Killing the “other”

In my hometown, Albuquerque, there’s a shooter (or shooters) targeting and killing Muslims. The Governor calls the recent 4 victims “targeted killings” and has promised to send State Police to assist local law enforcement in the investigation and capture of the perpetrator, along with the help of the FBI.

I wish to point out that there are other Muslims being targeted and killed today in Gaza. The perpetrator is known, and might claim that the religious denomination of the victims is of no consequence. But the fact remains that the victims are Muslims and they are being targeted. The perpetrator is not Muslim. The victims, like the four men in Albuquerque, are unable to defend themselves.

Is there any connection between the slaughter of Muslims in Albuquerque and Gaza?

Yes! And it’s long past time that the world woke up and investigated and held the perpetrator accountable just as the NM Governor has done.

The connection between these atrocious acts is a learned and cultivated defect in the human spirit. When we educate our children to treat people — who don’t look like them, don’t talk like them, don’t pray like them — differently and with disdain, we are setting them on a path which ultimately leads to the murders in Albuquerque and Gaza.

Palestinian-American journalist killed by Israeli sharpshooter in the occupied West Bank in May 2022.

The State of Israel (and the U.S. Secretary of State) claim that Israel has a “right to defend itself“. That justification is an old and threadbare excuse for the inexcusable. Israel is the long-term occupier who has all the tools available to end the occupation and accept the inevitable — living side-by-side with Palestinians (the “other”) with equal rights and dignity.

Israel has spent the past 70+ years inculcating its youth and society to fear the Palestinians, the “other”. The Western media has bought into that framing of the “other” — so obvious with a casual reading of the New York Times. One side is given the moral high ground while the other is condemned as terrorists.

It won’t change until the world, like the New Mexico Governor, recoils in horror and commits to investigate and hold the perpetrator accountable. Until that happens, perps think they can get away with their deeds against the “other”.

If you’re still reading, you probably already have a hunch that something is not right with Israel’s attack on Gaza. Criticizing the State of Israel is hazardous, and I have no doubt that charges of anti-Semitism will be leveled against me. But if we don’t acknowledge the inhumanity we witness, and do everything we can to end it, are we any better than the perps?

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