It's impossible for anyone who wasn't there to imagine the extreme horror, fear & pain Israelis went through on October 7th.
This Twitter thread by Amir Tibon, a journalist at Haaretz, illuminates his experience as Hamas killers were roaming the kibbutz around his house.
Without ever detracting from the trauma Amir, his family, and a thousand other Israelis went through, this thread also shows how "progressive" Zionists like Amir justify Israeli war crimes and why they can never be a part of a just solution to the conflict.
Amir says he doesn't want revenge and that he is sad to hear about civilian deaths in Gaza. But he immediately moves on to blame Hamas for these deaths. What we are to understand is that when an Israeli missile is launched from an Israeli plane by an Israeli soldier kills a family of innocent civilians, it's not Israel's fault.
This goes back to the idea that any Palestinian pain is never Israel’s fault. In my experience, this perspective is carried by an overwhelming majority of Zionist Jews, including "progressives".
Here, Amir proudly boasts of Israeli attempts to improve Gaza's economy, as if Israel was generous and benevolent. This is of course despite the fact that poverty in Gaza is a direct result of Israeli policy and of the blockade Israel has imposed for years.
And this is not just since the 2007 blockade. Harvard Professor Sara Roy was already saying in 1987 that Israel "de-develops" Gaza's economy: it discriminates against Gaza producers, restricts the trade allowed in and out of the Gaza Strip, prohibits the development of financial institutions necessary to economic development, etc.
Amir also falls into the classic "it's not Israel, it's Netanyahu and the far right" trope. This is a travesty of history that aims to clear Israel from any wrongdoing before Bibi: forget about the Nakba, the massacres, or the occupation. It's as if Israel's oppression of Palestinians only started in the past 15-20 years.
Here, Amir again directly links Hamas' atrocities with the collective punishment of Gazans. The use of collective punishment against Palestinians (a war crime and a moral horror) is completely normalized and accepted in Israeli society, including by progressive Zionists.
Finally, Amir suggests that Israel, despite having one of the most advanced and technological armed forces in the world, has literally no other option than the current atrocities: Israel has to wage all out war in Gaza, no matter how many civilians die or how much destruction it creates.
Saying that to save Israeli lives, it is okay for an unlimited number of Palestinian civilians to die, no matter how many that is, is admitting to the belief that Palestinian lives are less valuable than Israeli lives.
My point here is simply that we cannot look to progressive Zionism for a path out of this conflict. Progressive Zionists may be "against settlements" and proclaim to "want peace" but they still view Palestinian lives as inherently less valuable than Israeli lives.
That the more progressive forces in Israel do not see Palestinians as equally worthy of safety and dignity in the same way Israelis deserve safety and dignity shows that no just peace can ever come from within Israel.