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PROTESTING THE BOMBING OF LEBANON. July 23, 2006

Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
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The bombing of civilian targets, such as Beirut Airport, roads, bridges and housing clearly constitutes a war crime, but governments, not least the Australian Government, and newspapers appear to accept the unacceptable. I am not surprised by George Walker Bush’s callous irresponsibility, and given his record I should have expected it.

The Israeli Government appears to think that it can do anything without regard to humanitarian principles, provided the spin is in place, and it always is. To act in such a disregard, to place deliberate lying above truth, for any government places them at the same level as the Nazi Government, for example, regarding the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939. To make this comparison objective it would be necessary to draw attention to what is similar and different.

I know that people will recoil at the suggestion, not least because the people involved are Jewish, often descendant from those who have experienced concentration camps, gas chambers and pogroms, but that history does not give Israel the right to inflict similar inhumanity on others. Rather, I would expect that rather than callousness exhibited by the strange personality of the President of the United States(although Juan Cole suggests that he has been kept out of the loop – “Yo American Democracy!”), Israelis might be inclined to be more empathetic than is typical among other human beings. My knowledge of what happened to European Jews rests heavily on Peter Singer’s Pushing Back History.

I am wondering why Israeli protests against the actions of their government have been so muted. As in any explanation there are probably a number of contributing reasons. One might be distance from the events of history. I see the reports of the recent deaths of Israeli soldiers and note their ages – twenty-one, twenty and nineteen. I am reminded of the plaques on the trees in Kings Park, Perth. My own grandfather was a survivor of the First World, and one of six or seven boys, of which all but three were killed in that war. I do not know their names, or where they died. This small personal vignette is more typical than it is unusual.

A second contribution, I suggest, is the development of fortress Israel with a predisposition to use of military force, in which Israel is overwhelmingly superior, due significantly to the arming by the Americans, evidenced by the recent reports of supplying advanced military technology to provide the “pin point accuracy” the spin doctors are claiming. Relying on military power, the Israelis have not avoided the trap of exercising it to achieve other aims in the West Bank and Gaza, along with other techniques such as planning laws to expand their control and settlement of Arab communities. The Israelis have become colonizers, with the colonizers mentality toward the subject people.

And then I suggest the preponderance of Israeli military power has lead to asymmetrical warfare in the form of suicide bombing which seeks the weakest target regardless, so a university cafeteria or American troops giving out lollies to Iraqi children are suitable targets. I suspect faced with such outrages the ground has cut off beneath the feet of those who protest the current inhumanity and criminality of the Israeli state in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.

Reflecting on the state of the Middle East, that America and Israel are exhibiting the policies of failed states. Contemporary Iran, the new bogeyman of Middle East politics, is very much the embodiment of failed US policies beginning with the coup in 1953. The gated community of Israel eats its own history. The ideals of the American Republic and of the Israeli founders are being trashed in the broken cities and roads of Lebanon, and the deaths of people, not least children.

I do not see how, but let us believe that International Law will eventually prevail. The International Criminal Court has only been in existence since 1992.

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