Israel is a modern paradise in the Middle East. A LGBTQI+ heaven.
There’s public security. Trendy clubs.
Super science. Super vaccination.
On travel media, Israel showcases its beautiful streets, its cool cafes, the
snazzy ice-cream parlors, nice outings.
Let’s not forget to mention religious tourism. Since Brazil is a majorly
christian country, we like to visit the places where Jesus has been. Some
even go as far as baptizing themselves in the Jordan during tours
organized by protestant churches.
Which wouldn’t be such a problem, if these guys could see Jesus as a
tortured and imprisoned Palestinian kid – like the ones we see on a daily
basis. And not as an Israeli playboy with a gun license – because this
definitely wouldn’t be the case.
Save all that I’ve described so far. Since people think through imagery, this
is the image Brazilians, in general, make of Israel: it’s a modern country,
cool, interesting, exotic for being in the Middle East and not being arabic.
And, more importantly, a country of great moral principles, as the sacred
land it is.
Now let’s talk about Palestine. There’s an odd phenomenon that happens
with Palestine, which I’ll name in this text as “inverting the origin of the
There are lots of Palestinians on Instagram reporting, with photos and
videos, the violence they’re going through – which is a necessity, since
social media is the way they found to show the world the injustice they’re
suffering due to zionism.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Because Israel has inoculated the world to
think it is cool.
So, the images of bloodied Palestinians, shattered and hurt – even if it’s
done by Israel, that slaughters the native people – has the opposite effect.
There’s an association of Palestinians with violence, inverting the origin of
Palestine isn’t cool. Arabs are closed and conservative! This image, in my
opinion, arises because the Palestinian struggle makes any Israeli virtue
We think Arabs are brutes because they see us dazzled by the Israeli
social advances and say: “screw that, I want the right to belong to my land”.
We think we have more sensitivity towards life than a people who is “just”
claiming for their land, for their right to exist.
However, the land is the most important of beings, origin of all origins. Just
as shown by Darwich in the poem “The ‘Red Indian’s’ Penultimate Speech
to the White Man” (Onze Astros, Editora Tabla, 2021).
The palestinian catastrophe, the nakba, isn’t over. It’s not only at Sheikh
Jarrah. All of Palestine is living a long 1948, and it has to end.
*Translated from portuguese to english by Anaíse Nóbrega
Special thanks to Esmeralda Colabone
Letícia Sé é jornalista e se dedica a temas do mundo árabe. É autora de Baulistanas, livro sobre a imigração de mulheres árabes ao Brasil. Em 2016, cobriu a Conferência da ONU Sobre Mudanças Climáticas no Marrocos, país onde também estudou a língua árabe. É criadora do blog SistemaMundo.com e compartilha conteúdos no Instagram @leticia.blog.