January 16, 2009
So what’s a few hundred dead Palestinian children when Tzipi and Ehud have gained eight to ten points in the polls? They were terrorist babies, anyway. So what if the Egyptians and Saudis are ignoring them while spending millions on hookers, palaces and yachts? The Gazans don’t deserve such goodies, certainly not palaces on the Riviera. My favourite is Yigal Palmor, an Israeli spokesman, who took umbrage when Cardinal Renato Martino, a high-ranking Vatican official, compared Gaza to a concentration camp. The Israeli whined that World War II imagery was below the belt. I suppose the Cardinal should have called it a beach resort. Oy veh, one can’t trust these Wops, they’re all a bunch of anti-Semites!
The best is Tony Blair. The great peacemaker demanded that the West bomb the Kosovo Serbs in order to save the lives of innocent Muslim women and children back in 1999. Now he’s busy collecting medals for having killed thousands of Iraqis: 900 Gazan dead and close to 4,000 wounded are small change to the great Middle East negotiator.
Uri Avnery, an Israeli so-called ‘peacenik’, calls his country a “blood-stained monster.” The dreadful self-publicist Alan Dershowitz uses that old canard of Hamas using Gazans as human shields ad nauseam, which is like saying that Churchill used Londoners as shields against the Blitz in order to rally the West and his people. Better yet, the grotesque Dershowitz invokes Article 51 of the United Nations charter to stop armed attacks against civilians. In Israel’s favour. What in God’s name has happened to decency? To truth?
I’ll tell you. The rows of boys and girls in white shrouds, the blinded children and babies, the white phosphorus bombs, the killing of medics and UN drivers trying to help innocent civilians, the 110 people forced into a house that Israel shelled the next day, the 12 corpses of the Samouni household which four tiny children cowered next to, that’s what happened to decency and to truth.
And where’s Obama while this is going on? Listening to Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff and son of an Irgun terrorist, that’s where. Obama promised “change.” He is a man of his word. Here is his new line-up for the Middle East: Dennis Ross, of Clinton infamy, Jim Steinberg, Dan Kurtzer (former U.S. ambassador to Israel), Dan Shapiro and Martin Indyk, another former ambassador to the moral insanity that is Israel today. If you thought black humour was dead, just look at this list. What is an Arab, especially a Palestinian, supposed to think when Obama comes up with five men, all with close ties to Israel, to advise him on the Middle East? Mind you, there’s always Hillary. We can count on her to ignore political expediency and to play with a full deck.
And it gets better. Only an American Congress could declare that Israel is defending itself against terror while slaughtering hundreds of Palestinian children. American politicians know the score. Fail to back Israel and AIPAC will target you out in the next election by pouring funds to your opponent.
Obama is not yet in office and he’s already changing his tune. “An unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel.” That was then. Now it’s the economy, and that of course comes before the killing of civilians.
Beware of answered prayers, I believe, is a mordant ancient Greek proverb. Bush insisted on elections in Gaza and he got them. Yet the slaughterhouse that is Gaza is still a sideshow, however senseless. It does not deal with the fundamental cause of the conflict, which is Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian lands. When will the US and Israel figure out that it’s not Hamas ideology that keeps the Palestinian group in power, but Hamas’s resistance to the cruelty of the occupiers. Why is Fatah a laughing stock among all Palestinians not in the pay of the US or the EU? Give Palestinians their 1967 borders with land swaps and equitable treatment of refugees and I will show you who will be the first to be denounced and renounced by the Palestinian people. The hard men of today. Hamas and Hezbollah will be irrelevant almost immediately.
And who are the Israelis who are blind to this? That’s an easy one: 500,000 settlers, many of them Americans, the followers of a small number of right-wing zealots, and, of course, the Likudists. Israelis are supposed to be an intelligent people but I have yet to see dumber moves than theirs since 1967. The West keeps harping on about Syria and Iran. I don’t think half of the American Congress even knows where these countries are. But neither Syria nor Iran created the violence, racism and colonisation that have been the hallmarks of Israeli policies since day one. Syria and Iran did not create the policies of resistance. Israel did. After 60 years of bombs and violence that have only brought more bombs and violence, surely it’s time to change a losing game. Personally, I blame America more than I blame Israel. All it needs to do is to halt military and economic aid until Israel returns to its 1967 borders, and to hell with AIPAC and the political blackmail on Congress. Obama can do it in a jiffy. But that’s like expecting to read the obituary of an African leader without ‘whose years in power left his nation mired in poverty and corruption’ following his name.