Racism with a democratic face

by Richard on November 20, 2012

ABC Religion: Truth, Lies, and Gaza

In a world that celebrates the onward march of democracy, the Palestinian people have been left behind.

When the first free elections - which were internationally recognised as fair and transparent - were held in the Occupied Territories in 2006, the democratic victory of Hamas rapidly plunged the Palestinians into a cycle of endless violence. The people had chosen the wrong winners and have been regularly and brutally punished for its error ever since. By voting for the fighters, it was as if they had given Israel a free hand to treat the entire population like “terrorists,” with imprisonment, summary execution, torture and regular air strikes, not to mention daily humiliation at military check-points and the horror of the apartheid wall of shame.

What a remarkable success for democracy! Vote freely, to become prison-camp inmates. And there is no end in sight. The so-called “peace process” has never fulfilled its promises. While the Israeli government and the colonists continue their slow colonisation - thereby destroying the very notion of two states - dialogue breaks down and dies.

United States President and Nobel Peace laureate Barack Obama has never - with the exception of a handful of speeches - lifted a finger for peace, let alone on behalf of the Palestinians. On the contrary, he has carried unilateral support for Israel even farther than his predecessors. During the recent American election campaign, in quest of a second term, he totally washed his hands of Palestine. Letting a few Arabs be killed in Palestine and in Syria made it all worthwhile.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Mark Byron 11.21.12 at 5:46 am

Does Hamas get a waiver on having to abide by international law or common decency? Or is lobbing missiles at Zionists justified? Breaches of the peace go both ways, last I checked.

2

Kim 11.21.12 at 8:29 am

No, Mark, apparently only Israel gets your “waiver”. Then there is the little question of proportionality. Above all, however, your premise is risibly Orwellian, in fact, humanitarianly speaking, offensive, viz., that status quo ante in the huge internment camp known as Gaza might be called “peace” (the phrase Pax Israel comes to mind).

But, yes, of course, the missile-lobbing must stop, Hamas must rewrite its Charter on the Jihadic obliteration of Israel, and, in my view, we must pray for a Palestinian Gandhi (who, if it comes to pass, will probably be a woman). Even if one is not a deontological pacifist, strategically alone, the only viable option for the Palestinian people is active non-violent resistance to the Israeli war machine.

3

Mark Byron 11.21.12 at 12:56 pm

Some sort of Palestinian state is needed, since ethnic cleansing isn’t the option and annexing the territories wholesale would create a majority Muslim country, which would put the Jews there on the run once again.

However, asking the Israelis to grin and bear it is a bit much to ask, especially when the other side is in no mood to listen to your well-meaning calls for pacifism. A mere call-and-response matching of terror isn’t helpful, so a proportionate response is a non-starter.

If you’re not in bend-over-here-it-comes-again mode, some sort of attempt to take out the missiles before they take out you seems to be the best way forward.

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