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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
A view from the ground, courtesy of my mother's high school classmate. 
25th-Jul-2006 07:26 am
Accordion
From The Occupation? Fuggedaboutit! by Gila Svirsky, member of the progressive organization Coalition of Women for Peace...and Jersey girl turned Israeli who went to high school with my mother (which is how I found out about the article at all):

In listening to the media, to my neighbors, to the gas station attendant, I am amazed by the lack of comprehension: “We leave Gaza, they shoot missiles at us from there. We leave Lebanon, they kidnap our boys. How do they expect us to leave the West Bank? Fuggedaboudit!”

These views, expressed by most Israelis these days, can only fill me with awe at how the Big Lie works: Repeat it often enough, publicly enough, by political and spiritual leaders, and the whole country/world will begin to believe that Israel is innocent of all wrongdoing and that these attacks emerged from a political vacuum:

As if there is no occupation. As if there is no siege on Gaza. As if there are no 39 years (and counting) of military and political oppression with all the killing, maiming, home destruction, and livelihood wrecking that this entails. What is it about “end the occupation” that they don’t understand?

No, I do not justify Qassam missiles or Katyusha rockets hurled at Israeli towns or the kidnapping of anyone (even armed soldiers in tanks). I do not justify any attacks by missile or suicide bomber or remotely detonated device.

Nor do I justify the endless shelling of Gaza and Lebanon – land, sea, and air – for any reason at all, let alone for purposes more related to posturing and domestic public opinion than with accomplishing any political objective. “How could we not respond when they kill and kidnap our soldiers?” asked Yuli Tamir, our Education Minister (for goodness sakes!) and a former Peace Now activist. As if shelling is sure to make the Hizbullah leaders remorseful and let our boys come home.

So, as usual in wars, we have an alliance of the jingoistic decision-makers on both sides, whipping up patriotism while they watch the fighting on-screen from bunkers deep in the earth. In Israel, this war absolutely thrills the right wing: The escalation keeps up the militaristic approach to problem solving, discredits the view that Israel must leave the occupied territories, and distances the current warfare from its roots in the ongoing occupation. What’s not to love about this war?
Hmm. I think I'll just let that speak for itself.
Comments 
25th-Jul-2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thirty-nine years? All of these people were fighting each other in the Old Testament for god's sake >_< It does amaze me though, how it's publicly portrayed as nothing ever happened and Israel was living in peace with its neighbors, and then some terrorists suddenly kidnapped a few Israeli soldiers....

*sighs*

Heh, she should have waited a bit, I bet real estate prices are down a lot now ^^;;;
25th-Jul-2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
All of these people were fighting each other in the Old Testament for god's sake

PEOPLE were fighting in the Old Testament...but not necessarily THESE people. (The Philistines were of Greek origin, for example, and way more culturally advanced than the Jews that got to tell the story.) I see the situation as one akin to Europe appropriating North America and then waging war pratically into the 20th century with the Native Americans for hundreds of years whom they tried to drive off the choice real estate.
25th-Jul-2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, at least some of them are claiming to be the direct heirs to those in the Old Testament, God gave this land to ME! >_<

I see the situation as one akin to Europe appropriating North America and then waging war pratically into the 20th century with the Native Americans for hundreds of years whom they tried to drive off the choice real estate.

*groans*

Not to mention creating the popular image of the Native American as being more animal than human in the popular media.. Not unlike the typical portrayal of Arabs in the popular media....
25th-Jul-2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, at least some of them are claiming to be the direct heirs to those in the Old Testament, God gave this land to ME! >_<

Genetic evidence does not bear that story out. If all Jews were descended from a single man (Jacob), it would show. Instead, you get a cross-section of Mideast markers. It's all ideological fantasy (though fantasy seems just as, if not more, important than reality these days).
25th-Jul-2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
It's a relief to see that at least someone there understands what's going on. I'm amazed myself by watching the news and seeing Rice give very weird statements about 'terrorists' and 'Israel's right to defend itself', not to mention the seriously out of touch with reality academics that CNN and BBC interview.

I mean, Hello?! It's not as if this fighting is new or one-sided.
25th-Jul-2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
Of course people understand what's going on. Probably more than you'd think. Except that they have no say in what their governments do. If Israel, the United States, Lebanon, and dozens of other countries around the world were ACTUALLY democracies, you can bet we wouldn't be seeing so much of this shit. Our "leaders" parade ideologies "in our name" that we don't share with them.
25th-Jul-2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
*sarcastically*
And after all, why care about how your citizens will fare abroad whether they are americans, arabs, or jewish? A country's foreign policy is often linked to the image of its people. Unfortunately.
25th-Jul-2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
Screw foreign policy. We're doing a really good job of flushing ourselves down the toilet just with misguided DOMESTIC policy right now.
25th-Jul-2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
I'm amazed how easily so many people accept the premise that the appropriate response to two soldiers being kidnapped is the destruction of an entire country, including the killings of hundreds of innocent people....

Of course, I'm also not sure exactly how so many apparently believe that the way to get those soldiers back alive is to drop endless amounts of bombs on all the places where those soldiers may be held.......
25th-Jul-2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
I'm equally amazed that Hezbollah didn't consider the potential consequences of kidnapping Israeli soldiers on Israeli territory--or, if they did, apparently didn't care, which as far as I'm concerned is just as bad.
25th-Jul-2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah really, I kind of hope this isn't what they were hoping for >_< But who knows, if this works out as a military victory for Israel, and sends Lebanon back decades with no immediate reconstruction and investment, it could end up helping Hezbollah, at least with recruitment....
25th-Jul-2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
I don't condone kidnapping the soldiers, but they were soldiers. People who either chose or at least knew what the perils of their profession were. Using them as an excuse to wage a large scale war on another country is not only absurd, but is a disservice to those two men suffering god knows what in the hands of their captors. I suspect those soldiers are probably dead by now, very painfully too.
25th-Jul-2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
Honestly I would say the kidnapping of the soldiers is the excuse, as opposed to the cause... It's just too irrational otherwise.. And yeah, I suspect they're dead too, what incentive is there to keep the alive?

*sighs*
26th-Jul-2006 12:27 am (UTC)
You'd think they'd never had a soldier taken prisoner before. Seriously, that's what happens in a war (and as much as they might like to deny it, Israel is at war with the Arab nations around it and has been for many years). When your soldier gets kidnapped in a raid and is held as a POW you don't bomb the enemy to oblivion because that's counterproductive and just encourages them to do the same to you every time you capture one of their soldiers. You do what every nation has done since the beginning of time, you trade prisoner for prisoner or you let them sit out the war in a POW camp.
26th-Jul-2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
But Hezbollah new exactly what they were risking when they kidnapped Israeli soldiers on Israeli territory as hostages. It's like throwing a match into a gunpowder warehouse and seeing what'll happen. Israel needs to get its temper under control, but Hezbollah also needs to stop taunting the big guy with the sub-machine gun.
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