Palestinian lives matter

Image: Khaled Hourani
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By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL*

Dehumanization is fundamental to the Israeli offensive. It serves to ensure that international public opinion is not sensitive to the tragedy of the Palestinian people

At the CPI on January 8, the opposition wanted to spread the story that the Lula government tried to carry out a coup against itself. The press, rightly so, ridiculed the ploy.

But when the United States and Israel say that the Palestinian hospital was bombed by the Palestinians themselves, this narrative is quickly accepted as worthy of attention.

Although the Israeli government has already made it clear, in numerous statements, that it considers the Palestinians as “animals” and that it wants to exterminate the population of Gaza – “the only thing that needs to enter Gaza are hundreds of tons of explosives from the Air Force, not an ounce of humanitarian aid,” said Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Although Israel has a habit of denying the actions of its armed forces, until the time when it can no longer deny it.

Although Israel attacked the hospital before, with less firepower, as a “warning”, to demand its evacuation.

Although Israel supported the accusations based on analysis of images from Al Jazeera, it was prompted to delete its “analysis” from social media when it realized that the video was from an hour before the hospital bombing.

Although Israel has released an allegedly intercepted audio of Hamas members attributing the attack to Islamic Jihad – and (Western!) experts have already confirmed that the audio is certainly fake, due to the accent and poor pronunciation of the men speaking.

Although an Israeli government spokesperson admitted responsibility for the attack – and later deleted the tweet.

While the “controversy” over who committed the attack monopolizes the news, its victims – 471 Palestinian civilians, including many children – fade into a distant background.

This is the tone of the press coverage.

In the press, the Israeli victims of the war are people of flesh and blood. They appear in photos smiling, dancing, friends and relatives tell of their brutally interrupted dreams. We feel empathy, we feel sad for them.

Palestinian victims are made invisible. They are numbers. At most, we see photos of destroyed Gaza. It seems like there are no dreams that can be interrupted there – it’s just brutality, violence, death.

Dehumanization is fundamental to the Israeli offensive. It serves to ensure that international public opinion does not become sensitive to the tragedy of the Palestinian people, who have been subjected to oppression for decades.

And the United States is the great accomplice. Almost no one in the American political elite has the courage to confront the powerful Zionist lobby.

Harvard student organizations had the audacity to speak out in defense of Palestinian rights. The response was not long in coming: billionaires announced that they would cut donations to the university. Does anyone doubt that the rectory is already making efforts to silence students?

At the United Nations Security Council, the USA used its veto power to block the Brazilian peace resolution proposal.

They said that, when Joe Biden died, Kamala Harris would become the first black woman to order the bombing of a Third World country – an identity victory, without a doubt. We're not there yet, but Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield isn't far behind.

Afterwards, the ambassador said she was “disappointed” because the text proposed by Brazil did not mention Israel’s “right to self-defense”.

“Self-defense”, in this case, is the application of Talião’s law by a military superpower against a devastated people.

Once again, it is the dehumanization of Palestinians that allows this speech.

Palestinian lives matter. This is the message that needs to be reiterated.

* Luis Felipe Miguel He is a professor at the Institute of Political Science at UnB. Author, among other books, of Democracy in the capitalist periphery: impasses in Brazil (authentic).

Originally posted on the author's social media.


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