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This is off topic for casi: it's not about Iraq. But why, when I read it, does my mind keep jumping to Iraq? Why do I have to keep reminding myself -- no, they are talking about Palestinians, not Iraqis? Why do I keep reading "Israel" and thinking "US"? Why do I get a feeling this is an Iraq prognostication? Maybe because it isn't so much the British which are joined at the hip with the US, but Israel. Maybe because the monsters -- Perle, Freith, and company -- who have determined US policy are the same ones who wrote the "Clean Break" Israeli policy. Maybe because this is just another head of the same dragon... =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*= From: portsideMod@netscape.net Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 23:23:56 -0400 Subject: Israel/Palestine: Two Commentaries from Ha'aretz Message-ID: <2D79FDDC.339C2896.5170BEA2@netscape.net> Primordial illogic and primitive cruelty ======================================== By Amira Hass, Haaretz, 23 July 2003 http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=320988 There is nothing more logical than setting arbitrary times of day when a Palestinian is allowed to leave his home and come back to it. There is nothing more logical than forbidding him to leave his field in a pickup truck to take his crops straight to market. It is logical to forbid him to receive guests, to take a donkey-drawn wagon, to ride a bicycle, to visit his parents a few kilometers away - or to bring a goat into his house "without coordination" so as to provide some fresh milk for his children. There is nothing more logical than to fence the Palestinian into his village, neighborhood, and land, with an electronic barrier, and then set a minimum age to leave,. It is logical to appoint 19-year-old soldiers to watch the gate, which is sometimes opened on time and sometimes not, and to impose the rules - 29-year-olds are not allowed out, 30-year-olds are, pregnant women are allowed out, non-pregnant woman are not. It is logical to forbid all crossing when the Shin Bet suddenly requires it, leaving outside a 65-year-old man who went out to buy something a kilometer and a half away, or a young man who went for dental treatment, or a mother whose children stayed at home because only children under the age of 21 are allowed out. It is so logical to forbid a Palestinian to go to the beach 300 meters from his home, and to prevent half a million people from nearby towns from going to the beach. It is so logical. After all, that's what army commanders and soldiers do, day in and day out, hour by hour, in Gaza, in the Siafa area in the north and the Mawassi in the center of the Strip. It's logical, because the IDF's mission in the heart of Gaza - which it did not leave in 1994, despite the Oslo legend - is to guarantee the safety and security and lives of Israelis whose government continues to encourage in moving to occupied territory. It is logical because Israeli governments since the 1970s and on, Labor and Likud, decided to settle Jews in the main open areas in the narrow Gaza Strip, in the prettiest area of dunes and on the most spectacular beach, in an area blessed with fresh water compared to the rest of the Gaza area. It is logical to lock people up in their homes and villages, and to sabotage the farming of their land because it is logical to subsidize the Jewish settlement in the land of the forefathers of Gush Katif and northern Gaza. It is logical to connect Jewish settler homes to electricity and water while forbidding Palestinian neighbors from connecting to the electricity grid and the water and sewage lines. It sounds cruel to lock people up in their homes and uproot their groves and orchards that they spent decades nurturing. But it's a logical cruelty, Israel is convinced, if that is what it takes to foil the cruelty of others - to prevent an armed Palestinian attack on a nursery school or a plant nursery or to plant a landmine on the route of a tank that is patrolling to protect the nursery school and the plant nursery. During the Oslo years, many good Israelis made do with the logical thought that "eventually" the settlements in Gaza would be dismantled. Logic and policy are two different things. Meanwhile, even before the bloodshed broke out in September 2000, the settlements in Gaza expanded, their infrastructures were improved and their security required the army to dictate various Draconian prohibitions of movement for a million Palestinians. The northern Gaza Strip, with its minuscule settlements, was cut off from the rest of the strip and de facto annexed to Israel. Palestinian representatives tried to speak to the logical minds of their Israeli counterparts at the negotiating table. It didn't work. On the contrary, the number of settlements in Gaza only grew. With subsidizes and expanding infrastructures and good roads and an expanding market for their worm-free lettuce - why should they leave? And why should the government dismantle the settlements when the Palestinians themselves signed the agreements that did not require the settlements to be dismantled? The quiet that most Palestinians kept most of the time proved to Israelis that it was possible to get peace with the settlements. That quiet relieved the Israelis of the duty to deal with the primordial illogic, the primordial cruelty - establishing the settlements. The governments used the Palestinian quiet to continue developing the settlements. And after September 2000, what the appeals to logic did not accomplish, the armed attacks certainly won't accomplish. After all, Israel will never give in to terror. Even before any Qassam rockets were fired at Sderot, the army shot to death people who dared approach settlements and the fortifications that protect the settlements. Some were armed, but many were simply shepherds and peasants and their stone-throwing children. All the farmland around the settlements was shaved down to nothing - raked, flattened and demolished, to improve the vision of soldiers preserving the settlements. How logical. ------------- Our foppish self-righteousness ============================== By Shulamit Aloni, Ha'aretz, 23/07/2003 http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=320991 (Aloni is a former member of Israel's knesset) Since the start of the intifada, more than 800 Israelis, mostly civilians, have been killed by Palestinians. We, justifiably, call it "murder." Some were killed by suicide bombers and the rest with other instruments of death. At the same time, more than 2,200 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis - some as armed suspects, and almost all from soldiers' fire. We don't call these casualties "murdered." But perhaps these deaths should also be referred to as murders. All the instruments of death that came from the sky, and the tanks, and the snipers were aimed at "the enemy" as the chief of staff says, or in "wartime operations" as Judge Advocate General Menachem Finkelstein says; and so there's no need to interrogate soldiers and prosecute the killers of civilians. Furthermore, adds the law-abiding JAG, "It is impossible to conduct 2,000 investigations into 2,000 deaths" (Haaretz, July 10). But he didn't conduct investigations when there were only 50 cases of murdered Palestinians or when there were 100. So why put murderers and abusers on trial now when there are so many? Wait, he did, finally, find eight cases to investigate, for shooting incidents. And of course, there's no comparing Jewish blood to Palestinian blood. Palestinians, after all, use the terrible weapon of suicide; while on our side, everything is aesthetic and elegant: Bombs fall out of the sky and the pilot goes home safely; the tanks fire flechettes; and our skilled snipers always hit their target. Of course, nobody ever asks which target. We fight the "enemy" and a large number of the "murders" are acts of war. Of course they - the Palestinians - aren't fighting an enemy; they are fighting an enlightened occupation that has anted to give them sovereignty for the last 36 years, but has found it difficult to do so because they are living on land that was ours 1,900 years ago and we want it only for ourselves. Or maybe we are a greedy occupier, looting their land (at least as far as they are concerned), uprooting, and demolishing, and expelling, and breaking into their homes. And still, we aren't an enemy; and still, we think it's an enlightened occupation; and our chief of staff is doing everything he can to sear into the consciousness of the occupied that they should love the occupier who holds them prisoners in their homes until they are hungry, until they are completely humiliated - and all for the sake of getting them to finally understand who are the masters of the land and who are the servants. Everything I've written here is known by everyone, but forbidden to state aloud because it is not patriotic. After all, everything we are doing is so our enemies won't bring another Holocaust down upon us. That's how it is explained to us - over and over again. And how can our enemies bring down another Holocaust upon us? That, apparently, must not be asked. After all, we have peace with Egypt and Jordan, and Iraq is no threat, and Iran is the entire world's problem. So, who are we afraid of? The Palestinians? Isn't that a bad joke? But we aren't allowed to say that because our Jewish paranoia is very serious, and the public relations people of the army and the greedy of the Greater Land of Israel know how to manipulate it very nicely. And that's the reason we are allowed to kill them and assassinate them and murder them without any indictment or trial, to arrest their patriots without any explanation, any trial and without any time limit. And of course, some are arrested for bargaining purposes, just like the terrorist gangs do. If indeed someone in our government wants to bring an end to the killing and put an end to the sowing of death, they must free the Palestinian prisoners - not the thieves and burglars, but those we declared "the enemy," thereby justifying the killing of hundreds and thousands of them - including those about whom it is said they have blood on their hands. Does not the sniper or pilot who sows death have blood on his hands? Our foppish self-righteousness; the utter insensitivity of the JAG who is concerned with chasing after draft dodgers but finds it difficult to prosecute murderers because there are so many; we, apparently are allowed everything, for we are "the ultimate victims," even when we are the occupiers and we have the power. Enough! The occupation is too expensive, too demanding, too destructive. Let the political prisoners go - the old and the new. Give a chance to an end to the murders and the building of calm; and in its wake, give peace a chance. It would be worthwhile for once to try the power of generosity and goodwill and sincerity. =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*= ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the internet in years - Juno SpeedBand! Surf the web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER! Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today! _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk