Thursday, September 28, 2006

State of things

“I’m just depressed about it all,” said a good journalist friend of mine as she plopped herself down in a chair next too me. She was speaking of the continuing aggression of Israel on the Palestinian population in The West bank and Gaza.

Kidnappings, extra-judicial killings, administrative detention, destruction of infrastructure, naval blockades all in the name of security; all to further the cause of peace, or should I say piece.

Where is there security in blowing up a power plant to locate one soldier in the most densely populated part of the World, wouldn’t you need light to find him? But of course this was to disable the terrorist from carrying out more attacks inside of Israel. Sadly, this argument doesn’t fly. Everything Israel does is in the name of security. Not even a noted Israeli Human Rights organization was going to accept this pathetic excuse.

Of course to question the wisdom of the Israeli government or military is to incur the wrath of being labeled anti-Semitic. Oh dear, not the “a-S” phrase!

I find it funny how the anti-Semitic label is pulled out whenever people begin to challenge Israel on its disproportionate use of force, whether it is in the occupied territories or in the recent Lebanon conflict. No other group acts better at being Israel’s pit-bull than the noted Israeli group, AIPAC.

With its bullying tactics and deep pockets, AIPAC has essentially persuaded, manipulated, and at times threatened Congress in granting Israel whatever it wishes. Never is one allowed to speak ill of the “only democratic” country in the Middle East; never mind the fact that democracy only extends to Jewish residents and not to the 10,000 Arabs that hold Israeli passports.

AIPAC and other apologists of Israel claim that the Jews have suffered unrelentingly throughout history, most notably during WWII; there is absolutely no question about this Jews have gone through unspeakable acts at the hands of the Nazis; furthermore, there have been heinous acts committed by their Arab neighbors that should also be strongly condemned.

But does this give them carte blanche to unleash hell upon an entire population; taking the lives of innocent men, women and children; confiscating land and settling their own people there, which is a clear violation of international human rights law; to kidnap democratically elected officials in order to bring down a government that refuses to recognize them; creating and exacerbating a humanitarian crisis that has become so bad that UN officials say the Gaza Strip is lost; intentionally denying re-entry to Palestinians from they’re homeland because no other means of recourse is even being bothered to be set up by the Israeli military; demanding that the Palestinian government recognize Israel, when Israel refuses to recognize the Palestinian government; claiming that hate is taught in Palestinian schools, yet school aged children are photographed writing messages on munitions sent to bomb the Lebanese; claiming that “so-called” terrorists hide in populated areas and inevitably bring about the death of innocents as a result of their cowardice, but have nothing to say when noted human rights organizations such as B’Tselem, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch claim that destroying a house where innocents are present regardless of whether or not militants reside therein is a war crime?

Many times, my friend and me have waited for a well thought out response to questions such as the ones asked above; and each time there has been only silence.

A fear grows in me that those who claim to be apologists merely repeat the mantras of “anti-Semitism”, “Fighting the terrorist infrastructure,” and the like in the hopes that these words will somehow magically make everything better.

Judging by the state of affairs, it’s not working.

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