Monday, January 5, 2009

Israel vs. Gaza: Man's Inhumanity To Man...

"Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And Man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!"


-Robert Burns (Man Was Made To Mourn: A Dirge, 1785).

"Those who favor the attack on Gaza due to that calculus are certainly misguided about the likely outcome. And many war supporters who fall into this more benign category are guilty of insufficiently weighing the deaths of Palestinian innocents and, relatedly, of such overwhelming emotional and cultural attachment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased viewing this conflict with any remnant of objectivity.

I can't express how many emails I've received in the last week from people identifying themselves as "liberals" (and, overwhelmingly, American Jews); telling me that they agree with my views in almost all areas other than Israel; and then self-righteously insisting that I imagine what it's like to live in Southern Israel with incoming rocket fire from Hamas, as though that will change my views on the Israel/Gaza war. Obviously, it's not difficult to imagine the understandable rage that Israelis feel when learning of another attack on Israeli civilians, in exactly the way that American rage over the 9/11 attacks was understandable. But just as that American anger didn't justify anything and everything that followed, the fact that there are indefensible attacks on Israeli civilians doesn't render the (FAR MORE LETHAL) attacks on Gaza...

More to the point: for those who insist that others put themselves in the position of a resident of Sderot -- as though that will, by itself, prove the justifiability of the Israeli attack -- the idea literally never occurs to them that they ought to imagine what it's like to live under foreign occupation for 4 decades (and, despite the 2005 "withdrawal from Gaza," Israel continues to occupy and expand its settlements on Palestinian land and to control and severely restrict many key aspects of Gazan life). No thought is given to what it is like, what emotions it generates, what horrible acts start to appear justifiable, when you have a hostile foreign army control your borders and airspace and internal affairs for 40 years, one which builds walls around you, imposes the most intensely humiliating conditions on your daily life, blockades your land so that you're barred from exiting and prevented from accessing basic nutrition and medical needs for your children to the point where a substantial portion of the underage population suffers from stunted growth.

So extreme is their emotional identification with one side (Israel) that it literally never occurs to them to give any thought to any of that, to imagine what it's like to live in those circumstances.

Still, there is a substantial difference between, on the one hand, basically well-intentioned people who are guilty of excessive emotional and cultural identification with one side of the dispute and, on the other, those who adopt the psychopathic derangement of belittling rage over widespread civilian deaths as mere "whining" or even something to view as a strategic asset. The latter group is a subset of war supporters and evinces every defining attribute of the Terrorist.

Those who giddily support not just civilian deaths in Gaza but every actual and proposed attack on Arab/Muslim countries -- from the war in Iraq to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon to the proposed attacks on Iran and Syria and even continued escalation in Afghanistan -- are able to do so because they don't really see the Muslims they want to kill as being fully human. For obvious reasons, one typically finds this full-scale version of sociopathic indifference -- this perception of brutal war as a blood-pumping and exciting instrument for feeling vicarious sensations of power and strength from a safe distance -- in the society's weakest, most frightened, and most insecure individuals.

If you see Palestinians as something less than civilized human beings: as "barbarians" -- just as if you see Americans as infidels warring with God or Jews as sub-human rats -- then it naturally follows that civilian deaths are irrelevant, perhaps even something to cheer. For people who think that way, arguments about "proportionality" won't even begin to resonate -- such concepts can't even be understood -- because the core premise, that excessive civilian deaths are horrible and should be avoided at all costs, isn't accepted. Why should a superior, civilized, peaceful society allow the welfare of violent, hateful barbarians to interfere with its objectives? How can the deaths or suffering of thousands of barbarians ever be weighed against the death of even a single civilized person?

As George Orwell wrote in "Notes on Nationalism" -- with perfect prescience to today's endless conflicts (h/t Hume's Ghost):

"All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side ... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

For those who evaluate moral questions from that blindingly self-regarding perspective, anything and everything becomes easily justifiable.

The Israeli Supreme Court several days ago ordered the Government to allow reporters into Gaza, yet Israel continues to block all journalists from entering. The reason, as casual_observer notes in comments, is clear:

The reason Israel has done this must be that they will do whatever they must--including ignoring their own high court--to limit evidence that Gazans are indeed human beings and that they are suffering the horrors that occur when war is unleashed on densely-packed urban civilians. Israel knows full well that reporting from Gaza turns Gazans from vague abstractions to suffering human beings. And they will not allow that reality to be communicated to the world.

It's much easier to undervalue the suffering imposed on The Other when you don't have to see it...


-Glenn Greenwald (Excerpt: "Orwell, Blinding Tribalism, Selective Terrorism, And Israel/Gaza," 1.4.2009. Image: - Paul Schutzer, "Sparrows Resting On Barbed Wire," 1962 ).

VIOLETPLANET SAYS: ... and further, when you psychotically refuse to see it.

7 comments:

Liberty's Trumpet: said...

Another excellent post my friend.

First, let me say that I am outraged by the current carnage and indifference to death and suffering in Gaza. It is totally inexcusable.

The Jews are incessantly reminding us of the holocaust, which was a tragedy and an outrage, even for those of us who question the official version that accepted history portrays. In light of Gaza, have the persecuted not become the persecutors? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you Israel.

Second, I would like to address the concept of "nationalism". Webster's on line dictionary defines the word as follows:



Main Entry:
na·tion·al·ism Listen to the pronunciation of nationalism
Pronunciation:
\ˈnash-nə-ˌli-zəm, ˈna-shə-nə-ˌli-zəm\
Function:
noun
Date:
1844

1: loyalty and devotion to a nation ; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups2: a nationalist movement or government

According to these definitions, nationalism has nothing to do with empire or any other thing that oppresses or attacks others. It is nothing less than patriotism, and I am a proud patriot. I defend the sovereignty of the United States, although our government does not. I place America above all other earthly commitments and loyalties, and so should every other citizen or legal resident.

Nationalism has been demonized by sixty years of UNESCO dominated education which promotes the destruction of the nation state and the formation of world government. I vehemently oppose this notion, and am proud to be a nationalist as defined above.

I say to hell with the UN! Kick them and their globalist founders off American soil and withdraw America from the institution as well as all others including NATO. The founding fathers encouraged trade with all nations and entangling alliances with none. They had seen what the concept of empire and trade wars had done to Europe, and wanted no part of it for America. Are we now more wise than they?

I say reject empire and wars or aggression, but uphold your country second only to God!

Spike said...

Finally, someone knows. thanks for the Post :)

Paotie said...

Very interesting article.

You said: "So extreme is their emotional identification with one side .. that it literally never occurs to them to give any thought to any of that, to imagine what it's like to live in those circumstances."

I agree with that assessment for MOST people in the world today. Essentially, too many people are adopting the view that THEIR view is the only one that matters.

Perception is reality.

In modern times, he who controls the past controls the future. Unfortunately.

Thanks.

J-Lev said...

Obviously you are allowed to have your own views...which I completely respect. I know that many people feel like you.
But think about it...Israel's attacks are going to be more lethal because they are searching for territory for 65 years now Israel has had constent abuse from the Palestinians...you say Palestinians live under such restriction...I wonder why your trying to tell me that if Canada kept coming into our country with suicide bombers who kill innocent citizens that Israel shouldnt make restrictions. They are not ganna sit around and be bullied. Its unfair how now all the attention is on Israel because of the attacks but hamas never gets any for the 200 rockets fired daily into schools of Innocent children, I know a boy who lost his mother sister and brother due to this and he is an amputee. Your inhumane if you try and say its unjustified. Israel has been patient for so long with these rockets not launching a military strike enough is enough after awhile. If you support Hamas a Muslim Terrorist organization thats fine with me but then dont call yourself a true american.

Anonymous said...

You need to carry that Canada comparison through: If we displaced indigenous people into the area that is Canada and then occupied it under very harsh conditions for over 40 yrs I'd be disappointed if they didn't blow something up.

Anonymous said...

you said you know one boy who lost his family ...israel has killed over 600 palestinians in one week...and im sorry if you think that this is justified then dont call yourself a human being ...israel is making up excuses to wipe out all the palestinians thats what you call genocide and its really funny because you would think that the israelis of all people would know how it feels and find a better way to solve the conflict...palestinians are humans and they deserve to have rights they were prisoners in their own land for so long i think there would be something wrong with them if they didnt take some sort of action ..and please they were scared of suicide bombers thats a good one i htink you need to do a little more research before you say some thing stupid again ...israel and hamas have the problem therefore israel should focus on ONLY HAMAS not innocent civilians and children and if you dont agree with that then there is def something wrong with you

single_fighter said...

THE DOGS FROM ISRAEHELL

"Oh, God! I have never seen such a terrible scene," cried Kayed Abu Aukal.

The emergency doctor could not believe himself seeing the remains of what was days back Shahd, a full-fleshed 4-year-old Palestinian girl.
She died when an Israeli shell was fired at the backyard of her home in the Jabalya refugee camp northern Gaza strip, where she was playing.
When her parents attempted to rush to the rescue of their kid, who fell to the ground amid a pool of her blood, rains of Israeli bullets kept them a distance.

For the next five days Shahd's which was left lying in the open left for dogs to tear out.
"The dogs did leave one single part of the poor baby's body intact," said a tearful Abu Aukal.

"We have seen heart-breaking scenes over the past 18 days. We picked up children whose bodies were torn or burnt, but nothing like this."

For five days Shahd's brother, Matar, and cousin, Mohamed, tried in vain to reach her body. They were fired at by the Israeli occupation forces every time.
Seeing the body of the little angel torn to piece by the assaulting dogs, the two made one final attempt, and it was their last.
They were showered by Israeli bullets before they could reach Shahd's body, joining a long list of more than 920 Palestinians killed by Israel since December 27.

LORD OF THE DOGS

Omran Zayda, a young neighbor, said the Israelis knew very well what they were doing.
"They chased her family and prevented them from reaching to her body, knowing that the dogs would eat it," he said.
"They are not just killing our children, they are intentionally doing so in the most heinous and inhuman ways."
Zayda said words, and even cameras, can not describe the horrific scene.
"You can never imagine what the dogs have done to her innocent body," he said, fighting back his tears.

Many Palestinians insist Shahd was not the first or only such case.
In Jabalya, when Abd Rabu's family was trying to bury three of its dead, the Israeli forces started firing at them, witnesses said.
They then released their dogs at the bodies, deserted by mourners who sought shelter from the Israeli gunfire, they added.
"What happened was awful and unthinkable," Saad Abd Rabu, the deceased uncle, told IOL.
"Our sons died before our eyes and we were even prevented from burying them," he cried.
"The Israelis just released their dogs at their bodies, as even they have not done enough."

(Gaza City - http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1231760488574&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout)

ISRAEHELL GOD’S LOVE PALESTINIAN SO MUCH

God's chosen IsraeHell planning the slaughter of Lebanese (2006) and Palestinian again & again (2009).

"It is permissible for Israel defense force to attack in the course of warfare a civilian population that is ostensibly innocent of wrongdoing. The law of Torah is to have no mercy upon them and save our civillians and our soldiers, and this is the true morality of the Torah of israel..."
(Rabbi Dov Lior, Chairman of the Council of Rabbis of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in "Settler Rabbi; Killing Civillians Permitted", Forward, New York, 28th May 28 2004, p,,5)

“And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them…” (Deuteronomy 7 : 16)

“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail”.
(Israeli Rabbi Yacoov Perrin (Daily News, New York, 28th February 1994, p,6)

“Killing Palestinian is comand of God, don't let anyone breathe, although man or woman, old man or children, human or animal, kill them all...!!!”
(Deuteronomy 20:16-17 | Joshua 6:21 | Joshua : 10:28)


A JEW YOUNGMAN “SAMSON” DESTROY PALESTINIAN GARDEN
“And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails”. (Judges 15:4)

“And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives”. (Judges 15:5)

ALSO SAMSON KILL 1000 PALESTINIAN WITH JAWBONE OF A DONKEY
“And he found a new jawbone of an ass (donkey), and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand5 men therewith”. (Judges 15:15 )

THEN SAMSON SING A SONG
“With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men”.
(Judges 15:16)
Say hore……hore……….!!!!

SAMSON LOVE F***ING HARLOT
The same Samson went to Gaza and “he saw there an harlot (prostitute), and went in unto her (he f**k her)”. (Judges 16:1)

What Samson doing with damn prostitute ? doing haleluya ?
Ha ha ha... Samson look like James Bond 007

ANOTHER A JEW YOUNGMAN “SHAMGAR” KILL 600 PALESTINIAN WITH “OX GOAD”
“And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: (little stick) and he also delivered Israel”. (Judges 3:31)

Why IsraeHell use White Fosfor Boms if there are super weapon called “ox goad” and “jawbone of donkey” to eliminated palestinian ? so that their job more clean.

Samson + Shamgar = Rambo
Rambo V.......!!!!
Samson and Shamgar is Rambo in one

DAVID KILL 200 PALESTINIAN THEN BROUGHT FORESKINS OF THEIR PENIS.
“Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife”. (1Samuel 18:27)

MOSES COMMAND TO KILL EVERY PALESTINIAN EXCEPT VIRGIN GIRL KEEP IT FOR ISRAEHELL
And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? (Numbers 31:15)

Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. (Numbers 31:16)

Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man (not virgin) by lyingwith him. (Numbers 31:17)

But all the women children, that have not known a man (virgin) by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31:18)

I think, IsraeHell God’s loves Palestinian so much...