Israeli violence is the problem
After carrying out yet another bout of brutal raids on occupied Jerusalem’s holy places, the Israeli propaganda machine is attempting to shift the world’s attention to the rockets being launched from the besieged Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon. Western journalists, academics and commentators are, of course, dutifully embracing this discourse and propagating it.
In the face of yet another attempt to cover up Israeli crimes, those of us committed to truth, justice, and decolonisation must always keep our sight fixed on the only violence that explains the reality of the situation: Israeli settler-colonial violence.
Israeli violence is first and foremost structural. It involves the dehumanisation of the Palestinian people in Israeli culture, education, and politics; the checkpoints; the apartheid wall; the besiegement of the Gaza Strip; the home demolitions; the permits system; the economic hardships Palestinians suffer; the restrictions on Palestinian access to healthcare and social services; the imprisonment; the denial of the freedom of movement; the limited access to holy places; the stealing of Palestinian lands; the building and expansion of illegal settlements, and so on.
Succinctly put, this structural violence concerns Israeli legal, political, cultural, and economic structures that are designed to strip Palestinians of their sovereignty and freedom, denying them basic human and political rights, exposing them to uninhibited Israeli state military violence.
Israeli violence is also carried out by identifiable agents: the military onslaughts; the raids on Palestinian cities, towns, and places of worship; torture in prisons; settler militia violence; police shootings and beatings, and so on.
These lists are not exhaustive of all of the forms of Israeli violence that fall within these two general types. Israel saturates the world of Palestinians with settler colonial violence. There is no break, no relief, no space to breathe, no time to recover.