Tuesday, December 30, 2008
"A Crime that cannot succeed"
Consider what sort of western response there would have been to an attack on Israel, or the US or Britain for that matter, which left more than 300 dead in a couple of days.
You can be certain it would be met with the most sweeping condemnation, that the US president-elect would do a great deal more than "monitor" the situation and the British prime minister go much further than simply call for "restraint" on both sides.
You can read the rest of Seumas Milne’s brilliant piece on Israel’s brutal assault on the people of Gaza- and the western double standards towards it- here.
But while most normal moral people around the world have been appalled at Israel’s actions- there are some who think differently.
Israel’s best selling newpaper Yediot Aharonot says that the devastating attacks have been "a stroke of brilliance" - and crowed "the element of surprise increased the number of people killed". Defenders of Israel like to portray the country as a kind of Belgium/Austria/Switzerland of the Middle East. It isn't. 14 people have been killed by rocket atacks in Israel in the last seven years-, yes that's right, 14- and Israel has responded by killing 5,000 Palestinians. Is that the way Belgium, Austria or Switzerland would react? And can you imagine a leading Belgian, Austrian or Swiss newspaper crowing about the number of people killed?
p.s. there’s a great comment after Seumas’ piece from ‘ luna 17', which I'm pleased to say has had 78 Guardian readers recommending it.
It is sickening - if tragically unsurprising - to read of the inhumane gloating by the Israeli press. Dehumanisation of the 'enemy' is part and parcel of any military assult, especially when civilians are deliberately and indiscriminately targeted on a large scale.
Israel's actions are unjustifiable by any criteria. How can it be acceptable, for example, to attack a university? It's ironic really: if people here argue for a boycott of Israeli universities they are vilified, but Israel using American weaponry to assult a university? Apparently that's OK. I'd have thought bombing somewhere was more controversial than boycotting it.
I would have thought so too. But somehow I don't think that those people who created such a fuss over the planned boycott of Isreali universities by the university lecturers' union will be quite so concerned by Israel's bombing of a university in Gaza.