This is Issue 59.2 of Digestable, your thrice-weekly mouthful of things happening in the world.
Today’s news, fermented:
Yesterday, Palestinians across political factions united for a strike “from the river to the sea.” They were joined by the Palestinian diaspora and allies around the world, unified by demands that countries sanction Israel, make a public commitment to Palestinian liberation, and align with the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement.
This moment of unity was notable, much like any moment when an oppressed people finds a way to outrun the divide and conquer strategy that those in the halls of power often turn to in order to keep people from organizing for the collective good. (In the US this looks like powers that be pitting members of ‘minority’ identities against each other, even though our liberation is all tied up in each other’s; our power is threatening when unified.)
The piece linked above also talks about the future of Palestine, and how the two-state solution is dead. Knowing what we know about American history and segregation, it seems pretty clear that a two-state solution is essentially a formalization of the ‘separate but equal’ principles that white supremacists in this country advocated for, claiming that this is possible. But knowing what we know about how Israel and many Israelis consider and treat Palestinians, we have as much reason to believe creating two segregated countries will yield equity as we do to believe that a segregated United States is not a white supremacist one.
In this study—notably old because it does not account for a likely perspective shift in the last couple of weeks—the American public is in support of equal rights for Palestinians in one state, and Democrats are overwhelmingly supportive of this strategy. This may be surprising, given that two of the most powerful Democrats (Biden and Schumer) are either afraid of supporting a ceasefire (truly the bare minimum), willing to sell $735 million in weapons to Israel, or staunchly in defense of the ‘rights’ of the Israeli state to continue murdering Palestinians.
New Yorkers, call that hypocritical piece of garbage Schumer and tell him you think Palestinian human rights are more important than outdated ideology. There are a million actions floating around, all of which are likely more detailed/targeted than this sentiment, but it’s important he hear from constituents that he, like the other old white guy at the helm of this party, is out of step with the public.
Turning our attention briefly to what some parts of the public believe—the argument justifying Israeli violence I’ve seen the most of is that Jews are ‘indigenous’ to the land that is now considered Israel, and therefore have a right to be there.
It is true that some Jews were on that land, thereabouts 2000 years ago. But it is also true that there are countless populations of Jews that are rooted in and from places outside of this piece of land.
This thread laid out the issues with the ‘Jews are indigenous to Israel’ argument really well; it’s written by someone who’s native to Turtle Island (now the US) and is Jewish.
The first slide clarifies that Indigeneity is “a political identity describing relationship to settler colonialism.” So, even if some Jews were once living happily on the land that is now occupied Palestine, I would argue that those Jews have effectively relinquished their ‘indigenous’ identities in that place through their actions as colonizers.
Again drawing on this understanding of what being Indigenous is and is not, it is wrong and untrue to claim Indigineity if being Jewish is the only justification.
It’s pretty disgraceful, I think, to exist in a position of privilege and power (white Jews in the US, for example) and claim identity with a political marker (Indigenous) that is perhaps justifiable in the spiral of privilege guilt/social posting/virtue signaling that goes on, but is actually a lie that perpetuates violence against those who actually hold that identity.
Hear from some actual Palestinians who are actually Indigenous to occupied Palestine in these films made by Palestinian women that are streaming for free (but donations go to providing aid on the ground, please donate).
In Colombia, people are still in the streets, demanding the dismantling of class strata, yet another system that is pretty close to the ‘separate but equal’ ideology, which just keeps those in power in power. These struggles are connected by the thick thread of US intervention, imperialism, and extraction—and will continue in the name of ‘protecting’ democracy and freedom. It is our responsibility to demand otherwise.
Here’s a fossil much older that Jews’ claims to occupied Palestine.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
You live in the U.S. long enough and you start noticing how every little thing in this country has to be commodified. Healthcare, taxes, education... is it any wonder then that Gwyneth Paltrow would sell a $75 candle that smells like her vagina?
Personally, I would never spend that much money on a candle, let alone one that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow's coochie, but this product is constantly sold out on her website and apparently, several customers have been unhappy with their candles. Like Texas resident Colby Watson, who purchased the candle in January and is now suing Gwyneth's Goop company for a product he claims could have killed him because the candle exploded while he was burning it.
According to his lawsuit, Colby claims he burned the candle for the first time in February, placing it on his nightstand and away from any other materials that might pose a fire risk. However, after burning the candle for an estimated "three hours or less," the candle became engulfed in high flames, filled his room with smoke, and exploded soon after. Photos included in his lawsuit show a completely blackened and charred Goop candle as well as burn rings on his nightstand from where the candle stood. No injuries were reported in the complaint.
A Goop spokesperson called the lawsuit "frivolous" and an attempt to "secure an outsized payout" from a popular product. But this isn't the first time the Goop candle has exploded upon burning. In March, a woman in the UK wrote an essay in The Guardian describing how her vagina candle exploded upon being lit "for a few minutes" -- with bits of molten wax flying out as the candle fizzled and spat flames at her.
I gotta say, it's gonna be hard not to associate Gwyneth's vagina with random explosions from now on. Safety issues aside, if Gwyneth was as smart a businesswoman as she portrays herself to be, she would seize this opportunity to make cheeky marketing out of her candles. Play up the flames and explosions as a central feature of not just the vagina candle, but her "This Is What My Orgasm Smells Like" candle too. I mean, come on Gwyneth, is this not a genius gimmick? I'll accept my cut of the profits through Venmo, thank you!