Caitlin Johnstone: You have already taken a side on Israel-Palestine (whether you admit it or not)


Share post:

COMMENTARY: By Caitlin Johnstone

You have already taken a side on Israel-Palestine. Whether you know it or not. Whether you admit it or not.

You have either consciously chosen to side with the people who are being continually massacred by Israel, or you have consciously chosen to side with Israel, or you have sided with Israel by being “neutral”, or you have sided with Israel by being indifferent.

As Desmond Tutu said:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

The powerful oppressors are more than happy for you to be “neutral”. The ones who are already in control want as little scrutiny as possible. From their position the fewer people who are looking them and evaluating whether their actions are right or wrong, the better.

Your neutrality just means they get to keep doing what they want to do.

It’s perfectly okay not to have an opinion about everything. It’s fine not to take a position on every political issue that comes across your screen. Most people have way too many opinions, and most of them are about silly and unworthy things.

The onslaught that is happening in Gaza is not one such instance, though. Taking a stand against genocide is what having opinions on things is for.

Opposing mass-scale human butchery and ethnic cleansing is the fundamental, bare-minimum position that all other political positions should follow from. If you can’t take a stand against that, what are you even doing here? How have you been spending your brief time on this planet? How have you managed to make it to this point in life without maturing to the barest minimum standard possible?

You might think Israel-Palestine is too complicated for you to take a stand on. It isn’t. It’s very simple. Many of the small specific details are complex, but the overall reality they form is simple: an apartheid state has spent five months butchering and starving the population it has marginalized in a way that advances that state’s longstanding political agendas of ethnically cleansing that population from the land.

You might think you’re too cool or too evolved or too smart to take a side on Israel-Palestine. You are not. You have already taken a side, whether you admit it or not.

You might think Israel-Palestine has too many gray areas and uncertainties for you to legitimately take a side. It does not. The endless stream of footage of skeletal bodies and children ripped apart by military explosives over the last five months makes it very clear that this issue has a right side and a wrong side, and you are already standing on one of them.

By all means refuse to take sides on other issues; not taking a side is entirely legitimate when it comes to most issues people are wasting their breath bickering about. But not this one. When it comes to Gaza, reality demands a position from you.

That doesn’t mean you have to side with the Palestinians if you don’t want to. You are a sovereign human being; it’s up to you. But don’t kid yourself about being neutral.

At least be real with yourself that by refusing to pick a position you are licking the boot of a nuclear-armed ethnostate that is backed by the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. If you can’t be real about anything else, at least be real about that.

Caitlin Johnstone is an independent Australian journalist and poet. Her articles include The UN Torture Report On Assange Is An Indictment Of Our Entire Society. She publishes a website and Caitlin’s Newsletter. This article was first published here and is republished under a Creative Commons licence.

Cafe Pacific Publisher
Cafe Pacific Publisher
Café Pacific's duty editor.
- advertisement -

Related articles

A grim Atlas guides NZ’s right-wing politics

The three-party coalition that took power in New Zealand late in 2023, after a campaign centred on attacking...

Open letter: Dear President Biden, why do you support genocide in Gaza?

OPEN LETTER: By Ghada Ageel Dear President Biden, I am writing to you for the second time. I first wrote...

NZ’s shameful act over Hamas in defiance of Gaza atrocities reality

COMMENTARY: By David Robie New Zealand has taken another shameful act in its tone deaf approach to Israel’s War...

NZ news media under fire for ‘bias, propaganda’ in Gaza coverage

Pacific Media Watch New Zealand news media came under fire at today’s Palestine solidarity rally in Auckland calling for...