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Bombing Gaza “into a parking lot” a “natural” thought for Israel backers, says Forward’s Jay Michaelson

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It’s only “natural” for Israel’s supporters to fantasize about “turning Gaza into a parking lot,” says Jay Michaelson. 

(Ashraf Amra / APA images)

By now we’ve become accustomed to Israeli politicians calling for, or openly fantasizing about, the mass murder of Palestinians.

I wrote about numerous examples of this phenomenon, especially during Israel’s November attack on Gaza that left more than 170 people dead, including dozens of children, and more than 1,200 injured.

Such frankness about genocidal fantasies is not so common among writers for the venerable liberal Zionist publication The Jewish Daily Forward.

But in a piece today on Israel’s upcoming election, Forward contributing editor Jay Michaelson includes this horrifying passage:

Any American supporting the Likud now has to face the facts. This is not a list taking a somewhat harder negotiating line, or being a bit tougher on Iran. This is a list of nationalist thugs who pander to the absolute worst in all of us: fears, prejudices and most of all, anger. This tactic works; after all, what supporter of Israel isn’t furious with Hamas? Who didn’t entertain a thought of “turning Gaza into a parking lot,” as one conservative friend of mine proposed? It’s natural to feel these emotions -— but ill-advised to act on them, and cynical to exploit them.

Natural? As Twitter user @CoryDeSole, who brought the article to my attention wrote, “Shame on [Jay Michaelson] for suggesting that genocide is a mainstream Jewish value.”

Embedded rich on Twitter

Michaelson apparently thinks it is perfectly “natural” for American Jews sitting in New York or Los Angeles to fantasize about the total obliteration of a territory that houses an impoverished, besieged population, the vast majority of whom are refugees exiled from their original towns and villages solely because they are not Jews. That’s not “natural.” That’s horrifying.

Can you imagine the reaction if any prominent advocate for Palestinian human rights said that it was “natural” for Palestinians or anyone else to “entertain a thought of turning Tel Aviv into a parking lot”?

No need to imagine. Israel’s prime minister and his fanatical Zionist supporters have been yearning for war against Iran for years, largely on the pretext of some dubiously translated comments its president made a few years ago.

Comments

"Can you imagine the reaction if any prominent advocate for Palestinian human rights said that it was “natural” for Palestinians or anyone else to “entertain a thought of turning Tel Aviv into a parking lot”?" Indeed, hypocrisy and double standards are the de jour standards in the rhetoric of American and Israeli exceptionalism when it comes to Palestine.

...that genocide *is* a traditional value for those who support Israel, "liberal" or not. That's hardly news, nor is the willingness of Israel's supporters to announce it.

I find it refreshing to hear anyone in the media speak openly and honestly about human nature. Too many play politics by pretending absolute virtue on the one hand and irredeemable evil on the other. Anyone who has lived long enough and glimpsed the unvarnished truth knows that circumstances play a much larger role, than is commonly acknowledged, in determining our thoughts. He is right in stressing that we should just not act on them. That is a mature view of the human condition.
Thus his condemnation of demagogery in this context is only made more cogent.

"Double standard", wow. Well somebody ought to do something about that right away. Thanks for pointing that out. That will certainly affect the thinking of the "List" before a realization that their oppressor role is turning them into monsters who contemplate flattening cities. But have it your own way.
Those dirty double dealing rascals will get theirs yet. Hypocrites repent!