Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Success...and Burning Flesh

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Kadima have led the Israeli government into Lebanon and Gaza and it is looking much like an electoral defeat as a result. In the face of the spectacular destruction in Lebanon Hamas is a power, even more so and after the wreckage of Gaza rockets continue to fly into Ashkelon.
McClatchy's Cliff Churgin quotes 37 year old teacher Rosie:
"Last time I voted for Kadima, but now I'm thinking of voting for Likud," she said. "They promised us security, but the conditions my children live in are unacceptable."
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"I want someone who will give us security. I don't care what the world thinks," she said. "My son is 2 years old, and to see him during the sirens is not a reality I'm willing to live with."

It looks as though the big winner in the coming elections will be the far right Yisrael Beiteinu party, headed by hard-liner Avigdor Lieberman, which will head into 3rd largest. This party will remind Americans of a few things, maybe best distant memories, such as calls for a citizenship law that would call on all citizens to sign loyalty oaths to the Jewish state. Failure to sign would result in losing the right to vote or to be elected. I happen to find the party slogan, "Without loyalty there is no citizenship," a bit Stalinist or Hitlerian for my taste but perhaps Jews have a different perspective? That stuff in itself would be discouraging but then there is the issue of the right's stance on Jerusalem, the West Bank, etc and no compromise whatever with Arabs.
Dr. Etta Bick of the Ariel University Center in the West Bank said that voters were moving right because of a change in priorities,

"The issue, if not the peace process . . . is security, and on security the public is on the right," Bick said. "There is disillusion about the peace process."

This is said as though there was a peace process, on much of anybody's part. Such doubt as I'm raising might be considered to tossing un-aimed rockets and roadside bombs and a few other Palestinian techniques.

In something like this conflict where there are racial, religious, historical, and even regional incitements to continue the slaughter a bit more incitement for political ends is to be expected. In order to get around to doing something a tad different it would seem that the pain of staying in the same mess needs to exceed all the excuses and that's probably a lot of pain. These people are full of excuses (and some other brown stuff), everybody has done something to everybody and that doing is inexcusable and must be met with force. It is a flatly ridiculous idea that they quit inciting each other.

So we have success coming our way, the asshats from Hamas and Hezbollah will get the asshats from the Israeli right to play with. This ought to mean the measure of goodness is the volume of opposition blood running on the ground. Evidently rearranging the debris that is Gaza and adding a bit more was a good idea, damn near as good an idea as tossing undirected high explosives at the most dangerous dog on the block.

It is probably time to offer sanctuary to the few on each side who disapprove of such behavior in some American enclaves and let them have at each other. Let their bloodthirsty gods sort them out, thought the Palestinians probably need a few more guns and bullets to make it really interesting.

BTW, I highly recommend McClatchy if for no more reason than that they still employ some of Knight Ridder's truth telling squad.

3 comments:

Zak Johnson said...

Annexation of the West Bank and Gaza has been the Israeli plan and the policy since 1967, '68 at the latest. Gaza proved unannexable, but the West Bank more so. Today it is criss-crossed with illegal settlements financed by the U.S. government and private donors, and populated by people who feel about the same way towards the local Arabs as U.S. settlers felt about the American Indians. I believe Chivington's favored phrase regarding the murder of Indian children was "nits make lice." You can see that in action today with the bombing in Gaza.

After Abu Ghraib, George Will wrote a column that took in the larger view of what that ugliness was about. Paraphrasing now, he said to take a good look at Abu Ghraib because that was the face of imperialism and the inevitable outcome of the imperialist course we entered upon in Iraq. He was quite right.

In Israel, the policy of seizing land from those who live on it is also imperialism, pure and simple. And it leads directly to the ugliness of imperialism--increasing brutality in defense of the indefensible; and behavior and rhetoric which, though largely kept out of the U.S. media, became as ugly as anything we saw in Abu Ghraib almost immediately after 1967.

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