“Just shut up and die or disappear”: Reaction of Israelis to the Gaza massacres

gaza massacre

The reaction of Israelis to The Great March of Return depends on the “nationality” of the Israeli being referred to.

In Israel, there are Israeli citizens but no Israeli nationality – only “Jewish nationality” or “Palestinian Arab”, etc. (this is intentionally aimed at maintaining Israel as a Jewish State).

So, we have Palestinian-Arab MK Haneen Zoabi reacting to Israel’s massacres in Gaza as follows, and in the process expressing the feelings and reactions of Palestinian Israeli citizensas quoted in Forward and Y-netNews:

“We need to go on popular marches to remind the world of the siege. We need millions of Palestinians to march on Jerusalem. That is the aspiration. But we can’t do it, because the Israelis would kill them … Israel has turned from a racist country to a fascist one… Israel is not defending itself as it is claiming, the occupation and the siege are not an act of self defense, but rather one of terrorism … [the #GreatReturnMarch is] a march of peace, a peaceful act of popular struggle… We have popular resistance of women and children who want to put an end to the siege… Israel is opposed and kills Palestinians not because they endanger their soldiers. The children of Gaza don’t want to be killed quietly without receiving any recognition from the world. They are sending a message that we are under siege, and we need to do something, and that is to march and remind the world about the siege. Our problem is the silence of the international community… I don’t see what is violent about setting fire to a tire. Is burning a tire violence, while shooting at protesters not violence? Show me one Israeli who was hurt by these actions. Israel is only looking for an excuse to kill the Palestinians… Stop buying the Israeli propaganda… I am a Palestinian; they expect me to be loyal to the Zionists, while the only meaning of Zionism is to revoke my rights and to reject my identity.”

On the other hand, we have Israeli Jews reacting as described below by Nir Dvori, a reporter for the Israeli channel 2 news, in a photo tweet of Jews watching the mass murder of Gazan demonstrators by Israel’s snipers with the caption, “Best show in town. Residents of Nahal Oz on the bleachers”:

israeli jews watching gaza massacre

And Here is Gideon Levy, Jewish Israeli journalist and author, in Haaretzdescribing an image captioned as “Israelis facing the Gaza border.\ Alex Levac” and expressing the sentiments of some liberal Israeli Jews:


A crocheted kippa, a head scarf and a guitar on the stone bench beneath the eucalyptus tree. A couple from Moshav BneiNetzarim, evacuees from the Gaza Strip. He’s singing a love song to her. And from here, too, Gaza is on the horizon. It doesn’t let go.

Diana Buttu’s reaction to the images shared by Nir Dvori and Alex Levac were as follows:

On Nir Dvori’s image/comment: “This is sick. Israeli residents of Nahal Oz watch as snipers kill Palestinians.”

On Alex Levac’s image: “Nothing to see here but people in prison being gunned down and gassed.”

Still other Israeli Jews, like SabiShaylan of Tel Aviv University, are incredulous and horrified. Shaylanposted this video clip with the following comment (computer translation from Hebrew):

To see and not believe. Aired a few minutes ago on channel 12-Snipers shooting Palestinians and unarmed men like ducks at the range of the men’s whinnies. The IDF is at its peak. One of the soldiers celebrates shooting in the head of one of the protesters. If there is an accurate definition of bloodthirsty expression, it is. If these aren’t war crimes, I don’t know what is.

AmerZahr, a Palestinian-American comedian, speaker, writer, academic, and adjunct professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, pointed out that Israeli Jews have yet to learn to understand Palestinians:  “Israel just can’t seem to understand us, despite our quite clear and consistent message. It can’t figure out, after decades of anguish, why we won’t just go away.”

Without both understanding and empathy toward those struggling for freedom and return to their homeland as per Res 194 from those whose government holds all the power, we are simply left with a hot and tragic mess.

As Remi Kanazi, a Palestinian-American performance poet, writer and organizer based in New York City, posted on Facebook, unfortunately, the reaction of most Israeli Jews to the Palestinian struggle for justice is, “Just shut up and die or disappear.”

A list of things Palestinians can’t do under any circumstance:

No armed resistance
No unarmed protests
No marches for rights
No direct action
No international criminal court
No boycotts
No divestment
No international solidarity

Just shut up and die or disappear. That is the only option Israel finds suitable.

Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.


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