Ben White writes in Middle East Eye:
On 13 December, shortly after two Israeli soldiers had been shot dead outside an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post tweeted the following: “They celebrate death and we celebrate life. That is the core of this conflict.”
Katz’s tweet encapsulated the dehumanisation of Palestinians, and utter denial about the reality of occupation and colonialism, that is unfortunately all too common amongst Jewish Israelis.
“Incitement”, “brainwashing”, “religious fervour”, “extremism”, “social media”, “family problems” – variations on familiar refrains are trotted out, time and time again. Anything to avoid facing an equation familiar to every colonial power throughout history: the occupied always reject occupation.
It’s doubtful whether Katz, or any of the other apartheid apologists, ever imagine what it must be like to be a Palestinian in the West Bank, to have so much of your life controlled by a soldier’s whim and a general’s decision. Your house? Demolished. Your child? Shot dead. Your colleague? Jailed.
Palestinian children do not need to be taught to hate when settlers attack them on their way to school, or when Israeli soldiers shoot their classmates, or when military judges jail their parents
Israeli politicians and “security” officials tell us that Palestinian youth are fed a diet of hatred and incitement – at schools, in mosques, and online. But Palestinian children do not need to be taught to hate when settlers attack them on their way to school, or when Israeli soldiers shoot their classmates, or when military judges jail their parents. Living under occupation is its own education – and it lasts a lifetime.
It is hard to overstate the extent to which Israel’s colonial occupation degrades and brutalises Palestinians. Their homes and properties can be taken. Their bodies can be tortured. Their lives can be extinguished. And all of the above with total impunity.
In its daily activities, the “Israel Defence Forces” is, first and foremost, above all else, a colonial army.