Tolerable Savagery: Israeli Killing of Palestinians
The carnage continues. Israel, or more accurately the Zionist movement, has not stopped its brutality and repression of Palestinians since the advent of the Zionist movement in Palestine in the late 19th century. Lately, we have been able to watch with disgust. Western hypocrisy knows no bounds in the Middle East.
Western governments are just aghast at the Syrian regime’s repression and brutality. Of course, Western governments could not care less about the Syrian people. They were able to “do business” with the Assad ruling dynasty for decades. Their criteria for political judgment in the Middle East are divorced from considerations of justice and democracy. The criteria are set in Washington, DC and Western governments just follow. The criteria are based on the regime’s services to Israel and its subservience to US interests. This criteria allowed the US to shift its attitude to Qaddafi in a manner of months: from a pariah, Qaddafi became the darling of Western governments while US senators and officials flocked to his tent (just as they flock to the palaces of Gulf kings and princes).
Western governments never expressed sympathy for the Syrian people: as victims of the Assad regime and as victims of Israeli occupation and brutality. Yet, Western governments were quick to call for arming the Syrian people only months after the uprising began.
The Palestinians, however, have never been treated with such permissiveness. No matter how much massive violence is inflicted on them, and no matter how many massacres they suffer, Western governments insist that the Palestinian people (and any other people living under Israeli occupation) have no right to resort to arm to liberate their lands and to “protect their civilians.” The last phrase is now the convenient Orwellian expression that allows NATO to bomb civilians in the name of protecting civilians. Protecting civilians is the new UN mandate for a select few (formerly colonialist) countries to rule over and determine the destiny of some countries that are not in the US camp. Saudi, Bahraini, and Jordanian civilians don’t enter into this formula, of course.
But the Palestinians have been brutalized for over a century. No liberation movement in the world has a better argument against peaceful resistance than the Palestinian national movement. Worse, Western governments want to deny the Palestinians even the right to peaceful resistance. Peaceful BDS struggle is now discredited in the West, and is in fact illegal under US law.
Zionists in Congress were able since the 1970s to pass laws that allow for the prosecution of any US company that would respect prevailing rules of the Arab League boycott of Israel. In other words, the US expects the Palestinians to refrain from peaceful and violent struggle against their occupiers, in return for US “peace efforts.” This idea would be laughable if even uttered in Arabic and yet it is the conventional wisdom among people of both parties in the US.
Israel has been killing Palestinians all week but this time the US government reacted. It condemned Palestinian violence, literally. News of dead Palestinians doesn’t matter to US editors at daily newspapers or TV news shows. There is of course more than a ting of racism to the way Palestinian dead are treated in the US. They simply are not as valuable as human beings as Israeli dead.
Israel, accustomed to the practices of lies, fabrications, exaggerations, distortion, and obfuscation in its propaganda, immediately poses as a victim. This is a state that posed as a victim when it attacked three countries in 1967, and invented a Hitlerian concept of murder and war that allowed it to kill anyone and to attack any state under the pretext that the state or the person may harm Israel in the future. One can only imagine if Iran were to practice such a concept in the world today.
So Israeli propaganda covers up the victimization of Palestinians by typically inflating the damage from missile attacks (advanced forms of firearms really): even people who trip in a shelter are listed as “injured” and people who are “shocked” from the noise are also listed as “victims.” In an election years, those people may get sympathy calls from Obama and his Republican rival.
But this US racist disregard of Palestinian lives should not lead to despair. The sands of the Middle East are shifting fast. Mubarak, the corner stone of US-Israeli strategy in the Arab world is lying on a stretcher. Those sands will continue to move and when the picture settles a bit more, in a matter of months or even years, it will become apparent that the Zionist occupying entity can’t survive in a sea of popular (and democratic) hostility. At that time, AIPAC will only remember with nostalgia its past achievements.
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- Before Edward Said: a tribute to Fayez Sayegh | Dec 09 2014
- Mubarak’s verdict: ancien Arab regimes as new regimes | Dec 01 2014
- The NYT’s unsubtle war on fairness in covering the Arab-Israeli conflict | Nov 24 2014