Gaza, the “asphalt society” and the favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Dora Longo Bahia, The police come, the police go, 2018 Acrylic on cracked laminated glass 50 x 80 cm


The justification for the violence of the police in Rio de Janeiro, similar to the justification of the Israeli Forces, is that “the favelas are home to drug dealers.”

Let's create a scenario where the favelas of Rio de Janeiro would be Gaza and the “asphalt society” would be Israel.

In Rio's Gaza, drug traffickers (or Hamas) carry out military attacks in the region of Rio's Israel or get involved in conflicts with other armed groups. Traffickers, or Hamas in Rio, often kidnap, torture and kill people from Israel in Rio.

In the same way that Israel acts in the West Bank, the police in Rio de Janeiro act like the Israel Defense Forces, invading poor areas with great military power and often leaving civilian victims among this population.

The justification of the Israeli police in Rio de Janeiro, just like the justification of the Israeli Forces, is that “the favelas shelter drug dealers, drug dealers force residents to hide them and that drug dealers live mixed with the favela population. Exactly the logic of the Israel Defense Forces' thinking regarding the population of Gaza

Still following this line of thought, the Israel Defense Forces understand that the solution to ending Hamas is to bomb Gaza, including the civilian population, to exterminate the enemy. It involves invading by land with armored vehicles and helicopters, killing everyone considered an enemy.

In other words, applying the logic of Israel, and of those who support the action in Gaza victimizing the Palestinians, the solution to end the traffickers should be to bomb the population of the favelas, invade these areas with great military power and consider the civilian victims as damages collaterals.

When we bring Israel's solution to end Hamas to scenarios close to us, we can see, however short the vision, or however much the opinionator lacks greater cultural depth, the extent of the absurdity and cruelty of this type of solution. which is being carried out by Israel in Gaza. On the other hand, in the same way that the police in Rio de Janeiro often invade the favela with tremendous military power, killing and injuring dozens, seizing the spoils of the battle with drug traffickers without this truly altering the scenario in these areas, the same will happen in Gaza.

Israel can bomb, invade, kidnap, torture and kill, but there will always be strongholds where Hamas will continue to exist, resist and fight. Police or military actions that affect the general population only result in an immense worsening of the image of the repressive force among the civilian population affected by these actions.

Responding to brutality with brutality generally only results in more brutality. The rest is proselytism or conjecture.

* Segadas Viana is a journalist.

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