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[Palestine] [Gender] [ULK Issue 84]
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I$raeli Propaganda Capitalizes on Gender Hierarchy

Shani Louk selfie
Shani Louk was one of the I$raelis killed on October 7th
that had glamorous photos spread across the media

18 January 2024 – Today, The Guardian published an article claiming to have evidence of rape of I$raelis during the October 7th attack led by Hamas.(1) However, much of the evidence they provide is the same evidence provided by The New York Times in a similar article from December that has been largely debunked by The Electronic Intifada, citing lack of real evidence, claims that have been countered by the relatives of one alleged victim, and exposing a prime “witness” for being Zionist a operative who has given inconsistent accounts of what ey says ey saw.(2)

I$rael, U.$. and British propaganda have been weaponizing gender to maintain support for the ongoing slaughter of Palestinians of all ages and genders. This has been their playbook against the Muslim world for decades, and against oppressed nations for centuries. It is a common tool of war to demonize and dehumanize the enemy to build support for violence.

Because Hamas attacked civilians, including a rave full of young, beautiful people, the images of young, mostly European, wimmin have been at the forefront of the media since October 7th. Not only are I$raeli wimmin portrayed very differently than Palestinian wimmin in the propaganda war, they benefit from a pornographic culture that values their appearance over that of other peoples of the world. This gives them real gender power, and gives their images real currency in the propaganda war.

One of those kidnapped from the rave was the daughter of a billionaire who built his wealth on the occupation of Palestine. The BBC strangely titled their article on him, “Eyal Waldman: Israeli tech billionaire hopes for peace despite daughter’s killing.” In the article, Waldman seeths about eliminating those who did the attack and even all of Hamas.(3)

More recently, The Daily Mail featured an “exclusive” on “The faces of the girls STILL being held by Hamas”. The tabloid style of The Daily Mail is based on using images of the grotesque and the sexy to capture attention. Stories such as this have allowed them to feature both side-by-side.

While at least one order of magnitude more Palestinian young wimmin have been murdered (not to mention injured, starved, sickened) by I$rael since October 7th, it is the faces of Euro-I$raelis that we see in British and U.$. media. Of course this can be explained by imperialist geo-political interests in the region. But this is also because sex sells, and young European wimmin are sexy.

MIM gave us the theory of the gender aristocracy to better understand this dynamic, and how it affects who are our friends and who are our enemies. The gender aristocracy are the wimmin (and the sexual minorities, etc) who benefit from and support the patriarchy despite having the biological characteristics that traditionally put people in the gender oppressed group under patriarchy. Like the labor aristocracy, the gender aristocracy expanded and transformed in the era of imperialism.

MIM Thought points to the material basis of gender in health status, and the gender aristocracy operating often as a subset of national oppression. So the young, healthy, strong, beautiful people are the ones with gender privilege. Tie that with oppressor nation status, and you have a group of people who have the dual characteristics of being highly valued as well as considered worthy of protection.

Under patriarchal thinking, the defiling of the nation’s wimmin is often a higher offense than killing them. So when we compare the capture of dozens of young Euro-I$raeli wimmin (some who have been murdered) to the murder of tens of thousands of Palestinians, there is just no comparison in the eyes of the oppressor. They will happily kill thousands of more Palestinian men, wimmin and children as revenge for this ultimate sin.

Even in death we see the privilege and power of the gender aristocracy whose pictures are spread around and mourned in the oppressor nations, while the Palestinian wimmin die nameless and faceless.

We’ve also seen Jewish student groups in the United $tates using signs in support of LGBTQ people in their counter protests to those opposing the war on Palestine. This is another example of trying to unite the oppressor nations around gender issues against the oppressed nations that has been used against the Arab world for decades.

Despite these efforts, a November Gallup poll showed that Amerikan wimmin were less supportive of I$rael’s war than men (44% vs 59%). Bigger gaps were seen by age and nation, however. For age support was 30% for 18 to 34 year olds, 50% for 35 to 54, and 63% for 55 and older. Many have commented on the different views of I$rael by age and historical context. But youth interests always differ from the rest, and we see this contradiction as the principal contradiction within the Amerikan nation. Within the United $tates we see the principal contradiction as that between the Amerikan nation and the oppressed nations. This is reflected in 61% white support for I$raeli war, and 30% support from the oppressed nations in the poll.(5)

The current upsurge of youth and oppressed nations in response to the genocide in Gaza is heartening. We must work to organize these forces into sustainable anti-imperialist organizations. The primary way to do this is in the battle of ideas and combatting the trickery the imperialists use to try to win them back over to the side of the oppressor.

Notes:
1. Betham McKernan, 18 Jan 2024, Evidence points to systematic use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas in 7 October attacks, The Guardian.
2. Ali Abunima, 9 January 2024, NY Times “investigation” of mass rape by Hamas falls apart, The Electronic Intifada.
3. Orla Guerin, 12 December 2023, Eyal Waldman: Israeli tech billionaire hopes for peace despite daughter’s killing, BBC News.
4. Natalie Lisbona, 7 January 2024, The Daily Mail, The faces of the girls STILL being held by Hamas as their families make a desperate plea for their release three months after they were captured.
5. Lydia Saad, 30 November 2023, Americans Back Israel’s Military Action in Gaza by 50% to 45%, Gallup.

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