Israel: Stop the Genocide

Atheist Bale
16 min readOct 19, 2023

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What used to be Gaza.

Author’s Note: I edited this piece on November 5th, 2023, to update it with more photos and a quick piece of information I believed would be relevant.

The Israel/Palestine conflict is absolutely impossible to unpack, but at times of horror such as this, we have to at the very least, find unquestionable, solid ground. What is happening now is evil. The Israeli government (not its people) are committing some of the most audacious war crimes I have seen in my life, and this is an era where Ukraine is still being blasted to smithereens daily, and a post 9/11 world where things like this have seemingly become the norm. I am here, as an American, to appeal to those from my nation who would blindly support Israel because their government told them to. I cannot really do anything about this conflict except educate my fellow Americans, because we are an isolationist and ignorant country that has never truly felt the domestic effects of warfare or cares about other cultures. When Joe Biden goes and speaks “on your behalf” (or any government official) you must not allow that to pass willfully. The xenophobia, stupidity, racism, and blind loyalty only leads to doubling down on hatred. For instance, in Chicago, a 6-year-old Muslim boy was stabbed 26 times and died after his mother was confronted (and also stabbed) by their landlord about the war.

I will say this much: The attack undertaken by Hamas on Israel was obscene and evil as well. I saw women bleeding through their sweatpants being dragged away into cars, I saw their naked and bruised corpses being paraded around in trucks, and I was disgusted at the direct targeting of civilians. The images of young hopeful souls dancing at a rally for peace being met with rocket blasts and death was horrifying, and it reminded me of a pogrom (a targeted ethnic attack typically aimed at Jews). It crushes me that we have a word for that. Jewish history is filled with pain. I have actually been writing a very long piece about the Abrahamic religions for a few months now, in an attempt to help educate people (particularly Christians) and help stop hatred of Jews and Muslims. Then, I saw the Hamas attack. I was more than upset, and I understood the need for retaliation, or rather, for justice. I wanted to see those men’s heads on spikes, I didn’t want to bother with a trial if we had footage of who did it. People like that are a waste of oxygen in this weary world. We cannot tolerate depravity. I can understand that rage, that lust for revenge. But I can’t let it control my actions.

The response Israel’s nationalist and right-wing paramilitary government chose is just that: depraved. I am seeing the exact same evil Hamas committed, but by the far more powerful and supported Israeli government, which means a much more severe number of casualties for the Palestinian side, the vast majority of which are innocent civilians. It’s a bigger problem and harder monster to tackle because it has more resources. This unfortunately is a frequent pattern in these Israel/Palestine conflicts. It reminds me of Operation Protective Edge, where 3 Israeli teenagers were *allegedly* kidnapped by Hamas (the Israeli government isn’t even certain) and in response, Israel responded with the collective punishment of 1,462 civilians, of whom 495 were children. Common Article 33 of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II specifically states:

International law posits that no person may be punished for acts that he or she did not commit. It ensures that the collective punishment of a group of persons for a crime committed by an individual is forbidden…This is one of the fundamental guarantees established by the Geneva Conventions and their protocols. This guarantee is applicable not only to protected persons but to all individuals, no matter what their status, or to what category of persons they belong…

Of course, what war made the Geneva Conventions come about in the first place? World War II, where we saw the senseless deaths of 66%+ of the entire Jewish population of Europe. But the point wasn’t “Don’t let this happen to Jewish people ever again.” The point was “Don’t let this happen to anyone ever again.” Violence begets violence. Evil begets evil.

This has precedent in Israeli history. As far back as the 1940s–50s, during the The Fedayeen Insurgency, Israel suffered attacks from Arab guerillas attacking civilians. The response by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion was to respond by threatening Arab civilians directly and carry out massacres, ensuring that “the price for Jewish blood is high.” Think of it as instead of following “an eye for an eye”, it was instead “a face for an eye.” So yes, rather than directly combat the guerillas who instigated the incidents and violence, the Israeli government collectively punished innocent civilians to scare the insurgents into stopping. Just in case the point isn’t clear, let me elaborate: 1) The definition of “terrorism” fits in here. 2) Israel’s response to the Hamas attack is a worse escalation of policy they have been following for decades. As you can see in the graph below, taken from reporting by the United Nations, as recently as 2020 (and you can imagine the chart is much bloodier now), more Palestinians have died consistently in these skirmishes since 2008.

I know what you’re thinking. “What about BEFORE 2008?” OK, here we go again (here’s a link to the source):

Now, allow me show you graphic content. I know this is going to be brutal, triggering, or shocking, but it is for a purpose. The Vietnam War may have dragged on even longer if not for the journalists who published the atrocities, and likewise, I would like to show you what Israel is doing to Palestine right now. The most frustrating part of this is that the good media outlets charge for you to read articles and many censor the images, so I’m hoping to break through the noise. Please note the captions to understand what you are looking at.

A medic in Beit Lahia finding a body in the rubble of a house.
Injured Palestinians making their way to a hospital.
A father holding 2 bags containing the limbs and recognizable pieces of what used to be his son shortly after the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital was bombed by Israel.
A Palestinian toddler fighting for life following an Israeli airstrike.
More Palestinian children, killed from yet another Israeli airstrike in Gaza.
A doctor holding a killed child, stating “here are the results of those airstrikes”.
A group of Israeli men peeing on Palestinian corpses and kicking the bodies, calling them “savages”. There is a possibility (not a guarantee) that these were actually Hamas fighters, however, I would like to note that the humiliation of corpses and dehumanization is precisely the same thing we called out Hamas for.
A girl’s body is pulled from rubble at the Al Shati Refugee Camp after Israel bombed it.
The aftermath of the Al-Shifa Hospital strike on an ambulance that was just outside. Many of these victims are pre-teens. Israel stated: “A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike…We have information which demonstrates that Hamas’ method of operation is to transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances.” This was just a few days after Israel insisted it was not bombing hospitals.
11 UN staff and 30 students were killed at this school after Israel’s third attack on the Jabalia refugee camp. These piles of meat are what used to be children. More children have died in the few weeks of this war than the entire duration of the Ukraine/Russia war. Israel justified the attacks on the refugee camps by declaring Hamas tunnels were underneath, which have not been found.
A child screaming in agony as doctors and rescuers pour water on his face to clean it off following an Israeli airstrike which collapsed a building.
A mother identifying the remains of her children. Take note of the hand holing a fragmented foot.

The war crime that stuck out to me the most was the total destruction of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, for a plethora of reasons:

  1. The misinformation war being run by the Israeli government to wash their hands of the bloodshed. In particular, I keep seeing Twitter accounts, particularly from India (also run by a right-wing maniac) flooding a video from 2022 unrelated to the attack, claiming a Palestinian rocket magically malfunctioned and managed to hit the hospital, and not Israel, who bombed other hospitals that same day and had ordered the Al-Ahli Hospital to evacuate or die. Likewise, an Israeli “peace advocate” who gets intelligence directly from the Israeli government tweeted and then deleted that the Israeli Defense Forces successfully killed “terrorists” harbored in the hospital. Israel’s denial of this attack has aged like milk following several confirmed bombings of other hospitals and ambulances, and the Israeli Defense Forces forces besieging the al-Shifa and al-Quds hospitals. Babies are being kept in foil in a desperate attempt to keep them alive and women are having c-sections without anesthesia.
  2. The absolutely pathetic and dismissive response from Joe Biden, who, without specifying or elaborating further, suggested Israel was not responsible, and proceeded to pledge more support, after already handing over 2,000 troops and 2 aircraft carriers (and likely much more we don’t know about). Oh, and now, Antony Blinken, one of the Democrats who pushed to unjustly invade Iraq in 2003 and who even had the idiotic idea to partition the nation into 3 ethnic areas (learning nothing from Israel/Palestine or India/Pakistan) has been sent to help!
  3. The obvious fact that it is a hospital, which was already suffering from the siege tactics conducted by Israel due to the lack of water, electricity, communications, and food. It is critical to note that Israel stated they “withdrew” from direct control of Gaza in 2005 by evacuating 21 settlements, however, they have, ever since, still control 6/7 entries into Gaza, have total control over Gaza’s air and maritime space, maintained the buffer zone, control and oversee the Palestinian population registry, and Gaza is still reliant on Israel for aid, hence Israel was able to cease aid as soon as this conflict began.
  4. This is only one hospital out of 22 that Israel has threatened to attack. Israel later bombed an ambulance just outside another hospital, justifying the attack by vaguely stating “terrorists” were inside.

There are people slowly being crushed under rubble, people are so thirsty they are drinking out of IV bags from hospitals that haven’t been blown up, and it is insane to think Israel giving few hours’ notice to evacuate an entire nation is “fair game”. Did I mention they then immediately bombed the evacuation zones anyways? Sure, blame Hamas for using their people as human shields; it is true that they are cowering like rats from the hell they unleashed on their people, but…does that make it OK for Israel to blow up Gaza, knowing that the majority of souls are innocent? The very fact that Israel even has the ability to cut off all supplies to Gaza, such as food, water, and electricity, tells you how much of a position of power they were in over these people to begin with. Gaza is already running out of body bags.

This no longer reminds me of a pogrom; now, it reminds me of the trigger-happy, senseless, snarling response to 9/11, which led to the death of millions and ruined the reputation of the United States on a global scale. Note how I said THE RESPONSE to 9/11, not 9/11 itself. I have seen other war-mongering pundits compare the Hamas assault as “Israel’s 9/11” and even “as bad as ten 9/11s”, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. But the tragedy of 9/11 is that it was only the first day in a long timeline of evil. To further my point, let’s see what war criminal and former worst President of the United States, George W. Bush, had to say about the current Israel/Hamas war:

Blind, reactionary, and uncompromising. What a shocker. You can imagine my baffled reaction when I saw several media outlets say the Hamas attack was “unprecedented” and the sneak attack on a Jewish holiday was “new” and yet, in the same article, they would state it happened on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which started when Palestinians ambushed Israel on the titular holiday.

I want to note that this is not the same situation, and that yes, I constantly claim history does not repeat itself, but that it rhymes. This is some disturbing poetry, to be sure. The issue is, the current government of Israel is run by an ultra-nationalistic, corrupt, former Trump-loving right-wing prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu. I don’t give a rat’s ass about being unbiased or vapid professionalism here, because he is unequivocally evil. This is a guy who had an aide caught on tape saying “hate is what unites our camp.” The last time right-wing extremists wanted to be heard loud and clear in Israel, they assassinated their own prime minster, Yitzhak Rabin, and eroded the effectiveness of a peace process for Palestine. Now, they’re running the country, and have been, for some time. They claim Israel is at war with Hamas, but we can clearly see who they are truly targeting. The cherry on top is that the Egyptian government warned Israel of a possible impending attack, and Israel ignored it. Allow me to put my tinfoil hat on and say that it is possible Netanyahu allowed this attack to occur so he could get what he wanted: a justification to be the guy to crush Palestine once and for all. Something he has publicly aired before, claiming he wanted to “finish the job” and “throw them out”. For a nation founded after the horrors of Nazism, that sure sounds like Nazism.

I understand the need for self-defense and particularly in the case of the Jewish people. The Holocaust may be the most evil and depressing event in our human history, and the indifference towards stopping the genocide was just as evil as the Nazi perpetrators. I understand fighting back! In fact, for relevant arguments, I have turned more towards Malcolm X in recent years than Martin Luther King Jr. That all being said, there is a difference between “self-defense” and “an excuse to finally obliterate the people you hate”. Just as I would argue that the extremist Muslims twist around the ideology of what “jihad” (“struggle”) means to justify terrorism, the Israeli government (NOT ITS PEOPLE) are justifying heinous acts of violence as “self-defense”.

My reaction to Israel’s response was not what they wanted; I used to understand the concept of Zionism. After centuries upon centuries of brutal persecution, I understood the desire for the Jewish people to have a sanctuary of their own, and I still do. I even understood why it would be in their ancestral homeland, the ancient area of Judah, the namesake of the religion. I could believe in Zionism before, but not like this. I understood the argument of “The Muslims have Mecca and Medina, the Christians have Rome, what do the Jews have?” Then I remembered that I like the separation of church/state. I don’t think any place should “belong” to one religion. Even then, The Vatican is a just a small city. Mecca and Medina are just cities. The entire nation of “The Holy Land” is quite different. All three religions have claims, not just Judaism. Likewise, the European Jews who had been in another continent for centuries were not the same population of the Jewish people of the ancient Bronze/Iron ages. What’s next, do we give Islam back their massive caliphate empires? Do we give Christianity the land of the Holy Roman Empire again? I believe Zionism is foolish. It further ostracizes a group that has needlessly already been pushed to society, and as we all know, a lack of diversity only leads to ignorance of others. The answer to antisemitism is not to remove Jewish people from society, but to embrace and integrate them further. Abraham Lincoln’s original plan for freed slaves was to kick them out of the United States; the reason he is considered our greatest president was his ability to change as according to logic and empathy, and indeed, he paved the way to make them citizens of the United States.

The reason I am an anarchist is because I never trust government to do anything properly; this is a painful reminder of my ideology, and I was foolish to trust a nation made up of only one group of people could be anything but intolerant. Unfortunately, some of the Holocaust survivors who went to Israel ended up being the ones that were the most indoctrinated into the paramilitary structure and were traumatized enough that they were willing to do anything not to go through that again, tragically becoming the very thing that they fought against: human beings callous of the sorrow they spread. You can imagine now, this is difficult to grasp for Israeli civilians who have been born and raised in this society; this is all they know, and being raised in a paramilitary society with mandatory conscription obviously leads to a certain mindset. How can they be expected to be kicked out of their homes (and one must ask how they feel about the Palestinians kicked out of their homes for decades!). Obviously, we can be better than the British were and find a better compromise, but that’s a different conversation.

Right now, we must end the intentional aim of killing civilians on both sides of this conflict, but most especially Israel, which consistently has incurred the wrath of Palestine to begin with by slaughtering civilians to scare their opponent. It doesn’t just scare them: it angers them. Then, those people are going to join groups like Hamas and seek violent solutions. Might I add the small fact that Hamas was funded by Israel, admitted by their own government, to sow political discord in Palestine, intercept leftists movements, and weaken them? Yitzhak Segev, the former Israeli military governor in Gaza, is just one of many members of Israel’s government who has directly admitted to this. Rather than invest in war, Israel must invest in infrastructure and development, and realize this critical fact: the Zionism experiment has failed. You want proof, look at the other major safe haven for Jewish people: Brooklyn (New York City). Is Brooklyn constantly at war despite 1/4 of its inhabitants being Jewish? No, because they are part of the society that surrounds them and in a diverse community, and rather than breed intolerance, this breeds communication and mutual respect, as cheesy as that might sound. Is Brooklyn Zionism in practice? No. There are more Jews in New York than Tel Aviv and Jerusalem combined, and there is no great struggle of death in this area because the blind religious zealous nature that Zionism demands is not as present, nor is the radical Islamic side of it, either.

Not only do I no longer agree with Zionism in any capacity, but worse, I don’t even agree with the Jewish claim to that particular area of land anymore. I used to defend the claim by agreeing that the Jewish people were there first (at least, before Islam/Christianity), the land is their namesake! However, I began to think about it and realized that the entire Jewish claim in the first place came from the tradition that Abraham and his descendants were promised that land. What good is a claim of a place from thousands of years ago that is based on a fairy tale? Then, my American side of separating church from state kicked in, and I thought “why should we take any religion seriously as a form of authority as to land rights”? Because by that logic, then the Canaanites who were in Judah before the Jewish people, the Canaanites who worshiped Baal and made human sacrifices, those people should have all claim to Judah, and what the Jews did to them is the basically same thing the Muslims would later do. Speaking of which, they’re not off the hot seat, either; in Islam’s earliest form, the ummah (community) was something that I admired. It was a group of intermingling folks form all life, Muslims, Jewish, Christians, etc. Typically, in Islamic cultures, you could practice your religion peacefully (with a tax). But that reeks of apartheid now, putting oneself on the top of society because of their religion and not merit. I’m so sick of this. Religion in general, honestly. It really had made the world a worse place, and that was an argument I never wanted to say out loud, but it’s true. Don’t even get me started on The Crusades.

In this modern era, what we are seeing now, is the Kingdom of “Heaven” being ripped to shreds. How sad. I am not religious, but remember this:

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

One of the Ten Commandments, something which all 3 Abrahamic religions adhere to and respect. People often think this means “Don’t swear” but it actually means “do not use God’s name for lying” if you follow the original Hebrew. Essentially, “don’t misuse God’s name to justify yourself”. Well, ignoring the obvious other relevant Commandment (no killing!), this one is pretty obviously twisted by both sides to do as they please, and it’s time to stop giving the people in charge any more relevance or authority. Power only means anything if you do what people ask. So stop doing it. Rebel! Fight back!

Israel is a nation that was formed in response to the darkest hour of humanity, but the issue was, the damn British didn’t have a good plan and rushed to cut up a piece of land with zero qualms as to the effects because they didn’t live there, and forced Palestinians into a diaspora. Yes, the Arab coalitions began to fight back, but if your people inhabited a land since the Middle Ages and were told to pack up and go elsewhere and called racial slurs, you would be understandably pissed. Israel is an example of the ravages of colonialism/imperialism and just like its abusive father, the child is no better. This war is going to be in the hands of these battered nations and people for who knows how long, but at the very least, Americans need to learn the lesson and stay out of the Middle East, and to not actively fund and vocalize support for evil.

I want to be clear: I will always support and sympathize with the overall plight of the Jewish people. No other group has suffered so consistently throughout the thousands of years of human existence. However, I will never support the current Israeli government and because of their actions, I no longer believe in Zionism. To be anti-Zionist does not make me antisemitic. I hate government in all forms, and I believe because of situations like this, my hatred is justified. This is why I made sure to put my statement in my opening paragraph in bold. There is far too much antisemitism in the world as it is, and the attack by Hamas is no exception. The fact is, the Israeli government’s brutal response and intended targeting of innocent people is only going to increase the amount of antisemitism in the world, not erase it. If you want to compare this to the response to 9/11, there you go. Did American approval go up following the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan? Will the Jewish community in any way benefit from the brutality of Israel’s military onslaught? Tell me Netanyahu’s administration is not doing this:

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Atheist Bale

I’m not a pessimist, I’m correct. Follow me for troglodyte slaying 101.