

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