“Symmetry,” or, When Armed Men Don’t Need Terror Tunnels to Kidnap and Kill

Can you imagine– scores of armed men, who do whatever their leaders tell them to do, could kidnap or kill whoever they wanted if they came in through those tunnels?

Can you imagine– tens of thousands of armed men, who do whatever their leaders tell them to do, can kidnap or kill whoever they want, and they don’t need tunnels: they come in on planes and tanks and with the wind of righteousness at their backs.

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I do not write this to be snarky or clever. I write this because I am angry. I am angry that I just walked into a falafel shop, and the TV channel was showing the same thing all of the TV channels are showing: tunnels, and tunnels, and tunnels, and the falafel shop owner says, “those sons of bitches,” and everyone there chuckles and feels alright. I am angry because it feels like- and I pray that I am wrong- but it feels like the Israeli government and military could virtually anything in Gaza, and most people here would not take to the streets in protest (the days in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis would take to the streets to protest massacres Israel was responsible for seem to have passed). Perhaps because they are afraid, perhaps because they don’t care– or perhaps because they don’t know. I am angry that Israel has bombed Gaza’s only power plant. I am angry that most people probably haven’t noticed that there have been far fewer Facebook posts, tweets, pictures coming from Gaza over the last two days. If you did notice, know that it is not because things are getting better. It is because people in Gaza are almost without electricity – and, as a result, their water supply and their lives are threatened (I am reposting the same link as before- the fact that I struggled to find a source to a story which is eminently believable, that Israel’s strike on the power plant has put hospitals at risk, tells a story in and of itself). Gaza has been shrouded in darkness, whether by convenient “accident” or by cruel design (or, as Fox news framed it, everyone in Gaza who uses power is Hamas, ie., “Israel strikes at symbols of Hamas’ control in Gaza, shuts down Hamas’ power plant”).

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the tens of thousands of armed men from my side (my friends) won’t do what our government is telling them to do. Will you? Maybe they can tell us what we are not hearing. Will you? Maybe people will protest, now, not later. Will you?

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(If you are in Israel and are reading this, know that this is not a rhetorical finish. The next protest in Tel Aviv will be this Saturday night).

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[A few days after posting this, I wrote this: An apology, a non-recission and some clarifications re: “Symmetry.”]

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