Posts tagged Israel
Posts tagged Israel
Ari Kohen responded to my request to address the substantial difference in our opinion with a very thorough and convincing argument that what Israel is doing does not fulfill the technical definition of ‘genocide’. This is somewhat disappointing, because that distinction is at best tertiarily related to our disagreement. Let’s return to our original dispute, found here, about false equivalencies. In essence, Kohen argues,
When you write that the number of casualties is uneven, you’re either saying, “The Israeli military has better weapons technology than Hamas,” which is so obvious as to be perfectly uninteresting … or else you’re saying, “I wish Hamas was better able to kill Israelis so this conflict would be more ‘fair,’” which is to actively wish for more civilian deaths.
To which I responded (along with an accusation of Israeli genocide), that the discrepancy is not some background issue but rather indicative of the source of the conflict: military imposed segregation on an ethnic basis, coupled with continually expanding displacement by the IDF and other Israeli forces of Palestinian civilians. The pretense that pointing out the effects of this cause, that is to say the high volume of Palestinian civilian deaths vs. the low number of Israeli casualties from Palestinians who are fighting back, is somehow a plea for more bloodshed is extremely myopic. With this assumption, Kohen reduces culpability for the conflict into abstract, academic moral evaluations. The process he poses as the ‘correct’ line of thinking is, “There must be a way for these groups of people to stop murdering each other”, while either refusing to acknowledge (or not realizing) that the disparity in deaths is itself a perpetuating force in the conflict. Ari’s later statement that, “it’s possible for the Israeli government to be acting immorally and it’s possible for Hamas to also be acting immorally” is entirely irrelevent to the question of how to end the conflict, the answer to which is chiefly concerned with the cause of the conflict. The idea that ‘immoral’ actions, rather than aggressive Israeli imperialism, is somehow the driving force behind the violence is completely unsupported by any factual information that I have been made aware of.
Kohen has called the idea that we should focus on the driving forces of the conflict rather than a sort of moral tit-for-tat, the “Logic of Perpetual Conflict”:
“Because the Israeli state oppresses Palestinians, dispossesses many of them of their land, and abuses their human rights, Palestinians have ample cause to murder Israeli Jews — and sometimes non-Israeli Jews — wherever they happen to find them…The practitioner of this sort of logic responds to harm with more harm, arguing that there’s always a good reason behind the harm that one does.”
The problem with this analysis is it’s presumption that arriving at an explanation for the heinous acts some Arabs commit while fighting Israeli imperialism is the same as apologizing for it or excusing it. This is the same notion used by the right to brand anyone daring to bring up US intervention when discussing the events of 9/11, and is entirely invalid (not to mention somewhat surprising given his previous posts on the origin of terrorism). It’s not excusing or advocating for the morality of rocket attacks to acknowledge that resistance against Israeli annexation and occupation of land previously inhabited by Palestinians is an inevitable result of the annexation and occupation itself!
Kohen’s views his (accurate) distinction of Genocide as relevant because his world is primarily one of letters: in Academics, a semantic distinction between Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing is germane because Academicians are concerned with nuance and objective, abstract analysis. It is decidedly less important for those whose goal is not scholastic achievement, but rather communicating both the extremity and the source of the inhumane treatment of Palestinians. Academic distinctions with regard to Palestine are something of a pattern for Running Chicken. I refer you to his discussion of a map published on the Rights and Humanity blog. There, Kohen focuses on the demographics of the ruling elite of Palestine, believing that because the map does not include information of Britain, Jordan, and Egypts various occupations (less relevant but more disappointing is his insistence that not mentioning the ‘67 war, which Israel began and used as an excuse for aggressive and imperial acquisition of land, somehow invalidates the third map). Again, this distinction is entirely academic: though it may be relevant to abstract analysis of borders and politics in the past, it’s irrelevant to the conditions of the Arabs expelled in the Nakba, the families forcibly removed to make room for Israeli settlements, or the 1.8 million refugees that aren’t allowed access to the non-rubble parts of what was once Palestine.
Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans say that Israel’s current military strikes against Gaza are justified, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified.
Perhaps the reason for this is found in the next paragraph…
The fighting began last week with rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza, to which Israel responded with an aerial offensive. Palestinian emergency services said Monday that nearly 100 people have been killed in Gaza, with around 750 injured. The Israel Defense Forces said three people in Israel have been killed, with nearly 70 injured.
I see bullshit…
Twelve Palestinians from one family killed in Israeli rocket attack
In the single deadliest attack of the Israeli operation so far, 12 civilians were killed in Sunday’s air attack on a four-storey house in northern Gaza City, health officials said.
Two or three missiles fired by F-16 fighter jets reduced the house in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood to rubble, witnesses said.
Five women, including one 80-year-old, and four small children were among the dead, spokesperson of the health ministry Ashraf al-Kidra said.
In my experience with citizen journalism and data storage as well as reports via investigative journalism on war related casualties and abuses (from US drones killing those in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan to US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as NATO related abuses in countries under its control and Pakistan’s intelligence agency’s abduction of civilians and what not), I have seen images of innocent dead people, wounded men and women, shattered homes, grieving loved ones and more but nothing - literally nothing - breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I see children, little infants killed in a war they are helplessly too young to understand. I thought I’ve seen despair but I was wrong. Despair has a bloodier, more despondent face every time tyranny hits. I reblogged this as text so the photos can only be viewed by going to my page. Far too graphic.
I have never felt my heart so out of place as it is right now by looking at those dead Palestinian children. You can tell a lot about a state’s cowardice and ugliness when it sees a child as a “threat” to its peace. The sordid joke that is IDF.
Can we finally stop pretending that these attacks are somehow justified because of missiles from Gaza?
Israeli students at Haifa University danced and chanted “Death to the Arabs” at a rally on Sunday to support Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Now in its sixth day, the assault which began when Israel violated a tenuous ceasefire, has killed more than 90 Palestinians among them two dozen children, including members of the al-Dalu family which lost four young children and six adults when their home was flattened by an Israeli bomb.
The video clip shows hundreds of students singing “Hatikva,” the Jewish supremacist national anthem of Israel. At the end of the clip multiple voices can be heard chanting “mavet la’aravim,” Hebrew for “Death to the Arabs.”
Hate leaders welcomed on campus
According to the Israeli publication Magazine Hamoshavot student leaders said some 1,300 people participated in the rally which was called to “support the State of Israel” and the army.
In attendance were extremist leaders such as Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, who has been at the forefront of inciting violence and racial and religious hatred, extremist Knesset member Arye Eldad, and violent settler activist Baruch Marzel. Marzel was prevented by security from coming on campus, according to Magazine Hamoshavot.
Flags were distributed to students by members of the far-right anti-Palestinian campus group Im Tirzu.
Call for expulsion of Arab students
A specific goal of the rally appears to have been not just to “support” the state and the army as they slaughter people in Gaza, but specifically to incite against Palestinian students at the university, who had held an anti-war rally last week.
Anti-Palestinian activists and websites spread rumors and false accusations that the Palestinian students had held a minute of silence for Ahmad al-Jabari, the Hamas military commander whose extrajudicial execution by Israel set off the current escalation.
These accusations provided an opportunity for anti-Arab incitement and calls for expulsion:
“We came here to say that Haifa University is not a branch of Balad,” [Knesset member] Ben-Ari told Magazine Hamoshavot. “Haifa University is a Jewish and Zionist university.” And [Knesset member] Eldad said: “if the State of Israel finances the university, it cannot finance its enemies, or people who identify with its enemies at a ceremony at the university. This is intolerable.” He added: “they come here to express their identification with a mega-killer, a man who was executed by Israel.” He proposed “that the university arrange buses for them to Gaza, so they can sit in the mourning tabernacle and participate personally in the family’s grief.” He then added that “no return transportation needed to be organized.”
Balad is the party of Palestinian Knesset member Haneen Zoabi, who unlike extremists Ben-Ari and Eldad, was banned from speaking on the Haifa University campus two years ago when Palestinians wanted to commemorate the Nakba.
90 percent of Israeli Jews support Gaza attack
As the bombs fall on Gaza, incitement to violence and racism has been common by prominent Israeli public figures. An opinion poll by Haaretz showed that more than 90 percent of Jewish Israelis support the attack on Gaza.
Nothing genocidal about that. [/sarcasm]
Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli Air Force Captain, calls his government’s actions a war crime in 2009.
I’m sure you believe that, “If the arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence,” but the fact of the matter is that Arabs did not start the six day war, Arabs did not expel Israelis who had lived their entire lives in Jerusalem, Arabs do not expand illegal settlements, Arabs do not bulldoze Israeli houses, Arabs do not limit food imports into Israel, Arabs didn’t use violence to suppress political speech such as flying a Palestinian flag, and Arabs are not instigating this conflict. The idea that “Israel didn’t fight back,” while they purposefully starved Palestinian civilians is patently absurd. You’re living in the center of human rights abuses and an apartheid state: educate yourself before you support bombing whole neighborhoods of human beings.
If you want to know what Palestinian life would become if they were to disarm, look no further than North America’s Lakota tribe. Without international intervention, the Palestinians face the same fate.
E: some folks are having trouble with the first link, here’s a second source.
Life value compared in font size.
No media bias here!