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From Kerry to Selena Gomez and Rihanna, Israel’s Claims of Precision, Compassion Are Dissed
Posted on Jul 21, 2014
By Juan Cole
This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.
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Kerry’s exasperation with Israeli brutality is shared around the world, though, as with Kerry, most public figures won’t express it in the open.
But some politicians and celebrities are daring to speak out.
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Channel 4′s Jon Snow asked an Israeli spokesman all those same questions everyone else would like to, including why in the world Israel is bombing hospitals and old people’s homes and whether there is something wrong with their equipment or whether they have simply decided to commit war crimes if that is what it takes. Compare Snow’s actual journalism with any anchor on US network news and it is American journalism that stands shamed.
Some resorted to the tactic of tweeting “Free Palestine” and then deleting the tweet, claiming it was all a misunderstanding. This was the path chosen by Rihanna and Dwight Howard.
Rihanna is from Barbados and has Third-Worldist sympathies, occasionally deploying Arabesque imagery in her music videos.
But the award for bravery under fire must go to Selena Gomez, who posted this to her Instagram and Twitter accounts:
She has declined to delete the message, and it has garnered 500,000 retweets. She did say this:
But of course when you say “Pray for Gaza,” you have chosen sides, since the Israeli right wing is fighting this war in part to crush Gaza further.
Gomez’s hashtag on this post was #wearethenextgeneration and I think she got that one absolutely correct. The Millennials are a new generation with their own perspective on world affairs. They’re less interested in organized religion than their elders. In the US, they are substantially less Northern European in their heritage and tastes (this is also true in France e.g.) The Millennials have only seen the 2006, 2008-9, 2012, and the current wars, in which Israel is the superpower and its opponents lack tanks, artillery or planes. Palestinians in such an encounter look like the underdogs, not a powerful threat. I don’t think the Israeli leadership has the slightest conception of how the tide is turning against them over their colonial policies and tactics.
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