Monday, July 31, 2006
And moral superiortiy speaks with breath-taking, callous arrogance. Hear, for instance, these words from Haim Ramon, Israel's Justice [sic] minister:
"Everyone in southern Lebanon is a terrorist and is connected to Hezbollah. Our great advantage vis-a-vis Hezbollah is our firepower, not in face-to-face combat.". Once you've blurred that distinction between Hezbollah fighters and ordinary civilians, pummeling them with bombs comes easy. The Hezbollah that are now being pursued by Israeli warplanes include women and children hiding in basements, convoys fleeing the bombardments, Red Cross ambulances answering their call. Terrorists are those without aeroplanes, right? Let's throw another at that one there, he is disguised as a little child.
What strange perverted logic comes out of this war. Blair also pleads in justification that Israel is a democracy. Well even if it is, since when did democracy become an excuse for tearing human limbs apart in the rubble of broken bits of civillian infra-structure? If Bush were to send in napalm throwing planes to burn the rampant civilians sitting in the shades of Castro's Cuba, are we all supposed to look away and say let it be so for democracy?
Spring in Bint Jbeil
And of course there is always that 'what is the alternative' line of argument that cuts like a searing flash of light, dazzling everything else out of view. It appears in today's Independent on Sunday, for instance, on the day when the main story in the press is of the 56 dead, mostly women and children, in the southern Lebanese village of Qana. Writing on the response of British Jewry to the bloodshed in Beirut, Matthew Reisz, editor of the Jewish Quarterly ('this is not a battle of Israel's choosing and it absolutely had to strike back', etc) quotes one'literary agent' named Johnny Geller who says: "I don't know what the alternative was. If what is happening to Haifa had happened to Durham, what do you think the response would be? It boils down to whether Israel has a right to exist. Most coverage has been about the horrific civilian casulaties on the Lebanese side. That's the 'disproportionate reaction'. If I have to sit through another Fergal Keane weepie report..."
Oh come on Keane [of the BBC] quit frettin' about those mangled bodies and children crushed under the weight of their own shelter, they are only Arabs for goodness' sake. Israel has the right to exist, and that is the crushing, brain-splattering weight of Israel. And as for that bombing Durham bit, what a clever safeguard-your-grandmother kind of fog blower. Yes, Durham too must live behind massive walls, their olive trees uprooted in the bright light of day, their houses Caterpillared and citizens treated like third-class pariahs before they too will understand the weight of Israel. And what about Haifa? Where was Haifa just over half a century ago? An Arab city, and where are all the poor Arabs now and their poor Haifa? Would Durhamites like to be sent out on a refugee trail too like Palestinian Arabs living all their adult life in camps in a neighbouring country? And then what would those Durhamites too understand Israel?
Two soldiers kidnapped by the terrorist Hezbollah, that's all it takes to release all this carnage on the Lebanese people. But wait for it, they've traded prisoners before, Israel and their adversaries, haven't they, so what's new? And then Bush, like other trumpeters, talk of the non-implemantation of UN Resolution 1559. You mean the UN's passed that many resolutions? Er, yes, my fellow Durhamites. There was for instance, 425, 106, 111, 237, 242, 248, 279, 280, 285, 317, 332, 425 427, 444, and perhaps two dozen more, all passed by the UN, and all studiously ignored by...Israel.
So, what's the cause of this attack? For answers, look at the map of Palestine 1947 and now. And look at and think of what David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, said of the Litani river.
§ The "hiding among civilians" myth.
§ Countering Zionist propaganda about Hizbullah and Lebanon
§ The Lies Israel tells itself.
Many Dead, Only Arabs...
Saturday, July 22, 2006
— Sky News correspondent in Haifa,
on Israeli bombing of Lebanese TV communication towers.
Not Reporting, But Explaining...
There's spin and propaganda, otherwise, how could the victims be blamed ever since they lost their lands to Israel? Looking out at countries that are said to be threats to Israel, some parts of the 'axis of evil', there are five million Palestinians waiting to return to the land of their birth. In Lebanon, where the threat of Hezbollah is coming from, nearly a million Palestinians are waiting to walk, drive, fly home to their houses, with keys to their front doors still safely in a box, on the shelf, worn as talismans around their neck. O what land Israel, whose land?
It's difficult, isn't it, to understand how a people who have themselves suffered are now inflicting the same on another people. The Czech writer Ivan Klima, himself detained in a Nazi concentration camp, said this about vengeance:
If wartime experiences awakened in some people a longing for vengeance, it also hardened them for life towards anyone they considered an enemy, or even a potential opponent. Put simply, as victims of one kind of fanaticism, they often succumbed to fanaticism of an opposite kind."It is alright what they're doing, you know, as Condoleeza Rice said in the mantra invoked before setting out to the Middle East, you have to stop fighting back if you want them to stop bombing you. Meantime, it's alright for them to bomb children, infra structure, women, children, trees and animals, for as long as they are doing so against their enemy, people who are going about their daily lives like you and me.
That the whole world, its intelligentsia, can be so duped into this business of blamiong the victims is tribute not to their stupidity, but to how completely they have been brain-washed, bludgeoned, intimidated into submission by just one side of the Middle East propaganda. Ask the organisers of the universities boycott of Israel how many hate mails, abusive emails, isnulting text messages they have received. Ask journalists who have tried — not to be partisan — but to be fair in their reporting of this Israel-Arab war. Understand how many ad hominem counter-arguments are seen in the public sphere against people who are only speaking about Palestinian suffering. Close your eyes and listen to the reporting by television journalists when reporting from inside Israel. You'll be wondering if their business is to report or to put across the arguments for Israel in their respectful, tone of obeisance 'journalistic' way.
But the blessing is the number of so-called intelligent people who are arguing in the press on the justification for flattening Lebanon right now. Whoever God wants to destroy, He first makes them mad. There's plenty of that now poking their heads over the parapet in the emdia, and they have simply reinforced my insticnts: always to distrust the judgment of people who are very clever.
Words of War
Saturday, July 15, 2006
"If I was an Arab leader I would never make [peace] with Israel.
That is natural: we have taken their country."
— First Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion.
For more interesting quotes, go to Mona Baker's informative site.