“What would you do if Hamas attacked you?”– That’s the question posed to Americans yesterday in a brief but powerful op-ed by author Peter Beinart in The Atlantic. It aims to explain why it’s so difficult for Americans in particular to criticize the state of Israel.
Revealingly, the question is rarely asked the other way: What would you do if your people had been under occupation for almost 50 years and your territory was blockaded by air, land, and sea? It’s rarely asked because we Americans can’t easily imagine ourselves as a stateless people. I suspect this goes to the heart of why people in the developing world generally identify more strongly with the Palestinians than Americans do. If you live in Nigeria or Pakistan, the experience of living under the control of another country yet not being a citizen of that country is fairly recent. (White) Americans, by contrast, have to go back all the way to 1776.
Read the rest at The Atlantic.