Friday, July 21, 2006

Outlaw state

It’s a given . . . part of the intellectual scenery . . . to preface every article about Israel by words to the effect that, of course, Israel has a right to defend itself.  For right wingers, that’s the sum total of the discussion.  Everybody else writes:  ‘Israel has a right to defend itself, but . . .’

I’m starting to have grave doubts about whether this is true.  Every single crime committed by Israel – and there have been so many – has been committed on the pretense of self-defense.  The standard m. o. of Israel has been to engage in provocation after provocation, elicit a response, and then massively overreact to the response, all on the basis of ‘self-defense’.  The lying media aid and abet these crimes by failing to even note the provocations.  The latest crimes against Gaza and Lebanon follow exactly the same pattern (for Gaza, see here and here; Jonathan Cook is an important writer).  There is absolutely no reason to believe that Israel will ever be able to stop this pattern, and its crimes based  on the ‘self-defense’ lie continue to mount and mount.

Is it not time to put an absolute stop to this by declaring Israel the first Outlaw State?  All the writings about Israel, and in particular the bloviations of groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, claim that both sides are equally to blame.  In fact, Israel consistently uses the claim of self-defense as an offensive weapon, enabling it to commit massive crimes under public relations cover.  In fact, the attacks of Israel’s enemies are always – always  – a response to some hidden provocation, or probably years of hidden provocations.  The only way to put a stop to this is the most radical one:  declare that Israel has no right to self-defense, and all Israeli officials can be prosecuted for their crimes, while simultaneously removing any threat of sanction from any country or group that commits what would otherwise be crimes against humanity or war crimes against Israel.  It’s a radical solution, but apparently the only way to knock some sense into Israelis is to give them a dose of their own medicine.  Israel could receive the protections of international law again once it demonstrates that it will no longer abuse those protections to hide criminal acts.