Saturday, January 10, 2009

789 and counting*

I have felt like a failed blogger, these last couple of weeks, while the senseless Israeli bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza continues. It is just wrong to stay silent while bullying on any scale occurs.

In the past when I have tried to discuss these wars in terms of a power struggle with anyone who is Jewish I have been accused of anti-Semitism and made to feel that by voicing an opinion in favour of those that I perceive as being the victims in this situation I am committing some kind of hate crime.

A friend posted a great link today via Facebook. Perhaps it takes someone who has served in the Israeli army to be able to write such a piece. Avi Shlain’s commentary in the Guardian provides a crash course in the history and a deeper understanding of this conflict. I urge everyone to read it.

As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".

The Guardian has comprehensive coverage of the current war on this page.

Al Jazeera's coverage of the war on Gaza.

* As of the 9th of January 2009 the body count is 789 and rising



Blogger Ann oDyne said...

2 of my other links - Woolly Days, and Daisys Dead Air, have posted on this too.

The Palestinians are surrounded by a 40-foot concrete wall and were bombed continually through the night 48 hours ago.

Israel can continue this if they like, it's Their War BUT worldwide Jews must never bitch again about Adolf Hitler.
They can't have it BOTH WAYS.

6:06 pm  
Blogger Melba said...

I, too, hate the position that non-Jew, non-Arab people find themselves in. To be critical of Israel is to be anti-semitic. Where's the balance? Why can't people see that largely what we see on our screens and in the papers here can be argued to be pro-Israel propaganda? You think that only the "bad guys" (ie not us, and not our friends) have propaganda?

And me just saying these things - someone, somewhere would label me anti-semitic.

I was told recently that a certain INDEPENDENT school in Melbourne would be unable to even go near anything like a balanced teaching of the Israeli-Palestinian history. Not politics, history. Because it would get back to one or two Jewish parents and there would be inconceivable trouble.

I could go on and on, about how the argument that Hamas is firing rockets etc from civilian areas inside Gaza breaches International laws etc. Gaza is the most densely populated place on earth! Where are the non-civilian areas from which rockets can be fired? Where are the military bases? Where do the "soldiers" live? They probably have to live with their families, or families of supporters, because there's nowhere else.

I hate the feeling of powerless, the frustration of no one finding a solution, no one doing anything, it just going on and on, only to be calmed down and then reignited again later. And I'm just a person on the other side of the world with no family ties to either people. Imagine how the Palestinian and Israeli people feel? Of course they are enraged. But the power is unbalanced, and one side has nothing to lose it seems. Recipe for continuing disaster.

12:29 pm  
Anonymous NB said...

The Zionist ongoing genocide of the Palestinian population since 1948 shames us all, in our complicit silence, as did the Nazi genocide of Communists, Homosexuals, Jews and Gypsies prior to and during WW2.

The Israeli / US Propaganda machine continues to repeat the lie that Israel is responding to Hamas rocket attacks and that Israel is the victim, the Jewish David against the Palestinian Goliath, the opposite being the truth. Lets consider who broke the ceasefire? On 4th November 2008, Israeli forces raided Gaza late at night killing 6 Palestinians, eliciting Hamas rocket-fire.

What is the real objective of the invasion? Consider the huge gas reserves off the coast of Gaza and the Palestinian Presidential election, that was due in January 2009 and that Hamas would have surely won, giving them control of both the West Bank and Gaza. When Hamas won the 2006 election for the Palestinian Legislative Council, they rejected the US / UK brokered gas deal between Israel and the weak Palestinian Authority under Fatah, insisting on re-negotiating. The invasion has certainly postponed any Presidential election this year and is intended to destroy Hamas. As well as the short term goal of enormous gas wealth, Israel's long term goal, as with its every act of aggression since 1948, is to gain more Lebensraum for illegal Jewish settlements.

There are two links below that provide detailed background information:



I agree with Naomi Klein that Israel should be boycotted, just as we did with South Africa during the Apartheid regime; an effective non-violent action. By doing nothing we are complicit in this genocide.

2:30 pm  
Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

It's a right bloody mess, as it has been since 1948. I don't want to deny the right for Jews to have a homeland (everybody needs a home) but claiming the world's holiest land while pushing out the people who had inhabited the place for centuries then leading a campaign of territorial expansion under the guise of "defence" has got to be one of the 20th centuries biggest unmitigated disasters. All the latest offensive will acheive is to consolidate Irael's enemies for the next 50 years. It seems to follow the US' self-defeating policy of trying to bomb the region to peace.

That said, let us not ignore the violent and hypocritical rhetoric of Hamas, and while they are certainly the underdog, they are far from the doe-eyed innocents they would like everyone to see them as. We should not turn a blind eye to the violence committed in the name of their cause. If Hamas could adopt a more conciliatory response, they can take the moral high ground and make positive gains through international diplomacy. That said, poverty and dislocation make people do crazy things, and it's easy for me to make judgements from my comfy chair in Australia.

And if I have offended anyone, I am criticizing both the Hamas Authority and the Government of Israel, not the Palestinians or citizens of Israel. One must separate the people from critique of their government.

Wow, what a rant. Maybe I should just do my posts on your blog now, Another Outspoken Female.

3:42 pm  

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