Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip represents a terrible atrocity committed by a terrorist, outlaw state. And yet the intensity of Israel’s killing machine is probably not the most disturbing part of its three-week-long onslaught. Shamefully, we’ve grown accustomed to Israel committing one atrocity after another against Palestinians while other nation-states sit on their hands—or in the case of the U.S. Congress, pass almost unanimous resolutions endorsing the slaughter—and let the rogue state get away with its terrible crimes.
Perhaps more appalling is how the Israeli public is cheering on the massacre. The Associated Press reported Jan. 17 that a Haaretz-Dialog poll found that 82% of Israelis believe their military has not “gone too far” with its attacks against Palestinians in Gaza.
Regarding U.S. public opinion, the Jerusalem Post reports that two new polls show Americans strongly back Israel over Palestinians in Israel’s assault on Gaza.
“A McClatchy/Ipsos poll found that 44 percent of Americans support Israel’s use of force, in comparison to 18% who think Hamas’s use of force is appropriate. And 57% think the latter is using excessive force – something only 36% believe Israel to be doing.
The poll also found that more Americans now oppose rather than support creating a Palestinian state, with 45% saying the US shouldn’t favor one, versus 31% who said it should and 24% who didn’t know. …
A large plurality, 49%, put the blame for the current conflict squarely on Hamas, with only 14% blaming Israel and 29% undecided. Nine percent said both, and 4% said neither.
A recent poll by the pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project also found that more Americans (55%) hold Palestinians responsible for the violence rather than Israelis (11%), with 23% blaming both and 5% blaming neither. They also fault Palestinian leaders over Israeli ones for the humanitarian crisis (66%-17%), and see the latter as working toward peace more than the Palestinians (48%-5%).”
Several commentators have highlighted the bloodthirstiness of both the Israeli and U.S. public with regard to Israel’s attack on Palestinians. Gary Corseri, for example, writes on Thomas Paine’s Corner:
Among the terrible pictures that I have seen on the Web, pictures that Palestinians and friends of Palestine have sent me, the most terrible was not of shattered, mutilated bodies, of blasted lives and unendurable pain. The most terrible was a picture of young Israelis standing within their secure borders (of occupied Palestine!) looking at the devastation being visited on the terrified civilians of Gaza a couple of miles away. And the unremitting horror of that image was that those who watched the bombs bursting in air and the puffs of death rising—they were smiling.
I searched my memory banks to recall where I’d seen such an image before. It was many years ago in a book about the Civil Rights struggle in America and it showed a lynching of a black man and a crowd of grinning whites—men, women and children in a party mood under the limbs of the tree upon which hung the burnt and crucified corpse. It used to be possible for travelers in the apartheid US south to purchase postcards depicting such scenes—and they had captions like, “One less Nigger to worry about!”