© 2018 Greg & Sylvia RAY
You are currently viewing Watching a murder-suicide

Watching a murder-suicide

As soon as Israel made it clear that its goal, following the October 7 Hamas attack, was more or less a total purging of Gaza, that no two-state solution to its forever war against Palestinians would be countenanced and that there was no upper limit to the death and destruction it was willing to inflict, the words that sprang into my mind were “murder-suicide”.

Somehow the assault on Gaza seemed of a type with other Israeli doctrines, like the “Hannibal directive” – where it is better to kill your own people than let them be taken hostage – and “Samson option”, where if you’re going out you may as well bring the whole joint down with you. Pragmatic doctrines maybe, but also chilling.

It has been so hard to watch it unfold, and harder for me to sit down and try to write about. Because what can you say? This is where you end up when extremists take charge of your society. Part of me just wants to throw up my hands and write off our species as beyond redemption: a genocidal mutant chimpanzee that defaults to slaughter mode at the drop of a hat.

Honestly, I feel sick to my core at the madness and horror and I realise again why I hate crowds. The shrill screeching of the pack demanding blood and revenge; all compassion thrown to the four winds. The opportunists whipping up the lynch mobs; hoping for personal gain from the disaster. The blind participants who, egged on by their fellows, imagine there will be no reckoning for the horror they are inflicting.

But there will be a reckoning. There always is. That’s why this abomination evoked for me the words “murder-suicide”.

Israeli extremists said the women and children of Palestine deserved to die because they supported Hamas. But it is a matter of common knowledge and public record that Israeli extremists built up Hamas as a deliberate policy so they could avoid having to negotiate in good faith with more moderate Palestinians. And if the women and children of Palestine are justly to be blamed for any and all actions of Hamas then what can be said of innocent Israelis? Are they also justly to blame for any and all actions of Zionist extremists and the armed forces of Israel? We are encouraged to condemn “savage” tribes of people for endless cycles of payback murder. We are encouraged to condemn those, like the Nazis in World War 2, who used collective punishment of the innocent to discourage rebellion and dissent. And yet here we are.

Israel’s actions in Gaza are wrong by any moral measure. It is pointless searching for justification because there isn’t any. Threatening and abusing people for stating these obvious facts only makes it so much worse. Israel is poisoning its own name and guaranteeing a dividend and legacy of misery that cannot leave the innocent within its own borders untouched. I hate the idea of innocent people under any flag or government being forced to pay the price for the bad actions of others. But violence breeds violence as surely as night follows day.

More and more I hear people around me wondering aloud whether we are on the brink of a world war. More and more I hear other people declare in reply that we are already in one. I think they are probably right.

All over the world armouries are being stocked and factories are hard at work beating ploughshares into swords. Even in my home town the newspaper recently breathlessly announced more local investment in “defence” industries . Not far to Australia’s north, wargames are underway. Africa is ablaze with rebellion, insurgency and empire intrigue. Europe is replaying images from World War 1’s western front in the US proxy war against Russia and there is no real sign of any let-up soon.

The Middle East is being pushed to the brink and the barely spoken subtext is the war against Iran that Israel and the United States have long been contemplating.

Behind that is the global challenge by the upstart nations in the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, Iran, China and South Africa – which want to shake off the yoke of the US-centred financial empire. This is an existential threat to that empire. If the dollar loses too much of its global shine and the world stops subsidising the USA then who knows how far the mighty may fall? And who can imagine what may take its place?

But the time is long past when the empire could convincingly claim moral superiority, and its tacit, material and tactical support of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza leaves it looking worse than ever. This is not an empire that much of the world would have cause to mourn, if it were to fall.  

Empires don’t fall without a fight, however, and this one seems unwilling to concede an inch. In a world saturated with weapons of vast destructive power and dominated by those who have shown they are ready and willing to use them, nobody can feel secure.

I think again of the chessboard: of pawns pushed and sacrificed, of major pieces swapped in exchanges of mutual destruction, of hidden plans masked behind seemingly obvious moves and finally, the grinding attrition of the endgame.

And here are those words again: murder-suicide.

Leave a Reply