The Riddle of the Palestinians: How Did It Happen?
18 November 2023
Palestine in the World
What has already taken place in Gaza and in other occupied Palestinian lands in the last 40 days will decide now the fate of many other peoples in the world. There is a distinct possibility that Israel, the US, and their vassals have created a new global order and a new international morality. We will hear from other countries “why can’t we?”. It will also open other events of instrumentalised death. The USA and its vassals would have certainly known this possibility. But do they want it—whatever Israel now does—repeated in other “Third World” countries? —A certain riddle. And yet, today we are led to the riddled perilous proposition, never again must we say “never again”. We are already saying and seeing together more than what should be seen and what can be said. No more need be said.
What the Palestinian people are undergoing right now, or the abomination being committed against them—genocide, mass murder, mass pedicide, deprivation of air and water, and crimes against humanity deployed as rationalised instruments for ethnic cleansing—is making evident that as a species we are sufficiently our own inferno. Inferno is not a fabulous place of fire and torment of the religions. There is, of course, no such thing. But this concept or its variations did appear amongst our kind in many different locations.
It was understood that the bottomless being, or the forsaken animal, or the being without limits, is that for which bottomless cruelty—in the Kantian sense—had the homological power of both finding pleasure in the making manifest of blood and the flesh of the human animal, and at the same time conceiving bottomless cruelty as a rationalised instrument, such as for the purpose of taking the homes, lands, and lives of someone else (as was done through the Jewish Holocaust)—the abominable animal.
The worldwide shock, outcry, rage, sorrow, horror, and surrender before this abomination committed against the Palestinian people is also the other power of the bottomless being. We see that the majority of the people in those countries which are responsible for committing the unimaginable are opposed to it. This human animal is capable of bottomless pity, pity in the sense of the desire, without any subjective concern, to purify, or to heal, or to make whole again that which suffers being torn apart, even when such hallowing devastates oneself—the hallowing animal.
Here (which is everywhere, witnessing the maimed children, mass graves, babies dying without medical assistance) and now (as the surviving Palestinian people of Gaza are driven to the border with Egypt) it is the abominable animal that is hunting and preying. It is not just the state of Israel—now an officially racist state and an apartheid state—but the men and women who have excelled Joseph Goebbels in television studios and other media of MAWN, the military alliance for rich white nations, explicitly weighing the lives of the Palestinians over the lives lost by the soldiers and civilians from Israel. Most of their words and gestures are manifestly racist, their names shall not be forgotten. Many in the same media do not mention the fact of the increasing number of young lives, Israeli soldiers (more than 370 now) being extinguished in Gaza, which is horrifying, because those media men know that those young lives of Israel could have been saved.
The propagandists and the politicians of the MAWN know very well the intention of the state of Israel—to confer another Nakba, or grant another catastrophe to the Palestinians—because the Israeli government and their politicians are not hiding it anymore. However, the pretence of the MAWN media to ignorance, or the refusal to acknowledge genocide as the instrument for ethnic cleansing, is an essential component of the US, Israeli, MAWN arsenal. That is, MAWN media and their politicians are complicit in mass murder, mass transfer of populations, genocide and ethnic cleansing among other crimes, possibly as instrument for something else. Their names shall not be forgotten.
The people of the MAWN countries, the people of Israel, and even in those places where the people are coerced into silence because genocide is unseen as atonement for genocide—a perversion of the metaphysical proposition, the good as privation added to another cruelty—are trembling and quivering with horror and suffering, as they helplessly witness that of which they were made to promise that they must not let manifest, “never again”. That is, one must not be brought to bear witness to that which must not be brought forth by hand, which of course can only be made through human handling.
There was a promise in the last century that we shall not create the conditions to make such “handling” possible; most of what we established as international law is raised upon that experience of the unimaginable, and upon the promise “never again” to anyone, anywhere. Now that politicians and media figures in both Israel and the MAWN regions are in different ways refuting and denying those events, the moral force of the unimaginable is distant, except as an occasional instrument.
But what is it that we are witnessing? For that we have to bring our own selves over the experience of the horror which resists our proceeding to the thought of the instrumentality of mass killings and address the logic of the unfolding mass murder. When the bombings began, Israel instructed the people of Gaza to proceed towards southern Gaza where they were told it would be safe. Since then, the total number of the people killed in Gaza is approaching one percent of the population, more than half of it being children. The homes of most Palestinians have been destroyed. Many families have been entirely annihilated. Many more are severely injured or maimed. Israel has destroyed nearly all hospitals and shelters in northern Gaza. It has prevented food, water, fuel, and medicines from entering Gaza. All this should have called for an urgent military intervention directed by the UN to save the still living lives including those of the Israeli hostages (are they collateral damage too?). Now Israel is asking these broken people to move further south because bombings and other military operations will begin in southern Gaza. Further south is the Sinai in Egypt.
In the coming days, it is possible that the media of the MAWN regions will express sympathies with the maimed and famished Palestinians, shed tears for their wounded, and begin a conversation about their immediate non-negotiable humanitarian needs which, they will state, cannot be met in Palestinian lands. They will say it is not up to the Palestinians to decide what they need for they are “jahil” after all. That is, to trick these broken people whom they slandered until yesterday into now leaving their own lands forever.
There are possibly other sales deeds and business deals to be secured through this rational instrumentalised mass murder and ethnic cleansing. The project to displace the Suez canal may now proceed through Gaza. (1) This project had been lying in wait for a long while, and would give the USA and Israel total dominance over the region and well beyond it when combined with the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. The corridor project was announced in a G20 sumit in New Delhi only a month before the new catastrophe in Palestinian lands. (2) Does it not disturb everyone that the events since the 7th of October coincide with these announcements of new ambitions of total dominance? The potential conflicts and wars awaiting also should be seen through the media miasma. That is, the final displacement of the Ottoman trade map of the world will lead to wars which most us will not survive. If and when the Mediterranean sea and the Red sea flow into each other through Gaza we will have condemned ourselves absolutely.
Of course, it will be ‘sold’ as the only ‘product’ or remedy, which will force the Palestinian people to live as, and to give birth to new generations as, that wound which can never be healed, or be made whole again—something that the Jewish people share with them intimately. Perhaps, at the end of it all there will be Nobel prizes and other such consolations for many for the ceremonial “moving on”. The Palestinians know from their poets and philosophers that this concentrated siege will be around them wherever they are send to. Darwish said,
This siege will extend until we teach our enemies
Paradigms of our Jahili poetry. (3)
Americans—notably Bill Clinton—had been selling the Palestinians lemons in the American sense. But this time, the USA (and its vassals) in turn will have bought for themselves and brought home, unwittingly, that steresis (στέρησις) which will let manifest that which they chose for the Palestinians (and the Vietnamese, the Koreans, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Somalians …). Thus, one has seen so far the logos of nations and empires through its signs. In other words, it is the principle that the beginning and the end are the same.
What has already taken place in Gaza and in other occupied Palestinian lands in the last 40 days will decide now the fate of many other peoples in the world. There is a distinct possibility that Israel, the US, and their vassals have created a new global order and a new international morality. We will hear from other countries, “Israel did it, so why can’t we”. It will also open other events of instrumentalised death. The USA and its vassals would have certainly known this possibility. But do they want it—whatever Israel now does—repeated in other “Third World” countries? —A certain riddle.
Then what about the riddle? How did it happen? It too happened the same way as did the antisemitic holocaust not so long ago: with the knowledge of everyone (most of the MAWN) who let it happen. As Primo Levi forced each one of us to witness:
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children.
And yet, today we are led to the riddled perilous proposition, never again must we say “never again”. We are already saying and seeing together more than what should be seen and what can be said. No more need be said.
1. “A plan to join the Red Sea with Mediterranean — an alternative to the Suez Canal”, The Indian Express, 10 November 2023, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/ben-gurion-canal-suez-israel-9021520/lite/
2. “India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor can transform global maritime trade”, Hindustan Times, 18 October 2023, https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/indiamiddle-east-europe-economic-corridor-can-transform-global-maritime-trade-pm-modi-101697634691521.html; “India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: A passage of possibilities”, Frontline, 5 October 2023, https://frontline.thehindu.com/world-affairs/how-the-india-middle-east-europe-economic-corridor-opens-up-a-passage-of-possibilities/article67344064.ece/amp/.
3. Mahmoud Darwish, The Butterfly’s Burden, Translated by Fady Joudah, Copper Canyon Press, 2007.