It was an unplanned honest and clear moment.
Democratic representative Angie Nixon spoke earlier this month on the Florida legislature’s floor in support of a resolution she sponsored calling for “de-escalation” and an end to the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere.
Nixon asked her colleagues in the chamber, “We are at 10,000 dead Palestinians,” as her voice rose with a mixture of grief and annoyance. What number will suffice?
Michelle Salzman, a Republican representative, immediately responded.
She said, “All of them.”
Nixon was shocked and paused from her prepared remarks to acknowledge Salzman’s overt invitation to genocide, which was also heard by other lawmakers.
“All of them,” one of my coworkers just said. Wow .
Wow , for sure.
An instructive illustration of the ingrained, marquee-sized hypocrisy that characterizes how the majority of Western politicians, journalists, and the ready roster of frothing “pressure groups” label any criticism of Israel as a “blood libel” or “anti-Semitic,” but say and do nothing when one of their own encourages mass murder is Salzman’s muted response to his outburst of genocide honesty and clarity.
Nixon was, rightly, having none of it despite Salzman’s cliched, predictable claim that the brief uproar her sinister remark caused was “fake” news.
“I was very clear about what I was saying when I said that innocent Palestinians’ lives were at stake. period,” Nixon remarked to a nearby Florida TV station. When I questioned how many Palestinian lives must be lost, she responded, “She said that. She spoke clearly. “All of them,” she uttered.
Nixon and the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Florida chapter insisted that Salzman be at the very least censured, if not fired.
According to executive director Imam Abdullah Jaber, Salazman’s remarks are “extremely dangerous and dehumanizing to Palestinians here at home and under Israeli occupation.” All Florida legislators must publicly reject her and censure her party.
Of course, Salzman has escaped the same direct, life-altering fate as Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and the numerous writers, artists, and citizens who have been ridiculed, censured, fired, or otherwise “cancelled” for taking a humane stance with the Palestinians.
Salzman hasn’t resigned and was not criticized.
Nixon’s “de-escalation” and cease-fire resolution was defeated 104 to 2 in the vote. And during the “debate” over her failed scheme, Nixon was attacked with the customary barrage of lies and distortions by Republicans and several of her prone Democratic colleagues.
Nixon was effectively labeled a “terrorist” sympathizer for supporting an “immediate ceasefire” despite publicly denouncing Hamas’ “terrorismist attacks.” She was reprimanded for using the term “occupied Palestine” and accused of exaggerating the number of Palestinians who had died.
While this was going on, Salzman mostly made it out unscathed and may have even come away feeling more confident after quickly putting an end to the brief commotion.
The performative, exculpatory nonsense that the “heartbreaking loss of Palestinian lives is never a desire of mine” was followed by Salzman’s canard-revealing on X that Hamas was her true target.
It certainly isn’t.
It wasn’t “inflammatory” rhetoric when Salzman ordered genocide. Instead, it was a abhorrent order: to watch comfortably from Florida’s sun-drenched skies as Israel routinely traumatizes, maimed, and kills Palestinians in large numbers while they are huddled in the shadows of the West Bank and Gaza that have been occupied.
To my knowledge, the major US news outlets that have been seized by the “Israel-Gaza conflict” did not pay much attention to Salzman’s sick suggestion.
It also didn’t merit the immediate rebuke of cliché-obsessed President Joe Biden or his trigger-happy surrogates, who are quick to criticize anyone who challenges the obstinate, state-approved narrative that Israel is always the saint and never the sinner, both inside and outside the White House.
No words at all.
In response to Salzman’s call for genocide, the evangelical “pressure groups” that had pushed for the exclusion of writers, politicians, artists, and numerous others from public life for showing or expressing solidarity with doomed Palestinians remained silent.
Again, not a single criticism or condemnation. only silent complicity.
However, it would be incorrect to attempt to downplay Salzman’s offensive response as an aberration.
My concern is that too many of Israel’s allies will join Salzman in responding to Representative Nixon in an urgent manner by saying, “All of them,” as the lethal, unrelenting horror experienced by Palestinians goes unchecked.
Dr. Darren Klugman, a pediatrician at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, is one of them.
Like Salzman, Klugman expressed his desire for the blanket erasure of Palestinians as well as their mass expulsion from their ancestral home in a number of ominous social media posts.
Palestinians were referred to by Klugman as “barbaric,” “savage,” and “blood thirsty, morally depraved animals who want nothing less than the destruction of all Jews and Israel.”
Since there is “lots of sand for Palestinians in Sinai that Israel gave to Egypt,” Klugman declared that it was “time to reclaim Gaza.”
Finally, Klugman responded to Mariam Barghouti’s post criticizing how “Israeli policymakers are quite literally calling for a large-scale slaughter” of Palestinians by writing, “G-d willing.”
I suppose it is overused to claim that there would be swift and widespread denunciations and penalties if a Palestinian doctor working in the United States posted such obscenities about Israelis on social media.
Klugman is “on leave” at Johns Hopkins Hospital while the hospital looks into his “deeply disturbing social media posts.”
Biden and company were not asked to comment on or denounce Klugman’s spigot of hatred, despite the fact that a few American national news outlets covered the horrifying incident. The typically chatty “pressure groups” have adopted a “no evil, no good,” no evil-speaking attitude.
By focusing their editorial sights and resources on the White House- and Congress-approved “March for Israel,” which appears to have attracted fewer people than Donald Trump’s inauguration, editors working at “elite” US media outlets demonstrated their establishment credentials.
The rhetorical “doublespeak” at the center of an event that praised and promoted the absurd idea that war is peace was missed by their effusive coverage.
The crowd of about 300,000 jeered and erupted into a raucous “no ceasefire” chant when self-described “peace guy” and well-known CNN celebrity Van Jones suggested that the carpet-bombing of Palestinian civilians should stop.
It should be clear by now that the phrase “no ceasefire” has become a polite euphemism for continuing to kill Palestinian children, their mothers, and their fathers, as well as for destroying mosques and homes, attacking and desecrating hospitals and making thousands of elderly and infirm Palestinians walk for miles in search of “safe haven” where none exist. Continue to carry out genocide.
Without a doubt, Darren Klugman and Michelle Salzman would also yell “no ceasefire.”