This image was part of a John Bolton “promoted tweet” on Twitter that I saw. Basically, it is just a way for you to give Bolton your email address so he can ask you for money for the important work that he does on behalf of protecting corporate interests in the name of ending abortion or saving the Israelis. I know this is the case because the only thing I could do with it was click on a button that read, “Vote Yes for Israel!”
One person replied to it, “Israel is justified. Anyone who says no…let them have rockets sent to them & smile…” It strikes me as being funny. It isn’t a real question. I think the whole situation is a muddled mess, but I think Israel has a right to self-defense. And I think the Hamas rocket attacks are self-defeating, although I’m not sure exactly what the Palestinians are supposed to do. As they are oppressed in silence, the world just ignores them.
The question is, are these rockets really a question of self-defense? I understand that they are terrible for individual people. But they certainly are no kind of an existential threat. And the question has never been whether Israel has a right to respond. The question is whether their response makes sense. And the question for us is just how long are we going to support Israel. One would think that with all their advantages, they would be the “adults in the room.”
By this, I’m talking about coming to a reasonable settlement. But instead, Israel seems far more interested in making the situation worse. They seem to see the Israel-Palestine situation the way that King Richard III would have. The people don’t like rockets fired at them, but I’m not at all clear that the Israeli leadership doesn’t. The rockets give them more political power, just as they give the Hamas more political power. Meanwhile, the people on both sides lose.
But the John Bolton ad is a good example of why we can’t have a reasonable discussion about Israel-Palestine. The framing has less nuance than a Marvel superhero comic:
There is Hamas — a terrorist group. They have absolutely no reason for anything they do. Then there is Israel — the poor country with the eleventh most powerful military in the world that has nuclear weapons and the largest military in the world (ours) as its staunchest ally. They have never done anything that would upset anyone. They just mind their own business and people hate them for no reason whatsoever.
Do even the biggest supporters of Israel think this? Actually, I think not. The problem is that the average American who barely thinks about sees it this way. And people like John Bolton are more than willing to use that fact. His tweet now has 1,948 retweets and 1,259 favorites. And again: he isn’t interested in helping Israel. This is just a way to get people on his mailing list so he can make money.