Monday, August 14, 2006

Truce?

As Rome burns, Nero diddles in Texas and we approach the fifth anniversary of the "Global War on Fundamentalist Extremist Factions and Non-State Actors who would do us harm because they hate our freedoms and want to see Islamic Fascist Anarchy from sea to shining sea while they carry out their barbarous acts of mayhem and murder on our bravest and finest as well as innocent civilians, purposely refusing to wear a recognizable uniform and stand in a straight line and shoot like real men but opt instead to pursue Weapons of Mass Destruction related capabilities funded by narco-terrorist states collaborating with teenage immigrant welfare mothers on drugs (apologies to the Austin Lounge Lizards) who have entered our fine country illegally and use the internet in an effort to cut and run back to their reality based world."

This weekend, the major television outlets turned their attention, 24/7, to the arrest of terrorist suspects in the UK and the logjam at European and American airports, a relief from the need for "talking heads" to reiterate their "expert opinions" and their "faith-based facts" on Hezbollah's connections to Syria and Iran and Israel's "right to defend herself" against aggression.

I am bone weary of the opinions of Israeli ambassador to the United States Dan Gillerman and the American Zionist Alan Dershowitz. No one reports on the bombing of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon (or even explains why Palestinians have been in these camps in Lebanon for the last 58 years). And I've stopped waiting for that "Anderson Cooper/Katrina" moment: Cooper, along with all other major broadcasters, have so drunk the Likud Kool-Aid.

While the world's attention was focused on Lebanon (and now Heathrow), Israel continued to cut access for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, stage mass arrests, and kill children and women with impunity.

As for looking for the "precipitating event" for the July 12 incursion across the blue line into South Lebanon, George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian, may have answered my question:

"On May 26 this year, two officials of Islamic Jihad - Nidal and Mahmoud Majzoub - were killed by a car bomb in the Lebanese city of Sidon. This was widely assumed in Lebanon and Israel to be the work of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. In June, a man named Mahmoud Rafeh confessed to the killings and admitted that he had been working for Mossad since 1994. Militants in southern Lebanon responded, on the day of the bombing, by launching eight rockets into Israel. One soldier was lightly wounded. There was a major bust-up on the border, during which one member of Hizbullah (sic) was killed and several wounded, and one Israeli soldier wounded. But while the border region "remained tense and volatile", Unifil says it was "generally quiet" until July 12."

Then an Israeli soldier was captured in Gaza and two Israeli soldiers were captured in Lebanon and all hell broke loose. The response was immediate and totally out of proportion -- obviously the Israelis had another agenda (see Seymour Hersch's article in The New Yorker).

What gets little press is this: Of the casualties on the Israeli side, at least 2/3 of them are military; and of the remaining 1/3 (civilian) deaths, about 40% are Arab (Palestinian) Israelis without access to bomb shelters and/or air raid sirens. And Israel's inflated injury figures include citizens suffering from "anxiety", according to an Israeli military source. Anxiety? Don't get me started ...

So, we are now into the 15th hour of a cease fire -- and we'll see just how long this lasts. It pains me to say, but I doubt Israel wants a true peace with its neighbors. If it did, it would have acted in 1967 and implemented UN Resolution 242 instead of waiting 39 years for 1701, which does not address the root issue of the Palestinian people and their right to a state, a homeland.

Dare I ask, at what point does a country lose its right to exist?

2 comments:

odog said...

I don't think Israel ever had a right to exist. But they fought for it, built themselves a state and crushed their opposition. Whatever, you might think about the Israelis, what they acheived in the last 50 odd years is pretty impressive.

I don't want to see the Israelis pushed into the sea, but an end to the occupation and the dismantlement of the Zionist state.

Israel's actions in recent months haven't removed their right to exist but the fundamental validity of Zionism.

Peace from Bethlehem ghetto.

Francine in Belen said...

I agree. Now is the time to look to a secular one state solution, one person, one vote regardess of ethnicity or religion. Zionism is dead. A new Palestine needs to be born.

Francine in Belen