Comment: More proof of the animal rights establishment being Zionist shills. They won’t attack the Zionist kosher slaughterhouses, but they’ll attack and ridicule Muslims for halal slaughtering which is the SAME THING as kosher slaughtering.
“Israeli Ministers Move to Criminalize Cruelty to Animals. Neglecting an animal now a criminal offense, causing them serious suffering carries jail sentence.” A recent Haaretz article from June depicts yet another move by the Israeli government to “veganize” the zionist state and fortify its “humane” brand. Multiple vegan media outlets, such as Mercy For Animals and VegNews, have chosen to highlight these new laws as victories for the animal rights movement. Calling it an “undeniable… vegan revolution,” Mercy For Animals, along with a host of zionist animal rights activists, continue to recycle zionist propaganda without questioning the immorality of zionism, occupation, and the continual slaughter of Palestinians embedded in the very fabric of the settler-colonial state.
However, what does it actually mean that Israel is choosing to criminalize cruelty to animals? According to the Haaretz piece, “the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a number of amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Law, which broaden the responsibilities of animal owners and stress not only the issue of animal abuse but the obligation to tend to their health and needs.”Although certain single-issue vegans and vegan groups may choose to celebrate this as a vegan advancement, along with those who applaud the vegan options for IDF soldiers, there is a fundamental paradox resting in this new law approved by Israeli ministers.
The more and more that Israel moves towards its supposed vegan revolution and grants more rights to animals, the more undeniable it becomes – animal lives are worth more than Palestinian lives in Israel. Just as it is becoming more clear, animal lives are worth more than Black lives to Americans in the U.S. The core of this double-standard rests in a world engulfed by a white/zionist supremacy working to eradicate People of Color. Single-issue veganism supports supremacist states in upholding their racist structures and in turn supports an environment where lions matter more than Black lives and farmed animals matter more than Palestinians.
To clarify, there is absolutely nothing wrong with demonstrating compassion for animals, and doing so does not make one anti-Black or anti-Palestinian. Intersectional vegans/animal rights activists recognize animals’ right to life, while also integrating the pro-Palestine, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, Black Lives Matter, and Say Her Name movements, because the root of all systematic oppression is connected. Believe it or not, it is possible to show compassion for humans and animals at the same time. However, when the concern with animals’ safety, well-being, and lives takes precedent over these strategically oppressed human groups – therein lies a problem.
“We want to live. Enough is enough. We have children just like you….We want to live. For those who can hear me, we want to live. We want to live. We deserve to live.” Although some animal rights activists may mistake these words as animal rights slogans, these are the cries from a Palestinian girl. Lina, 16, from the village of Duma, watched as her 18 month-old neighbor, Ali, burned to death in his home last week. Lina’s desperate plea demonstrates the grief and torment of everyday life in Palestine. Systematically dehumanized, attacked, and killed, Palestinians are living in gruesome conditions.
Yassir Mahmoud el-Haj, 25, is a resident of Khan Younis Refugee Camp in Gaza. He recounts his experience during last year’s attacks,“I couldn’t see where the two missiles hit exactly… The smoke and dust filled the air and people were screaming and shouting… After a minute, I realized that it was my house and that it was my family under the rubble.” Yassir lost both his parents and six brothers and sisters in the Israeli attacks last summer.
Stories similar to these are all too commonplace in Gaza, particularly when reigniting the traumas of the Israeli onslaught. On July 8 of last year, Israel began its military operation, Operation Protective Edge, which has formally resulted in 11,231 Palestinians injured and 2,251 Palestinian deaths – 551 of those killed were children. Additionally, over 1,000 children are permanently disabled from the attacks, with over 100,000 Palestinians still displaced and without homes.
With endless testimonies like Lina’s and Yassir’s, it is evident that Palestinians are enduring suffering, violence, trauma, and death – everything that the Israeli animal cruelty law is working to protect animals from. So how is it that a settler-colonial state which is said to be experiencing a vegan revolution for its laws to protect animal life from misery, is in fact inflicting an unfathomable misery on another human population? How is it that the animals’ “health and needs” are brought under legal protection, while Palestinian life is continually degraded and decimated? And more importantly, why is it that educated and reasonable people fall for this Israeli vegan-washing as an authentic move towards veganism?
There is nothing vegan about Israel. We fundamentally, as ethical and intersectional vegans, cannot celebrate Israel’s criminalization of animal cruelty because it erases and ignores the systemic and deadly occupation of Palestine. To congratulate Israel for its anti-animal cruelty law is to effectively acknowledge that Palestinian life is not worth acknowledging. Accepting this new Israeli law as a success is to further devalue Palestinian life and negate Palestinian resistance to Israeli state terror.
Simply put, the erasure of Palestine, its cultural, historic and social fabric, is a political tactic used to carry out the occupation of Palestinian land. The process of abolishing Palestine’s unique and vital identity, either through Israeli appropriation or literal destruction through Israeli warfare, is a tenet of justifying and legitimizing the zionist state. Therefore, as Israel attempts to rebrand itself as humane, peaceful, and vegan – and ultimately as superior to Palestine – we must reject this bait. Israel is an apartheid state and therefore none of its supposed vegan advancements should be celebrated; unless the move to veganize includes humanizing Palestinians, ending the occupation of Palestine, and dismantling zionist supremacy. Until the Israeli government passes a law criminalizing cruelty against Palestinians, I will not be applauding Israel. We know better than to congratulate oppressors cloaking their violence in Daiya cheese. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing vegan about Israel.