Discover more from Eating an Island
"I imagine myself dying while hearing my own name on the radio."
Some resources and reading on Palestine.
“Ten percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction.” – Susan Sontag
For months I’ve been behind a creative block, very little writing, almost no photography. I’m at peace with this, pretty much; cycles are a part of life, and of creativity, too.
Today’s newsletter concerns Palestine. Seeing the horrors of the past two weeks take shape, seeing that post-9/11 bloodlust resurface in this country’s political class and commentariat, seeing the censure and criticism of pro-Palestinian voices, all this has proven deeply unsettling, to say the least. In light of that, I’m sharing some resources and reading – aimed at Sontag’s eighty percent, perhaps.
But first, I want you to know two things. One, opinion within Israel has been far more diverse than in Canada, the US or UK (e.g. a majority of Israelis think Netanyahu must take responsibility for October 7).1 Two, among the growing international support for ceasefire and an end to occupation are many Jewish voices, including the nearly 500 arrested at a sit-in at the United States Congress in Washington.2
Note: If you have trouble accessing the articles and can’t manage a subscription, try using a private tab. Alternatively – so I’m told – a website like 12ft Ladder might help.
Status Audio-Visual Magazine, Gaza in Context
Background and context are crucial here. A helpful explainer video (20 mins) with activist and scholar Noura Erakat.
Mosab Abu Toha, The View from My Window in Gaza
A deeply personal essay by a poet in Gaza. “One idea in particular haunts me, and I cannot push it away. Will I, too, become a statistic on the news? I imagine myself dying while hearing my own name on the radio.”
Adam Schantz, Vengeful Pathologies
A long and thoughtful read from the London Review of Books.
Gabriel Winant, On Mourning and Statehood: A Response to Joshua Leifer
A considerate response to Leifer’ as well as Eric Levitz’s recent criticisms of the left. “The genuine humane sentiment that it is possible to grieve equally for those on both sides is, tragically, not true. One side has an enormous grief machine, the best in the world, up and running, feeding on bodies and tears and turning them into bombs. The other is starved for grief.”
Isaac Chotiner, Where the Palestinian Political Project Goes from Here
And interview with Tareq Baconi, author of the book Hamas Contained. “We need to be able to hold that truth while also recognizing the ethical purpose of ending apartheid. And I think it’s really hard to do that when the media tries to portray this in black and white. It’s very complex, and we need to be able to hold that complexity.”
For example, some recent headlines from opinion pieces in Haaretz: “For Decades, I Defended Israel From Claims of Apartheid. I No Longer Can”'; “Can Judaism Survive a Messianic Dictatorship in Israel?”; “Israel Can’t Imprison Two Million Gazans Without Paying a Cruel Price”.