Don’t Equate the Violence of the Oppressor with the Violence of the Oppressed

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Israel has once again stormed Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital. Israel spent the first few weeks of the Gaza assault churning out fake audio clips of Hamas fighters exonerating the IDF from attacking hospitals and healthcare workers, and has spent all the months since just unapologetically attacking hospitals and healthcare workers.

CNN’s Dana Bash just gave an adoring rimjob of an interview to Benjamin Netanyahu, telling him “You’re not Hamas. Israel is a democracy, and as a Jewish state supports and believes in every life mattering.”

If Netanyahu was interviewed by an actual journalist he’d be forcefully interrogated with extremely uncomfortable questions about his genocidal atrocities in Gaza. When Netanyahu goes on CNN the anchor recites all of his pro-genocide talking points for him so he that doesn’t have to.

The underlying assumption behind the claim that Hamas needs to be eliminated is that Israel should be able to inflict nonstop violence on Palestinians day after day, year after year, generation after generation, without ever receiving any violence in return.

You can’t equate the violence of the oppressor with the violence of the oppressed. They’re not the same, and the oppressor is the ultimate source of the violence from both sides.


Say you’ve got a group of blue guys and a group of green guys. If the blue guys have power over the green guys and are constantly oppressing them, stealing from them, using violence on them and generally making life intolerable for the people they have power over, then the blue guys have no moral standing to get indignant and outraged when the green guys start responding to this with their own violence. That would be a ridiculous and illogical position for anyone to take.

In fact, if you look at what happened in our hypothetical scenario here, the blue guys are morally responsible for both their own violence AND the violence of the green guys, because they created the dynamics in which both happened. Had the blue guys not been oppressing and abusing the green guys, the green guys would not have responded with violence.

And you can argue “But the green guys aren’t making things any better with their violence! It’s just making the blue guys madder and more violent!” But that’s completely irrelevant to the question of responsibility, and to the fact that if the blue guys stop their violence and abuse there will be a cessation of violence from both sides.

The solution therefore is not to spend any energy whatsoever yelling at the green guys to stop being violent, the solution is to demand the blue guys stop being violent, abusive and oppressive toward the green guys — because that is the source of violence between the two groups. The violence of the blue guys is a cause, while the violence of the green guys is only an effect. You cannot therefore regard them in the same way, either morally or practically.


Niger kicking the French military out of the country was interesting and potentially significant. Niger kicking out both France and the US is a major development. To borrow a line from Django Unchained, gentlemen you had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.


The US is backing a genocide and waging a proxy war against a nuclear superpower while the American people struggle with stagnant wages, a broken healthcare system and soaring costs of living, so naturally Americans are being told they need to be very, very worried about China.

Right wingers who regard themselves as bold anti-establishment freethinkers are currently defending the world’s most powerful government supplying bombs to drop on a giant concentration camp with arguments that ultimately boil down to “But the TV would never lie to me!”

If opposition to an active genocide shocks and offends you, that’s a character flaw, and you should change that about yourself. If it shocks and offends you because of your religious identity, that too is a character flaw. Supporting mass murder because of your religion is not a legitimate position to have.


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Featured image: Universal Misery – by Mr. Fish

Articles by: Caitlin Johnstone

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