Cowards and Clowns

We live in a time of cowards and clowns. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been murdered in the last hundred or so days, in Gaza and the West Bank, millions are slowly starving to death, hospitals attacked, snipers literally shooting doctors, and schools are seeded with explosives and blown to the ground. We are watching an ethnic cleansing in real time, streaming to our phones, defended in Israeli media, and described by journalists, activists, and NGOs in incredibly gory detail.

It is incredibly painful to bear witness to, but it is crazy making to listen to how the capitalist media covers it. It’s a narrative for Biden to overcome for re-election. Children waking up to find their entire families obliterated. You can watch footage of mentally-disabled Palestinian children in unstocked hospitals, bouncing back and forth on the floor, with grown-ups around trying to figure out how to explain to a child who may never be able to develop the faculties to tie their shoes that the people who dressed them, cared for them, rocked them back and forth to sleep, fed them, and loved them are simply gone now. You can find an incredible amount of video of parents rocking back and forth sobbing as they hold their murdered children. Young men straining as the tears flow as they look at the bodies of their parents, their brothers, their children, killed by Israeli bombs, guns, hunger, all funded and diplomatically defended by the United States Government. Back and Forth. There’s a lot of this footage. My job is to watch it, look at it closely, edit it, and share some of it with you. It’s painful. Not the pain of losing one of my children and holding their cooling body in my arms as a nurse or a friend or their mother consoles me while gently nudging that it’s time to let go, my baby must go in the bag now. It’s not that painful, but it hurts.

Did no one say the word “Palestine” at the Grammy’s award? Annie Lennox said “Artists for ceasefire! Peace in the world!” That’s it. Boygenius wore buttons that said Artists for ceasefire. Buttons. Rapper Killer Mike loves to rap about how he’s not afraid to say anything that needs to be said. He ran for the Jewels and didn’t say a word about Gaza. Jay-Z lamented that his wife, who has won more Grammys than anyone else, has never won for Album of the Year. had a headline that said “Jay-Z’s Shady AF Grammys Acceptance Speech Just Proved 2024 Is the Year of Radical Truth Tellers.”Radical Truth Tellers? Clowns and Cowards.

I’m Jewish. Not only that, I feel so Jewish these days. Never Again Is Now. It’s the slogan, the chant. I think both “sides” have used it, which makes sense if you recognize the schism. Is it “Never Again for the Jews”or “Never Again for Anybody?” I’m with the latter. Collective punishment is not acceptable, religious ethnostates are fundamentally bad, ethnic cleansing is unacceptable, genocide is the greatest crime and must stopped at all costs. These are not Jewish values alone. Let’s not claim what has some universality, but it’s how I was raised and the many Jews I love and care for in my family and life all share these values. “Jews must be defended” is sacred, “Israel must be defended” rings hollow. Pretending this is that difficult to understand is dishonest.

We being chanted down by cowards and clowns. The lone Palestinian congresswoman was censured amidst this, over twenty Democratic congresspeople voted for her to be censured. Biden and Blinken are doing everything they can to strengthen and prolong the genocidal violence and NSC coordinator John Kirby said in December “Look, we certainly share the concerns that so many of others have concerned, including the Secretary-General, about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Tell me — name me one more nation, any other nation, that’s doing as much as the United States to alleviate the pain and suffering of the people of Gaza? You can’t. You just can’t.” The answer is literally every other nation on Earth is doing less than the United States is to aid, arm, and cover for Israeli genocidal violence.

This is how you become crazy. Up is down. Water is dry. Tens of billions of dollars in arms to an occupying force attempting to destroy a people is alleviating pain and suffering.

This isn’t going to be forgotten. It won’t be forgiven. It’s not going to be swept under the rug or drowned out by some award-winning pop medley. This is happening as I type this. It is terrible crime being committed by the most powerful military in world history, that of my government, despite widespread disapproval, by a decrepit politician who is being sold as “Democracy’s Only Hope” in “The Most Important Election of Our Lifetimes.” Nothing Trump has done or will do has changed one word of any of this. Competing color-coded grifters, cowards, and clowns. That’s where we’re at.