Lula's metaphor

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By LISZT VIEIRA*

Anti-Semitism has been used as a pretext to defend Israel's current far-right government. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are lumped together

The Israeli Government killed more than 30 thousand civilians in Palestine. Bombed 34 hospitals and 104 schools and universities. Millions of people are without the minimum conditions for survival: without food, medicine, sanitary conditions and shelter.

The name of this extermination is genocide. But the media ignores this and prefers to criticize Lula's accusation that she used a comparison that can be called a metaphor. The Holocaust was a massacre of six million Jews. The extermination of Palestinians is a massacre of, so far, 30 thousand civilians, including more than 10 thousand children.

The Government of Israel does not own the word Holocaust. This word can be used by anyone, as a metaphor for extermination, although the extermination of Jews – and also socialists, communists, homosexuals, people with special needs and gypsies – by Nazi Germany and the current extermination of Palestinians by the neo-fascist government are different. of Israel. The conditions are very different in terms of the number of people murdered, historical situation, political conditions, etc.

It is true that, changing the quantity, the quality changes, but the metaphor is not an imitation. A metaphorical comparison of X with Y does not mean that X is equal to Y. It means that they both have something in common. By definition, “metaphor” is a figure of speech used to make comparisons based on similarity. It is the use of one word with the meaning of another. In this case, what exists in common is the mass extermination of innocent people.

Lula was only criticized by the Israeli government and the Brazilian media. No government, from any country, criticized Lula, who became an important reference for global public opinion, scandalized by the genocide of the Palestinians. Lula put his finger on the wound and penetrated the heart of darkness. The Brazilian media, however, prioritizes Israel's decision to consider Lula as persona non grata. The Brazilian ambassador, humiliated in Israel, was recalled to Brazil. A small diplomatic crisis that is being used as a vain attempt to cover the sun with a sieve and ignore the genocide of the Palestinians.

In reality, the current Israeli government has always supported Jair Bolsonaro's government, and authorized the sale of spying equipment for Jair Bolsonaro to spy on his political opponents. The extreme right in Brazil now has a new base of support: the current development of so-called Christian Zionism, the banner of neo-Pentecostals with their unrestricted support for Israel.

Mass demonstrations around the world protested in the streets against the massacre of Palestinians. Progressive Jewish organizations strongly condemned the war of extermination carried out by Benjamin Netanyahu's government. But that comes from a long time ago. Shortly after the creation of the State of Israel by the UN in 1948, the new government decided that “the border will be defined by war”. Thus, Israel quickly became a colonialist country that invaded Palestinian lands, expelled its residents and often raped women and killed civilians in the villages, according to testimony from former Israeli Army soldiers.

Anti-Semitism has been used as a pretext to defend Israel's current far-right government. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are lumped together. The Holocaust is used as an argument goes everywhere to justify the invasion of Palestine and the extermination of its inhabitants. In Brazil, anyone who criticized Jair Bolsonaro's government was called unpatriotic by the right. Likewise, anyone who criticizes the current Benjamin Netanyahu government is called an anti-Semite.

On February 20, the North American Government vetoed the ceasefire in Gaza for the third time at the UN Security Council. The United States used its veto power to reject a ceasefire resolution in the Gaza Strip proposed during a UN Security Council meeting. On the other hand, diplomat Celso Amorim said that Lula's speech “shook the world and could help resolve the issue of war”.

Amid the diplomatic crisis with Israel, the Brazilian government asked the Court of The Hague to declare Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories illegal. The Brazilian delegation defends the creation of two States. “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, which has persisted since 1967 in violation of international law and several resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, cannot be accepted, much less normalized,” said diplomat Maria Clara Paula de Tusco , representative of Brazil at the Court. She called on the Court to declare the Israeli occupation illegal.

There is no military solution to Israel's conflict with Palestine. But the current Israeli government needs war to survive. He knows he could fall if and when the war ends. With US support, the Israeli government achieved military victories, but lost the political battle in public opinion and became an enemy of global civil society and its humanitarian values. Without political support, tyrants cannot last long. The world turns around. In the long run, today's victories could be a Pyrrhic victory.

*Liszt Vieira is a retired professor of sociology at PUC-Rio. He was a deputy (PT-RJ) and coordinator of the Global Forum of the Rio 92 Conference. Author, among other books, of Democracy reactsGaramond). [https://amzn.to/3sQ7Qn3]


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