jump to navigation

When ‘self-defence’ becomes a license for anything at all.., July 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
trackback

…is the thought that comes to mind reading this from the Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/24/israel

I get the argument that on the thin sliver that is Israel there are legitimate self defensive measures. Unfortunately as the events of years, months, days and weeks demonstrate, there are also entirely illegitimate, counter productive and abysmal ‘self defensive’ measures.

Btw, just to be clear the events in the linked report happened ten years ago.

Comments»

1. An Sionnach Fionn - July 31, 2014

Jacobin has a good take on what may be Israel’s real policies in relation to Gaza/West Bank http://goo.gl/V1N6v0

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 31, 2014

Reading that looks like Baruch Kimmerling got it right quite a while back but (perhaps) didn’t quite grasp the scale…or perhaps he did.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - August 1, 2014

When you intend to drive out a group of people and take over the land on which they have lived, another standard strategy of colonialism is to render the people ‘incapable of governing themselves’, by ensuring that their governing structures are suborned and split.

The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools. Crucially, Israel often stood aside when the Islamists and their secular left-wing Palestinian rivals battled, sometimes violently, for influence in both Gaza and the West Bank.

From WSJ.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2014

I think the political nadir (as distinct from the political / military nadir we see currently ) in respect if cynicism is when the Israeli govt refused to talk to the PLO in recent times because they didnt represent ‘all’ the Palestinians but when the PLO and Hamas subsequently hammered out an agreement they then refused to speak to them. I know I mentioned it last week but the Likud charters view on Palestinian statehood is something that undercuts any reality to the Israeli govt line on ‘lacking a partner for peace’. Just on the overall situation yet again the Israeli govt has yet further destabilised Israel’s position as well as grievously impacting on Palestine and Palestinians. And they seem oblivious and indifferent to that – appalling.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2014

Just on ‘disproportionate’ I’m still away from Ireland and reading the cutdown UK Independent there wasa good short piece by Robert Fisk on how even that word wasn’t allowed to be used without absurd charges of anti-semitism until recently.

Like

2. Firbolg - July 31, 2014

As I posted a week ago there is nothing the Israelis can do that they won’t get away with. Even WBS’s reference to a sliver of land is just another way of saying that normal standards don’t apply. The truth is clear : with US support every day the “facts on the ground ” favour the settlers more and more each day. The pleas of the UN Seccretary General and all responsible western politicians are beyond contempt.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2014

I’d hope that my point re a sliver of land isn’t seen as a justification for what any fair minded assessment would regard as disproportionate acts by the Israeli govt., and I’d always contend that Gaza is an even smaller sliver and the West Bank likewise. But the basic point is that while states have legitimate rights of self defense those aren’t unlimited or unconstrained.

Like

3. Mark P - August 1, 2014

I found interesting that my Facebook feed is full of outraged posts from “non political” (perhaps “non activist” would be closer) friends, and that all of them take it for granted that the Israeli state are engaged in completely unjustified mass murder. This time around I’ve seen very little of the sometimes common guff about “both sides” being as bad as each other.

Like

6to5against - August 1, 2014

I’ve seen the same. But I wonder if it matters. The people who control this situation almost all live in either Israel or the US, so it would be their Facebook feeds a that matter.

I’ve been loosely following the NYT coverage over the last few weeks, and it has been much as before, with many references to terrorism and a ‘conflict’ which implies, I believe, two broadly equal sides. That is the relatively liberal perspective. My guess is that TV coverage has been even more distorted.

I think it’s important to see this as being about internal politics in both countries: presumably everybody involved knows that any talk of real war aims here is bogus. Netanyahu is demonstrating how tough he is, and in the US nobody is prepared to seem weak on Islamic terrorism.

There won’t be any change until something changes those internal dynamics.

Like

EamonnCork - August 1, 2014

It’s a win-win situation for the Israeli right. The more they inflame the situation the more they promote a siege mentality which is to their advantage electorally.
I saw a poll which said only about 4% of Israelis opposed the current offensive. Which, if it’s true, is sad given the long history of principled liberal opposition in the country. I also read an interview with Amos Oz, who’s been an important liberal voice, and was disappointed to see him basically coming out in favour of Netanyahu and saying if kids were killed it was Hamas’s fault for ‘hiding them.’ And it struck me that if he’s talking like that the situation has become entirely polarised.
There was also a good quote from David Landau, formerly editor of Haaretz, who said that claiming you haven’t set out to kill civilians is basically dishonest if you know that they are going to be killed as a result of military action.
There’s a good article by Jonathan Freedland on the NYRB blog about the implications of the offensive for Liberal Zionists which he ends by suggesting that it’s probably become impossible to be both Liberal and Zionist and that people may have to choose between the two.
By failing to make a deal with the PLO Israel made Hamas inevitable. Which is all part, perhaps, of that phenomenon by which the West tried to promote Islamic fundamentalist groups in the belief that they would weaken the Marxist groups who were the main opposition in the Arab world at one stage. Beware of what you wish for, and all that.
Incidentally I don’t see how Wbs’s ‘sliver of land’ comment can be seen as in any way exculpatory of the Gaza campaign.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - August 1, 2014

The profits of military production and destruction drive both countries. Thus any weakening of the arms, repression and surveillance trade at all help to weaken both the US and Israel.

Militarised economies seek wars and create them when they can’t find them.

The US position will change once all the oil and gas has been pumped out of the Middle East and turned into ecological disaster. But that, I suspect is too long for Palestinians who are being starved out now when not blown to bits.

The periodic slaughter of Palestinians is just one example of the permanent state of (more or less ‘low-level’ and or undeclared) war that is spreading. That in itself is symptom of the fact that in this phase of the crisis of global capitalism

a) Power is becoming multivalent, looser and more ‘anarchic’ and

b) capital sees the death and maiming industries along with debt slaving as one of the few sure bets for future accumulation. Both, after all, are underwritten by various levels of State and inter-State funding and social enforcement.

Like

gendjinn - August 1, 2014

I live in California (Bay Area) and work in software (so not representative of the US population) My experience this cycle of Israeli violence is very different from every previous cycle. There are a lot more people who are opposed to Israel and much fewer denunciations of anti-semitism when criticising their behaviour.

The population in the US that supports Israel is on it’s way to becoming a minority. Latinos, Asians & Millennials are almost wholly opposed to supporting Israel – and they are the future of the US.

Facebook is a little more combative and I do know a couple of foaming-at-mouth Israeli supporters in the area but, the pendulum has begun its swing against Israel in the US.

Like

Gewerkschaftler - August 1, 2014

I should know this – but what’s a Millennial – someone born after 1999?

Like

gendjinn - August 2, 2014

Millennial/Gen Y – people born in the 80s & 90s.

Like

FergusD - August 1, 2014

Hopefully that is the case, but what impact it will have on US policy is something else. Also, could it be too late? The Palestinians as a people occupying some kind of identifiable area in the region (Gaza, West Bank) may be finished. I feel very pessimistic.

Like

WorldbyStorm - August 1, 2014

I read the full Robert Fisk article today in the Independent and he name checks the Irish Times coverage of Gaza. Is there any further back story (I”ve been away), has the IT offered an apology/explanation?

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dress-the-gaza-situation-up-all-you-like-but-the-truth-hurts-9641240.html

BTW, a very powerful piece in full.

Like

gendjinn - August 2, 2014

I fear it will be too late, probably take another 20 years for this to filter up to the levers of power. By which time the water will have run out in Gaza. OTOH the Jordan state is on the verge of collapse and an anti-Israeli regime in Jordan would put Israel in a very difficult position.

It was incredibly disappointing to see every single progressive Democrat line up to support Israel – Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, all of them.

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: