Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Just part of an old pattern

Saree Makdisi (my emphasis in green and blood-red):

"The brute fact of the matter is that, as long as their air force is killing an entirely defenseless people, the Israeli public and media do cheer them on. As soon as they start paying any kind of price - no matter how grotesquely out of proportion to the level of damage their soldiers are inflicting on unarmed and innocent people - their bloodlust quickly cools. In Gaza, the Israeli infantry won’t take a single step forward unless the ground in front of them - and everything and everyone in it, armed, unarmed, whoever and whatever they are - has been safely cleared away for them by the air or by artillery. 'These are ‘Georgia rules,’ which are not so far from the methods Russia used in its conflict last summer,' write Harel and Issacharoff in Ha’aretz. 'The result is the killing of dozens of non-combatant Palestinians. The Gaza medical teams might not have reached all of them yet. When an Israeli force gets into an entanglement, as in Sajaiyeh last night [where three Israeli soldiers were killed], massive fire into built-up areas is initiated to cover the extraction. In other cases, a chain of explosions is initiated from a distance to set off Hamas booby-traps. It is a method that leaves a swath of destruction taking in entire streets, and does not distinguish military targets from the homes of civilians.' I’m not sure where the 'Georgia' reference comes from: the Israelis used the very same tactics in Jenin and Nablus in 2002, and in southern Lebanon in 2006 and 1982. And it would be an act of futility to point out - for the millionth time - that the Israeli method of warfare takes place in sweeping disregard for the principles of international humanitarian law, not to mention total contempt for innocent human life. This is not to mention that most of the casualties pouring into Gaza’s morgues and hospitals are the victims of the sheer indiscriminate unleashing on densely populated civilian areas of high explosive ordnance from land, sea and air that has been characteristic of Israel's military style since at least the 1970s."

"Israel’s disregard for innocent human life is not motivated only by a desire to forestall the political consequences - especially during an electoral campaign - of Israeli military casualties. It is also a clear indicator of the contempt that Israel has for Palestinian life in general. The cold, hungry, tired, desperate, and terrified men, women and children that Israel is now sweeping away by the dozen in balls of fire and showers of shrapnel are the very same people that it had already reduced to what one UN official months ago warned was 'a subhuman existence,' the deliberate product of the siege that Israel has imposed on Gaza for over three years, beginning in 2005, before the election of Hamas. They are the same people whose political and human rights Israel has been stifling since the occupation of 1967 - twenty years before the creation of Hamas. They are the same people who were ethnically cleansed from their land in 1948 because, as non-Jews, they were inconveniently cluttering up the land that European Zionists wanted to turn into a Jewish state, no matter what the land’s actual population had to say about it.

Israel's disregard for Palestinian life in Gaza today is, in short, a direct extension of its disregard for Palestinian life since 1948, and what is happening in Gaza today is the continuation of what happened six decades ago. Eighty percent of the people crammed into Gaza’s hovels and shanties are refugees or the descendants of refugees that armed Zionist gangs, which eventually coalesced into the infant Israeli army, terrorized from their homes elsewhere in southwestern Palestine in 1948. They have been herded, penned, and slaughtered by a remorseless power that clearly regards them as subhuman. If you think I’m stretching the point, I’m not. Listen to the words of Professor Arnon Sofer, the government consultant who did so much to help plan the isolation and imprisonment of Gaza, in a interview with the Jerusalem Post in 2004: 'When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe,' Sofer predicted. 'Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure on the border is going to be awful. It's going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.' Sofer admitted only one worry with all the killing, which will, he says, be the necessary outcome of a policy that he himself helped to invent. 'The only thing that concerns me,' he says, 'is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.'"

Golda!  And more:

". . . the people being killed today are the ones for whom there is no room in the Zionist vision of the state. They are regarded as an excess population. Not even Malthus thought that a redundant population should just be lined up and shot, or bombed into the ground. But, clearly, times have changed since 1798.

This inhuman madness will end only with the end of the violent ideology that spawned it - when those who are committed to the project of creating and maintaining a religiously and ethnically exclusivist state in what has always been a culturally and religiously heterogeneous land finally relent and accept the inevitable: that they have failed."

and a nice bit on the American fuckers:
". . . it seems clear that the writing now being posted on alternative media outlets is also starting to outweigh the clumsy efforts still being churned out by America's army of paid and unpaid cheerleaders for Israel, who have forsaken what little remained of their own humanity and blinded themselves to suffering that ought to move any rational, caring, sentient human being to tears - the Dershowitzes and Foxmans, the Orens and Boots, the Krauthammers and Peretzes, the Bards and Goldfarbs, the cynical apparatchiks of CAMERA and AIPAC and the mindless busybodies and shuffling zombies of Stand With Us, the Israel Project and the Israel on Campus Coalition - who persist with their stubborn, craven defense of the indefensible. About these misanthropes there is much to be said, most of it too unpleasant to print . . ."