I’ve Lived Thru Pogroms, And That’s What’s Happening In Gaza

Scenes from the terrible genocide of Gaza

In Sri Lanka, in 2019, the government knowingly let a brutal terrorist attack happen, killing men, women, and children in churches and hotels around the country. In response, government supported mobs tore around neighborhoods, beating, burning, and killing Muslims. Sound familiar? I have lived through genocidal violence in Sri Lanka, but our colonial masters are giving a masterclass in it right now.

The White Empire is undertaking a historical pogrom of the Palestinian people, widely pushed and propagandized through their mainstream media. And too many of y’all are participating in it. I’ve seen people caught up in hate speech, and the western world is showing its whole genocidal ass right now. I know there’s very little you can do about an ongoing pogrom, personally, but you have to ask yourself. How will I live with myself? What will I tell my children? That I lived through a pogrom and debated it or, even worse, supported the people doing the pogromming?

A pogrom is what’s happening in Palestine now, except x1000, and broadcast to the entire world. It’s much worse than anything that happened in Sri Lanka, but it’s done by white people, and they have their own special vocabulary. Even the idea of racial violence is itself racialized. Genocides, pogroms, race riots, these are things that happen only in colored countries, by colored people. Savage on savage crime. When Israelis and Americans openly call Palestinians ‘savages’ and ‘animals’ and call for them to be ‘finished’ and ‘eradicated’, that’s not genocide. It’s sparkling ethnic cleansing.

I have sadly lived through pogroms, and I’m telling you, what is happening is much worse than I’ve ever seen. I have also lived through my government shelling civilians in a ‘no fire zone’, and what is happening to Palestinians is literally millions of times worse. And in Sri Lanka we had an open terrorist attack targeting civilians, whereas Hamas hit primarily military targets, as is more than proportional for an occupied country. You have an occupier force you to raise your children inside a concentration camp and tell me how you feel once you break through the walls. We have no place judging the Palestinians and every duty to condemn the Israelis.

Israel has already dropped more bombs on a tiny plot of homes than America dropped on all of Afghanistan in a year. That should tell you the moral standing of their western allies as well. Israel shelling people in a concentration camp, bombing medics, bombing the exits, and cutting off food, water, and electricity to a civilian population of over 2 million, half of them children. And we’re not only watching this, we’re told to cheer. It’s a historical atrocity and only protests against it are banned in major western cities. History will not absolve thee.

They said the revolution would be televised, but I guess that’s later. What we’re seeing now is a holocaust being televised. Just as the US turned away actual boats of Jewish refugees in the actual holocaust, the public across the whole White Empire is expected to turn their backs on Palestinians. Maybe they’ll write mournful mea culpas like they did about previous genocidal wars against Muslim civilians, but without anyone ever being held accountable, they just keep doing it in the present. As is happening presently.

Under a blanket of western propaganda, supposedly ‘democratic’ populations are expected to cheer for this holocaust. New ‘terrorists’ are trotted into the Cable TV Colosseum, and the plebes are told to cheer for slaughter of captives. You look around the stands and far too many people are baying for blood, waving a thumbs down, blind to the external violence and the evil done in their own countries. This is ‘Israel’s 9/11' people say unironically, with no sign of learning anything. Where did America’ 9/11 lead them? They killed over a million unrelated Muslims as collective punishment. They’re still killing. America’s Terror Wars are the blueprint behind the complete destruction of Gaza, where the Israeli’s say ‘only tents will be left behind’. And westerners are expected to not only watch this, they’re expected to participate. Haven’t you seen this before? Have you learned nothing? As Joseph Welch told the Joseph McCarthy, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” I would ask the same of every American Senator today, and any public that supports them.

I’ve seen pogroms before and I know what we’re witnessing. First the highly emotional lies are spread. Today it’s the lie that ‘Hamas beheads babies!’ This has been widely debunked but even more widely spread, even by politicians and journalists who knew it was false. It’s precisely the sort of emotive lie (blood libel) that riles up a whole population for genocide. Then the mobs are formed, as now colonial settlers being openly armed in Israel. This all takes place under media and social media coverage justifying the violence, as fighting terrorists, or savages, or animals (all words the Israelis and Americans are using). What makes Israeli/American pogromming worse than anything I’ve ever seen is that these aren’t mobs in the street. These are uniformed militaries, industrial munitions, and professionals in TV studios and newspapers. This is a professional genocide. What I’ve seen was amateur hour, comparatively.

The United States has pulled up an aircraft carrier on a refugee camp! The Israelis are using an air force against people that can’t even move around on the ground! These people cannot possibly defend themselves and have nowhere to flee to, Israel either controls or has bombed the exits. Israel is artillery and illegal phosphorus bombs in highly populated civilian areas. This is somehow better than amateur mobs, but it’s just industrial butchery. It’s like people who get mad about sacrificing a goat for Eid but torture millions of animals in factory farms. The western population doesn’t like seeing blood, but they sure have an appetite for bombed buildings. It’s the perfect crime, really. A pogrom from the air, with propaganda cover from the mass media, where the bodies are literally buried under levelled buildings. It only looks like concrete was killed, when the concrete reality is that we’re witnessing the most bloody pogrom in my living memory.

The first casualty of war is truth, and the White Empire — headed by America now — has been at war for so many years that truth is a distant memory.Its people are just coded to hate Muslims, only the acronyms keep changing. Now they simply say Hamas = ISIS, though the groups hate each other and Hamas is actually more reasonable than fundamentalists Israeli leaders if you listen to them. The armed resistance of Hamas is actually the proportional part of this ‘conflict’. Colonized people have the right to resistance, including armed!

I put ‘conflict’ in quotes because the side running the concentration camp and the people born in a concentration camp who broke out are in no way morally equal. The violence of the occupied is never as bad as the violence of the occupier. There are no ‘both sides’ on this. Gaza is a concentration camp for the victim of previous Israeli pogroms and justifying a complete ethnic cleansing because a few dared fight back is just justify ethnic cleansing. If you think Hamas is extreme, wait till you see what the Israeli right wing is saying! They’re openly saying flatten it all, kill everybody, finish them. Hell, Americans are openly saying this. The only people getting banned or arrested are those speaking out for Palestinians.

Again, I have seen hate speech during Sri Lanka’s race riots, but never so openly as in the West. The entire force of western media is being deployed to dehumanize and incite violence against Palestinians, western governments are banning even the Palestinian flag and blacklisting protestors, and the entire force of western arms is being unleashed on a civilian population.

I have seen is pogroms of unruly mobs unofficially backed by the government, but never government leaders openly committing their militaries to the killing. What we are witnessing now is a militarized, industrial-scale pogrom by people in uniform, advertised by professionals across the global media. These people control language so much that even the words, pogrom, race riot, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are not used but that’s exactly what’s happening. Anyone that even slightly diverts from the genocide-is-fine line is blocked or removed, as MSNBC did by suspending its Muslim news anchors. Can’t you see what’s happening here? I fear not the swarthy Muslim man I’m told to fear, but the sophisticated man/woman on TV telling me to fear them. Terrorism is for amateurs. The real terror is the people that define the word terrorism, and use it to commit mass murder in public.

What else do you call bombing a civilian population and then telling one million of them to move in 24 hours, and then bombing the refugee convoys! What else do you call cutting off food and water to a civilian population and dropping white phosphorous on them, a chemical weapon that burns down to the bone and doesn’t stop? What we are seeing is open genocide, and while they can cover it up today with wall-to-wall propaganda, history will see. And then history will ask you, as I have asked myself, what were you doing? What were you saying? Were you ‘both-sidesing’ an open genocide, thus blaming the collective victims? Or, even worse, were you openly ‘supporting’ Israel and America, the people committing genocide in public.

Too many westerners are showing their whole genocidal ass right now, and it’s an ugly thing to see. I have lived through pogroms and that’s what’s happening now, except so much worse. Colored people are at least shamed for our racial violence, but white people are truly shameless. They publish columns about what we whisper on WhatsApp, they just say it on TV. These people founded their countries on genocide, they watered any land they wanted with blood for centuries, and now everyone can see. They haven’t changed. This is the ‘rules-based order’. Simply rule by violence, by one unremitting White Empire for centuries now.

I normally shy away from saying ‘you should do this’ because individuals can’t do anything about problems this big, and what they should do is their individual dharma, unknowable by me. But there is one thing I can tell you about my own experience. I remember what I said, did, and told my children during the times of racial violence in my country. I know that I didn’t participate in a pogrom, during which words are as heavy as deeds.

I know the people spreading hate or even equivocating are assaulting the helpless as much as a man with a kerosene can, or a soldier on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. So you really have to ask yourself, what part do I want to have in apartheid? Do I want to help generate a genocide? Are my hands clean from ethnic cleansing? I say this not because you can, individually, do anything about these violent, state-sponsored, forces, but simply because 5, 10 years later you will ask yourself what you were doing. Your children will ask you. Your god will ask you. And if your only god is reason you should already know.

There is nothing reasonable about what’s happening to the long-suffering people of Palestine. There are no two sides in the bombing of a concentration camp. There is no possible act that justifies collectively attacking one million children, and denying them even water to wash the blood from their broken bodies. We are witnessing a public pogrom as part your regular TV programming. I am asking you to see past the propaganda and simply see what you can see. I know it’s hard to save lives in a pogrom. I know it’s nearly impossible. But you will live through this pogrom. So you have to ask yourself, can I live with myself? When history blows away the fog of war, and all that is left is the naked atrocity. To that question, I think of two stories.

One is that of Israeli’s oldest reservist, a 95-year-old war criminal named Ezra Yachin, now openly saying, ‘“Be triumphant and finish them off and don’t leave anyone behind. Erase the memory of them,” Yachin said while addressing Israeli troops this week, in a video that has since gone viral.“Erase them, their families, mothers and children. These animals can no longer live.”’ That is exactly what the Israeli troops are doing, with the full support of the United States. This is what you’re watching on TV.

Then I think of my 99-year-old grandmother, at this moment not bothering anybody. I remember that during the 1983 riots, my race (Sinhalese) killed Tamil people in the streets. Thirty years later I was on a train in Chennai, and it turned out the man next to me had been sheltered in my grandparents’ home, from the raging mob. This in no way erases or even diminishes the shame on my country, but I was proud of my grandparents then. I was ashamed that we made this man a refugee, but I was proud that my grandparents were brave enough to stand against the baying mob. So as a pogrom unfolds in front of you, even from afar, you have to seriously ask yourself. Will my grandchildren by proud of me?