Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who Will Save Israel From Itself?

Nearly 1000 Gazans are dead. Hundreds of them are women and children. The world is watching this one. Al Jazeera is posting footage from the assault on Gaza. Here is the latest from January 13th:

In an article posted yesterday on Huffington Post, Mark Levine writes:

None of this excuses or legitimizes the firing of rockets or mortars by any Palestinian groups at Israeli civilians and non-military targets. As UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk declared in his most recent statement on Gaza, "It should be pointed out unambiguously that there is no legal (or moral) justification for firing rockets at civilian targets, and that such behavior is a violation of IHR, associated with the right to life, as well as constitutes a war crime." But by the same logic, Israel does not have the right to use such attacks to launch an all-out assault on the entire population of Gaza.

In this context, even Israel's suffering from the constant barrage of rockets is hard to pay due attention to when the numbers of dead and wounded on each side are counted -- almost 700 Palestinian dead and thousands wounded, versus 3 dead Israelis civilians and a few dozen wounded since December 27. Any sense of proportion is impossible to sustain with such a calculus.

Israeli commentators and scholars, self-described "loyal" Zionists who served proudly in the army in wars past, are now publicly describing their country (in the words of Oxford University Professor Avi Shlaim) as a "rogue" and gangster" state led by "completely unscrupulous leaders." Ben Gurion University Professor Neve Gordon declares that Israel's actions in Gaza are like "raising animals for slaughter on a farm" and represent a "bizarre new moral element" in warfare .

"The moral voice of restraint has been left behind... Everything is permitted" against Palestinians, writes a disgusted Haaretz Columnist, Gideon Levy. Fellow Haaretz columnist and daughter of Holocaust survivors Amira Haas writes of her late parents disgust at how Israeli leaders justified Israel's wars with a "language laundromat" aimed at redefining reality and Israel's moral compass ("Lucky my parents aren't alive to see this," she exclaimed). A few pages away there is a report of paramedics finding another seventy Palestinian corpses.

Meanwhile, the big news in the United States is that a college student is auctioning her virginity on ebay.

Hi ho.

So it goes.


  1. Hamas started the barrage and won't stop it. How is that Israel's fault?
    The question to the Palestinians should be, "Do you want Gaza strip and Left Bank or not?" If they can't live in peace with Israel, they should be moved. Peace might even break out. Wouldn't that be awesome?

  2. Hamas didn't start it. You can find links to CNN and MPR reports in one of John's earlier posts.

    Now, for a bit of a rant:
    I'm more than a bit tired of the "well, what do the Palestinians expect?" line of reasoning. Here's what I imagine they expect:
    1) that their homeland should continue to be their homeland, and that Europeans should not sweep in and change it all for their own benefit by turning the indigenous people into quarantined livestock.
    2) barring that, the Israel should honor the 1967 borders that were drawn - again by the Europeans - that created a two-state system (meaning two equal states with sovereign borders and equal access to equal resources (aha! the crux of the matter!)

    It was wrong when we did it to the indigenous of this country. It is even worse for the Palestinians, since they are not allowed commerce of essential goods, medicines, access to health care, jobs, etc.

    We can shake our heads and "tsk, tsk" over the rockets lobbed at civilians by Hamas, but the response is nothing but a pogrom. The Israeli government orchestrated hell for the Palestinians in order to justify their pogrom.

  3. Right before CNN broke to show the plane landing in the Hudson, it was showing pictures of burning phosphorous on the UN compound in Gaza.

    The use of white phosphorous is illegal except as a smoke screen. Israel says they are not using any illegal weapons in Gaza. They are using it only as a smoke screen.

    On top of the homes of 1.5 million people.

    Its been going on live for a month now. Those puffy white smoke bombs dropping glowing fireworks on the cities and villages and farms of Gaza.

    CNN has not shown the pictures of the burn victims, but if you google images you will find them.

    How to make friends and influence people. And if you oppose it they call you anti-Semitic.