Thursday, 1 January 2009

Before anyone says it . . . .

Israel and Palestine are once more at each other's throats, this time, perhaps more than ever, this fight takes on the brutal logic of a civil war, or any war between people's who live cheek-by-jowl with each other and where tit-for-tat is automatic and unavoidable. I therefore wholly endorse any moves to end the violence, I do not believe that Israel an achieve its goals through anything but a total occupation of the Gaza strip, I also know that the people of Gaza will not accept this - peace is therefore the only operable option. I whole-heartedly condemn Israel's refusal to allow foreign journalists entry to the Gaza strip, and have no illusions as to the reasons for this, indeed, we need only think of last year's violence in Tibet to know why this is being done.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it has more to do with the fact that the media often sympathizes with the Palestinians.

Charles Frith said...

As indeed they did with the Tibetans. Asymmetric warfare starts by refusing the media, access into the weaker party.

FOARP said...

Well, the stories just write themselves,don't they?

Picture: Huge crater where there used to be a home.

Headline: Tit-for-tat escalates.

Quote: My baby daughter was not a terrorist.

People sympathise with Palestinians who have lost innocent relatives in Israeli bombing raids because their pain is so obviously genuine and for such obviously comprehensible reasons. You would have to be some kind of heartless machine not to feel sympathy for a parent whose child was killed in an Israeli bombing, and people in the media are just the same as the rest of us. This is the reason why the media reports such killings sympathetically.

Here's a quote from Freddie DeBoer that was carried on the Andrew Sullivan site which I felt went straight to the heart of it:

"I know this with a certainty that I feel in my heart and my bones: if you support this assault, and justify its collateral damage, but will not come out and state the actual logical conclusion of what you are saying-- that you justify the killing of innocent Palestinian children-- then you are an intellectual coward, in the most damning and complete sense. If you justify the attack and its collateral damage you justify the consequences. So all of you, have the courage to stand for what you mean. Have the basic integrity to stand behind what you are saying. Look me in my face, so to speak, and tell me about the justice of another dead Palestinian child."

The restrictions on foreign journalist reporting from Gaza is designed to prevent people from being made to make exactly this choice. I'm not 100% opposed to using weapons which will inevitably kill innocent people if this prevents further innocent deaths and is the only feasible way of doing so. I just don't believe that it will prevent further rocket attacks, and people shouldn't pretend that innocent people wont be killed as a direct result of these attacks. These attacks are not a cost-free solution which must be given a chance, but a pointless killing of innocent people for little benefit.