Monday, September 21, 2009

Concern For Palestinians' Well-Being Not High On Pundit's List Of Things He Cares About

When it comes to debating the continued occupation of Palestine by Israel, there is no better way to be taken seriously by the Talking Class than to competely and utterly disregard the safety and well-being of Palestinians. Jackson Diehl, writing in the Washington Post (which has an explicit policy of burning Gazans for sport), illustrates this unspoken truth quite well today.

All things considered--ie, concerning Israel--that whole massacre of Gaza thing last year wasn't really so bad. Diehl does acknowledge that many Gazans--including at least 450 civilians--died, but he is such a Serious Adult About Foreign Policy that he only examines how this affected Israel.

"But what of the grievous Palestinian suffering in the invasion -- Israel itself counted 1,166 dead Gazans, including more than 450 civilians -- and the international backlash that has caused? Just last week a U.N. commission headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone condemned what it called "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population," and suggested that responsible Israelis be hauled before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges.

Israel's leaders worried a lot about losing the war that way. But as they see it, they suffered only scratches. Egypt, which quietly collaborates with Israel's blockade of Gaza, came under pressure to change its policy but held firm. No Arab country toughened its stance toward Israel: According to the Obama administration, as many as five may be willing to offer diplomatic and economic concessions if Israel freezes its West Bank settlement construction.

Perhaps most significant, Hamas's rival for Palestinian leadership, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, is considerably stronger than it was before the war. Probably it will renew peace talks with Israel within weeks. As for the Goldstone report, the heat it briefly produced last week will quickly dissipate; the panel was discredited from the outset because of its appointment by the grotesquely politicized U.N. Human Rights Council."[emphasis added]

So, here's what Diehl is saying: "Hey, buddy, too bad about all that civilian death, but, hey, you know what? It worked out pretty well for us over here." You know what that sounds a lot like?

Main Entry: ter·ror·ism
1 : the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion

And, saddest of all, the lesson that Diehl learned from the massacre was this,

"The Gaza invasion was the second military operation Israel embarked on in less than 18 months despite disapproval from Washington. The other was its bombing of a nuclear reactor under construction in Syria in September 2007. Then, too, officials in Washington feared a dire diplomatic backlash or even a war between Israel and Syria. Nothing happened.

As they quietly debate the pros and cons of launching a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, Israel's political and military leaders no doubt will be thinking about that history. That doesn't mean they will discount American objections -- Iran would be a far harder and more complex target, with direct repercussions for U.S. troops and critical interests in the region. But, as with Gaza, even a partial and short-term reversal of the Iranian nuclear program may look to Israelis like a reasonable benefit -- and the potential blowback overblown."[emphasis added]

This unfettered bloodlust is nothing short of sociopathic behavior, and should be called as such. "Nothing happend," Diehl writes, forgetting that an entire city was fenced in and systematically destroyed. He shows no sympathy, none, for any of the thousands of Iranians who would no doubt be killed in a preempitive attack.

It should be noted that Israeli civilian death is horrible and abhorent. I am not in any way attempting to say that those who died in Sderot and any less tragic than any 8 or 9 Palestinians, it just so happens that there are another 1,400 Arab deaths on top of that to account for.

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