[Marxism] Example answer to "why don't you protest rocket attacks" question

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Sat Jan 3 02:43:33 MST 2009

I think this (below) may be of use to others who are confronted by the
same "why don't you protest rocket attacks" question, to engage the
questioner in a reasonable discussion that could change minds.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ruthless Critic <>
Date: Sat, Jan 3, 2009 at 4:31 AM
Subject: demonstrations in protest against Gaza bombing
To: Piotr  <>

On Fri, Jan 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Piotr  <> wrote:

> I just wanted to take a moment and protest these emails.  I understand this
> is a group promoting peace and understanding, and naturally the members will
> hold different views.  However, it is kind of funny that no one here
> suggested holding a protest against the rockets that were and are
> specifically targeting civilian areas.  It seems to me, that this group will
> fail like all of its predecessors.  Please be more understanding and stop
> sending these mass emails supporting demonstrations by people who do not
> even recognize Israel's right to exist.
> B'Shalom.

Hi Piotr and others,

I am the person who sent the email. Let me correct Piotr when he says
that the demonstration was "by people who do not even recognize
Israel's right to exist". That is not correct, because I, myself am a
counter-example:  I *participated* in Tuesday's demonstration, and I
certainly do recognize Israel's right to exist as a democratic state.

Nor did I hear any slogan being raised during the Tuesday
demonstration, nor did I see any sign at the Tuesday demonstration,
that denied Israel's right to exist.

Many people compare the situation of the people in Gaza today, with
that of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto in occupied Poland. Let me
assure you that, if I had been alive at that time (during World War
II), I most certainly would have marched in protest against the attack
on the Warsaw Ghetto.

Below are some probable
reasons as to why there have not been protests against rockets
launched from Gaza (which Piotr wonders about).

(1) In my view, it is much more of a matter of concern when a *State*
commits human rights violations, than when individuals, or even a
group of individuals, commits a criminal act. The scale of violence is
simply different (larger) by many orders of magnitude, when the
violence is committed by state actors rather than by non-state actors.

(2) Since we're in the US, and Israel is a direct recipient of a lot
of military aid from the USA (in fact the F-16 bombers used in the
bombings are US-made), it is quite natural that people in the US would
be more concerned about violence committed by Israel than by that
committed by Hamas. After all, your and my money (as US taxpayers) is
directly being used to carry out the bombings. That is not the case in
the case of Hamas rockets. So, it is perfectly understandable, and
even justifiable, I think, to participate in protests against Israeli
state-sponsored violence even if one is not participating in or
organizing protests against Hamas rockets.

(3) Just as one could ask the question why there have been no protests
against Hamas rockets, one could also ask the question why there have
not been any protests against the barriers to passage of pretty much
all sorts of goods in and out of Gaza by Israel, over a period of many
months. Sick Palestinian patients routinely die because they are
blocked at checkpoints by Israel and cannot get to the hospital. Many
neutral parties have described the state of Gaza under Israeli
blockade as being like a giant concentration camp or open-air prison.
If months and months of such humiliation and oppression lead some
people to shoot rockets, that is probably an understandable reaction
(although certainly not a justifiable reaction).

(4) Finally, there is simply the matter of scale. Of course all human
life is precious, but the bombing of Gaza is creating way too many
deaths compared to deaths that have been caused by rocket firings.
Given that Gaza has 1.5 million people, the 400+ people killed by
bombing so far is (proportionately) like the 3000+ who were killed in
the 9/11 attacks in the USA (which has a population of about 300
million), if you compare the number of deaths to the total population.
So, you can see why this is simply a HUGE number of deaths.

I am neither Arab nor Jewish.  The reason
I participate in these protests is because I stand in solidarity with
people who are being oppressed. Not because of any parochial reasons.


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