Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gaza: The View From Over Here

It has been ten days since my return from Lebanon and Syria. From the overwhelming coverage of Gaza in the Middle East, I stepped into the near silence about Gaza here. In the local paper, Gaza is relegated to the inner pages. Any letter to the editor critical of Israel has to be coupled with a pro-Israel letter for "balance" but not the other way around. Of course there are no disturbing photographs of Palestinian casualties. TV network news is not much better; a story about what dog Obama is getting his girls preceded a snippet about Gaza the other day. The difference between CNN and CNN International is striking. The accepted story line, the result of lazy journalism, parrots the official Israeli lie: Hamas broke the ceasefire, Israel had to respond. To his credited one CNN host exposed that lie yet that fact didn't seem to catch on. Members of the US government, with rare exceptions, fell over each other to demonstrate their loyalty to Israel. Congress passed a resolution supporting Israel's right to self-defense! Congressman Mark Kirk, Republican from Illinois, showing his predilection to kiss ass said: "To misquote Shakespeare, something is rotten in Gaza and now it's time to take out the trash." The lame duck president, even in the face of mounting a humanitarian disaster, didn't seem pressed to call for a ceasefire and is talked out of voting yes on the Security Council resolution by a last minute call from Olmert. Meanwhile as Israel fails to abide -once again- with a UN resolution and is roundly condemned by the ICRC and UN relief agencies for its many violations of the rules of war and its murder of aid workers, over 1000 Palestinians have lost their lives, thousands wounded and Gaza is physically pulverized. So as people around the world -if not governments- express their revulsion at Israel's barbarity, the American people, whose government is complicit in this tragedy are living in blissful ignorance.

On the other hand, as this video shows, some Jewish supporters of Israel cannot be accused of living in blissful ignorance but in state of hateful paranoia.

Of course there have also been demonstrations in support of Gaza and dissenting Jewish voices,
but it is all to no avail. The "Israel right or wrong" dictum of American politics, is cast in stone; anyone seeking to change can kiss their political ambitions goodbye.


Solomon2 said...

>>The "Israel right or wrong" dictum of American politics, is cast in stone; anyone seeking to change can kiss their political ambitions goodbye.

Many of your facts appear screwed up (CNN and CNN-I really are little help), but you understand that the U.S. is fully committed to Israel in its current war against Hamas. Yet you have failed, or are refusing to admit, the true reason why: that destroying a terrorist political organization that holds a captive population hostage and proceeds to go after others is worth destroying completely, while its threat is comparatively small. Would you prefer to see peace between Israel and Hamas only to have Gazans experience their own Hama massacre a few years down the road? Remember, when Hamas took over the Strip, they cut off the legs from some of their opponents, while throwing others off the tops of buildings. Do you think they would let go of power without a massacre, no matter how much Gazans hate them?

Lujayn said...

Solomon2, thanks for enlightening us with that gem. What Israel is doing now is actually benevolent charitable protection of the "hostage" population from Hamas. Now I get it, definitely kudos to you! Pity none of the Gazans will have any legs or heads or arms to cut off once the Israelis are done "protecting" them for Hamas to have a go.

I cannot fathom how you or people who think like you cannot see the truth: the terrorist political organization that is holding a population captive is actually Israel. Hamas is an Israeli creation, both physically and reactively. Hamas didnt arise from out of nowhere. It arose as a response to OCCUPATION. Gazans hate you more than they hate Hamas, not least of all because you led to the creation of extremism.

Long before Hamas, secular resistance groups, comprising Muslims, Christians and Athiests, fought the Israeli occupation. Those guys didnt fare any better under Israeli "protection". And long after Hamas is gone, others will resist. Its not who is resisting that is the problem, dummy, its who is being resisted that is the problem. Not because you are Jewish, but because you are occupiers. You could be little blue men from Jupiter in pink skirts, I couldnt care less who you are or what religion you practice. I care that you occupy, and by you, I am refering to the Israel that you defend, and not you personally. I hate you for the fact that you occupy and kill and starve others, and not for any dumbass excuse that you're Jewish.

Lujayn said...

And Abu Kareem, sorry to have launched that tirade on your blog - but that guy's argument is getting old and I'm getting tired of hearing it over and over again. They've actually brainwashed themselves.

Ayman said...

The US media coverage is just sickening. I have started following Al-Jazeera English at

Abu Kareem said...


No need to apologize, your comments are always welcome.

Abu Kareem said...

I am not sure what facts you think I got wrong. But be that as it may, it more than a little offensive to suggest that you are doing the dirty work on behalf of the Palestinian people.

Solomon2 said...

"it more than a little offensive to suggest that you are doing the dirty work on behalf of the Palestinian people."

Just as offensive - and accurate - as the Union soldiers who fought against the Confederacy for the moral benefit of the South. It took a terrible followed by a century of frigid peace for the South to acknowledge the truth of this by accepting blacks as people not just with equal rights, but deserving of favored treatment due to centuries of discrimination.

How long do you think it will take the Arabs? Do you think it is your duty to accelerate or retard such a process?

Abu Kareem said...

Ah! yes, the morally impeccable Israel, is teaching the people whose land it usurped how to behave...that's priceless

Solomon2 said...

It certainly is. I know you mean it sarcastically, but I guess that's because you don't have any real counter-response. Leaving the "usurped" bit aside for the moment, I've just been thumbing through Legacy of Jihad, which describes the real parameters of a massacre throughout 1300 years of jihad warfare: after the armed fighters were defeated, the Muslims would often seek out the civilians and slaughter them; that is when the numbers of dead skyrocketed. Instead, in Gaza, as the Israeli offensive proceeded, and the area and population controlled by Hamas shrank, the rate of Gazan casualties declined as well.

Sad to say, Israel didn't finish the job. Unlike Americans, Israeli leaders don't put their faith in liberation of Arabs from tyranny - or else they feel that it's up to Arabs themselves to do it, or openly ask Israel to take on the task for their mutual benefit.