American perspectives on the war in Gaza are very much about complicated by a wave of domestic antisemitism that has revived terrifying memories of slaughter and oppression of Jews where they are tiny minority. Especially for those of us only indirectly exposed to this deep-rooted fear, empathy and morality demand an unequivocal intolerance for attacks against Jews and any other ethnic or religious minority in this country. When conflict arises, our hypocrisy when it comes to our own citizens — be they Jewish, Black, Japanese, Chinese, or Native American — is revealed beneath the crushing weight of white supremacy in our own country. I try to to remember, not always successfully, that I need to tread lightly as one of its beneficiaries not one who has felt its weight.
Much of the rest of the world is, at the very least, skeptical of our commitment to human rights in the international arena and sees the current conflict in Israel and Palestine as a continuation of centuries of bloody, Western exploitation, colonization, and extermination, and Westen civilization as guilty of history’s worst atrocities. Obviously, the particular history of Israel and Palestine, in which Israel was the only haven for Jews while Europe exterminated them and America excluded them, complicates any perspective on the region.
We should also recognize, however, that much of the rest of the world sees the conflict from a very different perspective, and the vicous attacks on Israelis — specifically because they are Jews — in places such as Dagostan, and the viciousness and brutality of Hamas, should not blind us to a world view in which the Palestinians, displaced under the auspices of of the British Empire and then repeatedly expelled or subjugated repeated wars of conquest, are also victims of European cruelty and indifference.
One explication of the skepticism of people outside of Europe and America regarding Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack is expressed by my friend friends Mohamed el Mokhtar in the Palestine Chronicle and Samir Bennis, in Morocco World News. I recommend them to anyone who wishes to understand the conflict from a global perspective.