more musings on israel

I read an interesting article about self-deception and what is and has been happening in Israel since its inception. The article asks why it is that Israel (the nation state, not the people) believes that they can fight terror by killing terrorists, and that not showing restraint and allowing civilian casualties will contribute to an end of Palestinian terrorism. How is it that they don’t understand that by killing civilians they are creating more terrorists?

I was watching democracy now the other day and a guy was interviewing different jews in two different protests in new york. One protest was in support of Israel and their campaign in Gaza. One woman said that Palestinians hate jews and that Israel wont be safe until they get rid of all those arabs. The interviewer asked how she felt about civilian deaths, and she said something about the 6 million civilian deaths during the Holocaust. Ok the interviewer says, but the Palestinians didn’t have anything to do with the Holocaust, yes the woman says, but they are continuing it, ok says the interviewer, but what about Palestinian children, they surely are innocent here, and the woman said we have to kill those children in order to protect ours.

WHAT?!? ( i had tears in my eyes)

Really? 

Another girl, younger than me, was interviewed and said that Jews fight back now, you can’t fuck with Jews, they (?) are persecuting Jews for the trillionth time, it won’t stop until we stop it.  ”we have to wipe them all out” “those who are dying are suffering the wrath of god” 

 

Scary!

Really?

 

 

Really?

However, there was also a protest of American Jews who abhor what Israel is doing and are against the occupation. This was relieving to see.  One man, at the protest, a playwright, called out the incomprehensible and tragically misguided policy of Israel, and stated that as a Jew and as an American he wanted an immediate ceasefire an end to the occupation and real peace talks. I agree. But according to some I guess they would not be considered either real Jews or real Americans.

How sad is this? People do not get angry at Israel and their tactics for dealing with conflict with their neighbors because of their religion. They get angry because they do not show any restraint when it comes to killing innocent civilians.

The Geneva convention states the international law when it comes to the treatment of civilians during a time of war. Israel has said that this law does not pertain to the situation in Palestine.  The international court of justice ruled in 2004 that the building of the partitioning wall was illegal. Time and time again, Israel has held itself above international law and the Geneva Conventions, that were hosted in most part to address the atrocities of the Holocaust and the massive amounts of civilian deaths during World War II.

It seems that Israeli exceptionalism is a force not easily swayed. Israel and America have this in common, these nation states do not believe that they have to play by the international rules that other countries do.

American Exceptionalism was a concept authored by Alexis de Toqueville in his book Democracy in America. He argued that America was different than other nations in the way it originated and that part of the American psyche is the belief that Americans differ than other nationalities because they are from all different places and come together as Americans on ideals and ideas rather than region. Israel is like this also. The creation of Israel was on an idea, Zionism, that Jews from all over the world should have their own nation. Israel and America both were created on ideas that were in their views so great and so important that it allowed them to disregard the human life already existing in the lands in which they chose to place their nations. In the earliest years, Americans disregarded the indigenous peoples already living in the land, and then the manifest destiny of the 1840s led them to believe they could disregard the Mexicans already living in the land, and went to  war to steal the land. Israel likewise believed their mission to have a great Jewish Nation was so important that it outshone the self determination of the people already living in the land, in this case the arab Palestinians.

Israel and America have much in common. The smugness in which these two countries go to war to get what they want or to serve their interest in what they think is right is toxic to a world with international laws and international respect for humanity.

Until we have a world that does not tacitly support the doctrine that allows these two countries to view themselves as exceptions to international law, there will be no peace on earth.

I, an American citizen, do not think America is exceptional. And likewise there are many Israelis who do not think their country is exceptional either. But the sum is greater than the parts unfortunately in this case and a profound change in ideology has to come in order for America and Israel to see themselves as right sized, as nations among nations, and not superior to the international laws that we hold other nations accountable to.

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    pochp said,

    This reminded me of biblical Solomon who ordered a baby to be cut in half because of a stupid woman.

  2. 2

    Lynn said,

    great post!

  3. 3

    Sérgio Henrique Ribeiro da Silva said,

    It´s a hundred percent true, it´s like America and Israel have some sort of ” the world is a part of me, not me a part of the world “.

    It´s trully simple, this is genocide, with an ethnical component. People who live or lived in Israel do know the sick feeling, that the majority of israelis do have for palestianians. The thing is sadly clear and simple, they want those people dead.

    Not only a genocide we´re facing, we´re as well ( and i trully hope it´s not only me ) that anit-semitism is not the only kind of repulsive going around. Israel is beating the world record of disgusting actions in the recent years and makin everybody remember that even with the holocaust, the Zionists or simply the jews who are ignorant also have nasty feelings alongside them.

    The Holocaust, the most famous showdown of how the How Low Can You Go just don´t have any limit, is not supposed to be an excuse to kill other people. 6 million of mine we´re dead there, my grandma survive and came to South America beggining a whole new life and only when i made 10 years old people explain to me why grandma had a tatoo on her hand, very similar to the ones who marked the products in supermarket.

    As a Jew it just make my stomach turn around to see that still exist people using this as an excuse to murder.

    The Holocaust was awful, but what the hell that grade of evil have to do with Gaza? Sorry… what the palestianians had to do with actions that are motivated as well, not only, by people who are racist and act like that?

    When you have people like this woman just going absolut nuts and non-sense, and see that many people they think like that. They just let the bullets talk, honestly it´s the king of thing that i could talk until i drop dead. But to let clear, this is not the best time to bring the Holocaust theme, specially for the ones who live to hide all their racial violence against palestianians, arabs, iranians. The Holocaust was serious, kill people for their race is serious, a way too serious. And i do believe that once you know that you should just realize… what Israel is doing in Gaza?

  4. 4

    pochp said,

    Sergio, it’s good to hear that a Jew like you is not biased. I think you’re rare.

  5. 5

    beckyluz said,

    I appreciate the comments I get. It is an interesting thing, how one’s national or religious identity allows someone a certain leeway in their criticism of injustice. Somehow it is so much more powerful when someone has in their personal history something that makes their opinion more poignant. For instance, my dad forwarded me an article about a man who is a survivor of the holocaust and his damnation of what Zionism has done to the Palestinian people.

    http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=82545&sectionid=3510303

    I am not sure if Zionists are the New Nazis, I am scared to say that, but a good point is made.
    Americans and Europeans could have prevented the magnitude of the Holocaust had they not engaged in so much political and economic appeasement in the years after the First World War and especially during the 1930s.

    But the Palestinians are not the only people being slaughtered right now. They just have the biggest spotlight. I cannot even begin to truly understand the situation in Darfur, but I am sure it is worthy of as much media, criticism, and protest.

    And again, I wish that if we humans are so bent on having a war, I wish we could wage war on issues that truly need attack, such as AIDs, Poverty, Hunger, Climate Change, and Economic criminality that is rampant in the Capitalism of today.

    In the meantime, I am reading about the craft of the historian, by a man who was executed by Nazis, as a Jewish member of the French Resistance, Marc Bloch. If only I could ask him what he thought about how history unfolded after his untimely and tragic death.

  6. 6

    Sérgio Henrique Ribeiro da Silva said,

    It might be a game of words from me… but the Zionists are the Zionists… so unique in their own cruelty and criminal ways that places them alongside the nazis. But never as any sort of derivation, unfortunately.

    Darfur, the micro conflicts in several African regions, the conservative-racist right forces having some electoral victorires in Europe. All that misery is capable to generate…

    And please allowed to me answer Pochp: You know the saddest thing of all this? , The ones not commited with Zionism are all hiden ( Zionism is not Judaism, it´s a criminal activity, and they are the ones who invented thins Non Sense of Israeli State). Hidden by media that the Zionists control, and that make everybody see people like the Insane Child Murder Lady, for example.

    There´s a lot going on, specially a little more of conscient jews than it seems to have, it sounds rough to believe and i understand you a 100%, but trust me we who just want to live like humans, by statistic we´re the majority. As well, we make a majority that don´t have money enough to buy not even half a second on tv to express our thoughts and feelings in this barbaric Zionist incursion in Gaza and not only there, all over the Middle East as well.

    But we do exist, and above all, we trully understand that just a very few people knows us 😉


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