In an interview with CNN, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Palestinians he is bombing incessantly and deliberately “Collateral Damage”. For those who are familiar with the mass murder of people, the term refers to their dehumanization first to avoid moral guilt and/or global outrage. When flesh and blood become collateral damage, it is the beginning of a slow process that aims at exterminating a whole people and their culture.
Add to Netanyahu’s own labeling his insistence on governing Gaza in the future, and one can see the writing on the wall. Israel intends to turn the Palestinian people into forgotten native Indians, or Aboriginals. Just ask the Indians in North America how their dehumanization all started.
For the Arab street, Israel is the enemy, and it does not want their rulers to forget it. Not today, not ever.
THE PALESTINIANS MATTER. AGAIN.
The problem Netanyahu faces is that the Palestinians, with some of their Arab neighbors, in addition to Israel’s main nemesis Iran, are not about to give up to his atrocious plans for Gaza. The Riyadh Emergency Summit dealing with the war is an advanced warning to Netanyahu and his extremist government mistreating and oppressing Palestinians, which got us to this war in the first place.
Today’s Gaza war is a wake-up call for the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), and for the Gulf countries, whose interests are mostly focused now on the perception their own people have of their rule. Israel, suddenly, is facing a Cold War when it comes to peace or normalization with the oil-rich countries, and the world is going to witness that cooling-off in the months and years ahead. Hamas, for all its terror, has made Palestinians matter again, and their plight for independence from Israeli oppression inexorably commanding of Arab attention.
Having said that, we can also be sure that the same Arab rulers are keeping their options open. How? By keeping their channels of communications open with Israel and their criticism under lid. Extremist Netanyahu or not, their self interests come first. However, forget normalization with Saudi Arabia, and forget any Arab media paving the way for public acceptance. For the Arab street, Israel is the enemy, and it does not want their rulers to forget it. Not today, not ever.
The dehumanization of the Palestinians may now be a U.S./Israeli policy.
WHEN FLESH AND BLOOD BECOME COLLATERAL DAMAGE
The dehumanization of the Palestinians may now be a U.S.-Israeli policy. One to help Israel erase the Palestinian struggle and culture of resistance. Unfortunately, the White House has yet to respond to Netanyahu’s label of “Collateral Damage”, which might be a signal that President Biden is fully on board. We have to wait and see what Karine Jean-Pierre may announce during the White House press conference on November 13. We doubt Biden would object to Netanyahu’s “Collateral Damage.”
It is also possible that some Arab rulers may tow that same line. The Palestinian Cause, to some, has been a thorn in their back. Unlike Iran, some Arab rulers just want to move past tackling a problem they are incapable of solving.
We will have to wait and see whether the Arab street would simply not let them forget Gaza.