Daniel Mkpanam

‘The 60-plus Day War’ or ‘So you want to start a caliphate’

Yeah it’s a been a while since I’ve been here. Okay where do I begin? It’s the early hours of what I thought would be a lazy Saturday. Thanks to my ADHD I’m up all night enjoying all this FIFA I’m playing and around 5:30 in the morning, my friend tells me “Israel may be having another war.” I wish to God this was just “another war”.

Which leads us to here where 60 days later committing all sorts of atrocities under the sun is justified if it’s in the proper “context”, where jihadis & “aspiring” khalifas are having rallies in their honor in the democratic West made up of frothing supporters coming from a diverse array of racial backgrounds, where…*sigh* Osama bin Laden is apparently based.

Like some of you, I’ve spent the past 60 days wondering if at some point I had died and gone to hell. Cuz yeah this is definitely what I imagine hell to be. Far-left & right (but mostly far-left) antisemitism reaching audacious boiling point, Islamofascist terrorism being normalized and even celebrated, college institutions quadruple downing on their Jew hatred, celebrities & politicians basking in the limelight and worsening the situation (it’s not just the Squad). I’m aware that every year we revive trends from decades past (remember in the mid ‘00s when ‘70s haircuts came back?) but yeah I don’t like how this year’s comeback decade was the 1930s.

Though I must confess I’m not too surprised by all this cuz this ain’t my first radio. That’s right kids, I’m a veteran of a lil thingy we experienced folk call “May of 20friggin21”. Yup it was one for the books. It was my first venture seeing Israel get yeeted with rockets and when they counter-struck, everybody got mad at them. Can you believe that? Youngbloods my age where running around like headless chickens brandishing Sudanese, Jordanian and Emirati flags (they weren’t Palestinian flags, Sally) furiously proclaiming Israel was amongst other things: a flat track bully, a pantomime villain, a Goliath and above all else…a dick. Sound familiar? Now once you throw in decades of Soviet antisem- uh I mean err anti-Zionism, generational Arab antisemitism, Arabic-Islamic imperialism, the media’s godawful reporting on Israel, Edward Said’s bull, it becomes easy to see how we got here.

Well since my generation (unfortunately I’m a Gen Z-er) seems hellbent on overtly, covertly or idiotically supporting Hamas, I figure it’s best I tell ‘em what they’re supportin’.

So you want to start a caliphate? Gen Z why do you always have to embarrass me like this? Not in front of my friends! Say Hamas somehow manages to wipe Israel off the map (It’s more likely to see Kanye West and Mel Gibson singing HaTikva, but hey, let’s continue living in fantasy land), they’re not gonna stop there. Instead of smuggling Playboys into school, these ISIS 2.0 wackos spent their boyhoods fantasizing about recolonizing the Iberian peninsula. “The West is next” being the warning call Israelis and Jews have been blaring for months.

Now I can say that should Hamas & their network of Iranian regime hoodrats succeed, this means the end of your precious little democracy. You can always counter with “what democracy? The West is sooo fascist and corporatist and imperial”. You see, I know that’s your go-to, because you lot are intellectually lazy and have the cerebral diversity of a flock of sheep. Voting? Psssh you guys don’t vote. Abortion access? Well we know even the fall of Roe isn’t enough to make you people come to your senses. LGBTQ+ rights? Please, you guys were fetuses when your respective countries achieved marriage equality. You’re so privileged and comfortable you’ve taken democracy for granted. You’re so far removed from the important of democracy and the tranquility it brings, you’re perfectly fine with the only democracy in the Middle East being violently ethnically cleansed to death. A lot of you are seemingly fine living in systems where gay people (or hell, even remotely suspected of being gay) are either tortured or thrown from rooftops, women need permission from men to go anywhere, and think of all the restrictive clothing policies that of course only women have to navigate through. But wait! there’s more!! Cuz remember, we’re not just talking about pappy Palestine, we’re talking about caliphates here. Nigeria for example has its resident “The khilafah will rise again!!!” club. It’s called Boko Haram, maybe you’ve heard of ‘em? Amongst their many godawful inspirations is Usman dan Fodio, TLDR some Fulani warlord who founded the Sokoto caliphate in the 1800s. The Boko boys occasionally use his words to justify their many misadventures (like kidnapping hundreds of school girls who were about to take the West African equivalent to the SATs). Bokobros whole shtick is they want to establish Islamic states in their gantry up in the North of Nigeria, but the funny thing is they don’t need to…because, well, the North pretty much beat them to it.

Ya see, despite adopting a diet version of the US constitution in 1999, 12 states practice sharia with their full chest. That’s one-third of the country where it’s perfectly legal to sentence adulterers and blasphemers to death. But this isn’t just limited to the Northern part of Nigeria. Even in Western Nigeria, there are tussles between Islamists and those who practice their indigenous religions. I don’t know guys, seems like everyone, from Westerners, to Sub Saharan Africans, to Middle Easterners (Persians, Kurds, Jews, Assyrians, Armenians) is fed up with Islamism. And why won’t we be? Islamism and Arab imperialism have made us just as miserable as European imperialism ever had or has. When the president of Tunisia is using Black people as a scapegoat to scare his Arab denizens into re-electing him, there’s STILL an Arab slave trade of Sub Saharan Africans, Black people face rife discrimination in Arab states and are regularly refered to as “slaves”, and when there’s an ongoing genocide of indigenous Black Sudanese in Darfur…maybe don’t talk to me about how you and your fellow Arabs marched for us during the global Black Lives Matter demonstrations, because asides that seeming nauseatingly patronizing, it also makes it seem as if you marched not out of the goodness of your heart, but rather so you could tell Black people to get on board with whatever colonial tomfoolery you were partaking in. Seems very veryyy quid pro quo to me and not sincere at all actually. Oh, and let’s not forget the Black Palestinians who were lynched by their “brethren” for allegedly spying for Israel. Yeah Black people and Arabs are one big happy family. Meanwhile Black people in Israel have to contend with that pesky democracy and tolerance. Who needs tolerance? Tolerance is boring, chaos is fun!! 50 years ago, Arab states forced Africa to pick between being allied with them or Israel, we couldn’t have both apparently and so in our wise foolishness, we chose to sever ties with Israel (Nigeria included) and follow Gaddafi & his goons. And it all worked out in the end…(right?)

Now let’s (finally) talk about the war. I don’t know if you guys know this…but some real horrible stuff happened 60 days ago. Chief amongst them rape, torture and mass murder. People suffering immensely for being Jewish (or if you were Druze, Bedouin, Muslim, or even a foreigner – Jew by proxy). It is infuriating how people have either memory-holed, contextualized (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean), intellectualized and deceived themselves into thinking this either didn’t happen, that it did happen and it was Israel’s fault, that Israel shouldn’t do anything (I could go on, you get the gist). The people who either concern troll or outrightly demonize the Israeli response make me laugh. Hamas and the Palestinian people are never called to question, never made to answer for their decision making. No, the onus is always on Israel. Always. Well anyways guys, this is what a war looks like, no less a war kickstarted in the most gruesome manner imaginable by a bastard brigade of cowards who hide behind women and children or in tunnels thinking all that will provide cover for them and their devilish acts. Yeah, not working. And it’s unfortunate that whilst the IDF goes through great lengths to party civilians out of harm’s way (sometimes more than Western militaries), civilians still get caught in the crossfire (I wonder if that’s where the saying literally came from) because that’s what war is – innocent people dying. That is why we dread war, and why we try all possible means to make sure we never have to reach the brink of war. But should your country experience what Israel did on October 7 (and I pray no one else goes through that), your country not only has a right to defend itself and its citizenry, but also an obligation to do so. But yeah, like I said, people die in war. You know, sometimes I read Sgt. Fury and his howling commandos, a Marvel fixture from the ‘60s by WWII vets Stan Lee & Jack Kirby and I inadvertently find it funny because (white) Nick Fury and his men always survive insurmountable odds in their bid to best the Nazis. I find it funny because it’s so cartoonish that Fury and his men always survive each comic relatively unscathed. For a far more accurate depiction of the mortality and brutality of war, might I recommend the Spielberg fixture “Saving Private Ryan”?

I honestly think if you guys genuinely cared about Palestinians, you’d support the Israeli effort to destroy them. After all, Hamas has done a great job making Palestinians miserable. If you guys cared about decolonization and crushing colonialism & imperialism, again you’d be supporting Israel. But noooo, support Arab hegemony why don’t you. They have like what? 20 countries? Sure they could use another. The great outpost of democracy has overstayed its “welcome” in the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, I guess. What’s it’s gonna take for you guys to see Jews are indigenes of the land? The relics? Ancient Jewish sites? Hebrew language? Agriculture? Food? Calendar? Music? Religion?!?!

Maybe crack open a book and hold off on wanting the caliphate or intifada or revolution or whatever the hell it is you kids are calling it these days?

Sincerely, an embarrassed Gen Z-er.

About the Author
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Daniel attends the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. His interests are in social justice, politics, international relations/diplomacy, soccer and comic books.
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