RSS Feeds
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Occupation magazine - Features & Translations

Home page  back Print  Send To friend

Red Rag weekly column: Comrade Parabellum has the floor
By: Gideon Spiro
22 July 2014 (English translation 28 July 2014)

Comrade Parabellum has the floor

I have no disagreements with those who say that no sovereign state can accept
missiles being fired into its communities. That is an intolerable situation
and it is the duty of the government of a sovereign state to take action to
put a stop to it. I will not get into whether or not the government of Israel
is sovereign and if a state without defined borders can be a sovereign state.
For the purposes of this article I will assume that the answer is “yes” on
both counts.

There are various ways for a state to conduct armed intervention into the
affairs of another political entity.

The (US) American way does not justify intervention in the interests of the
USA alone, in which regard the US is no different from the others; but it
usually includes an altruistic element of exporting democracy to states with
dictatorial governments. South Korea, which enjoys US protection, including a
nuclear umbrella, underwent a revolutionary turning-point from cruel
dictatorship to functioning Western democracy along with a thriving economy.
There are not many such examples. In Iraq, US intervention sowed a series of
disasters, and it left Iraq with 200 thousand dead, a million refugees and
bleeding from a ruthless civil war, with dozens killed daily. As for the US,
it is nearly bankrupt – but not the arms industry, which continues to report
good profits. Capitalism at its worst. The intervention in Iraq reflects the
US modus operandi.

The Russian method, as in Chechnya, is characterized by the unrestrained use
of military force. Mowing down completely. If need be, they raze the capital
city Grozny to the ground and push the rebels into the mountains and install a
puppet president to Putin’s satisfaction. Sometimes the rebels succeed in
carrying out terror attacks, but that happens at intervals that the Russian
president can live with, as a blood-tax that the victims must pay. The
important thing is that Chechnya remains part of the Russian Federation.
Apartheid South Africa went the opposite way. First it set up client regimes
for the Blacks, Bantustans, and afterwards intervened in their affairs. The
White regime hoped to kill two birds with one stone: to perpetuate the White
regime and to satisfy the international community by giving national
independence to the Blacks. Of course, no one bought the fraudulent
independence of the Bantustans.

The Yugoslav method is characterized by extraordinary cruelty and total war of
all against all, to the point of genocide. The European Community and the US
intervened and imposed a solution the main element of which was the
dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation into its national components.

And there is another method, the resolution of conflicts by means of
negotiations without military force and without killing people. For example:
the division of Czechoslovakia into two states – the Czech Republic and
Slovakia. That is my favourite method.

Israel has made use of most of the methods that involve the use of violence.
The First Lebanon War integrated the Russian method, that is, massive fire
from air, land and sea and installing a client president. But the body of
Lebanon rejected the transplant and Bashir Gemayel was soon assassinated.
Israel set up and financed what it called the “Army of Free Lebanon”, an army
of collaborators the members of which were forced to seek asylum in Israel
after Israel withdrew from Lebanon. A resounding failure.

The Palestinian Authority is for all practical purposes an Israeli version of
a Bantustan. The Authority is a political entity without real authority and
dependent in all important matters on the state that sponsors it. Contrary to
many predictions, the system has lasted; there is no Palestinian state, not
even autonomy. Israel has succeeded in navigating, so far, a policy of
preserving a neutered Palestinian Authority.

In the present war that is taking place in Gaza, under the code name “Solid
Cliff” (called “Protective Edge” in English), between the Israeli invasion
army, armed with the last word in military technology, and the Hamas fighters,
Israel has adopted the policy Putin implemented in Grozny. The Israeli
invasion army wipes entire neighbourhoods off the face of the Earth along with
their residents. Appalling images of the bodies of women and children
scattered in the streets in the Shujaiyya neighbourhood, and the ruins of
houses destroyed by Israeli artillery leave no doubt that Israel has carried
out a massacre.
I write these words with sorrow, because while in the occupied West Bank I
oppose both the government’s policy and its modus operandi, the
declared objectives of Operation Solid Cliff, like stopping the shooting at
Israel, seem to me to be at least reasonable. Hamas too has a number of
demands that look reasonable to me. What bothers me is the way these
objectives are being implemented. Instead of shedding blood, which is a kind
of communication in itself, it would be better to sit at a negotiation table,
armed with pen and paper together with a wise mediator.

The Hamas government is a non-democratic one that violates human rights and is
immersed in religious fanaticism. I will not shed a tear if it disappears from
the stage. But I fear the emergence of a successor that is worse, affiliated
with al-Qaeda; in which case I’ll have to shed two tears. Better that Israel
not interfere in this matter by imposing a leader on the Palestinian people.
That would be destined to failure.

When I see thousands of Palestinians, including second- and third-generation
refugees, women, children and old people, carrying household items they
managed to salvage from the rubble, fleeing in panic from the terror of the
Israeli bombardment, stepping over the corpses that the Israeli attackers (led
by Benny Gantz, son of a Holocaust survivor) have left strewn on the streets,
having nowhere to flee because there is no safe place in the entire besieged
Gaza Strip, I am reminded of the similar pictures of Jews fleeing in terror
from the German army’s bombardment, and my heart is crushed.

And to the Gazans, who gave me a warm welcome when I visited there with an
international delegation that broke the sea blockade and brought medication
(October 2008), I say: the Israeli peace camp tried without success to prevent
the Shujaiyya massacre (20 July 2014). If history smiles on you as it smiled
on the Jews after the Holocaust and a Palestinian state is created, in the
hope that it will be a state of all its citizens, in the hope that its
declaration of independence will promise a democratic regime in which religion
is separated from the state, and you establish your own Yad Vashem and Nakba
Museum where you display pictures of Jewish demonstrators waving placards and
hoarsely yelling “Death to Arabs! Death to Leftists!”, and the name of the
youth Muhammad Abu Khudeir who was set alight by evil people and burned to
death in infernal agony is immortalized, and on Nakba Day you read out the
names of all those who perished, because every person has a name, and you
plant your own forest of the Righteous among the Nations – do not forget to
dedicate a corner to the Israeli peace camp, as a sign that not all Israelis
were silent, there were some who knew what was happening and raised their
voices.

And this too is worth recalling: Israel has not carried out genocide against
the Palestinian people, but has settled instead for war crimes which have
exacted a high price in human life, tens of thousands. The assertion of my
good friend Dr. Adel Manna [1] that Israel and Zionism are guilty of
sociocide, has not received sufficient attention in public discourse.
Accordingly, Israel and Zionism brought about a situation that caused a people
that has lived for hundreds of years on its land to be dispossessed and
expelled from its homeland, persecuted and beaten down. Their cohesiveness
shattered, they wander the world as a nation of refugees. The Arab countries
treat them with contempt. They are the first victims of every violent
development, whether in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or Iraq. The Palestinians are
the Jews of the Arab world. Our hearts are hardened to them, and we beat them
without mercy. The massacre in Shujaiyya and the hundreds of killed among the
civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip are a reflection of the
situation of a people that a in a historical concatenation is a joint victim
of the Jewish Holocaust. They seek to throttle this truth by various means,
including the Orwellian slogan “the IDF is the most moral army in the world”.
Time to re-read Orwell’s Animal Farm.


Upside-down world

Operation Solid Cliff, which is in effect the third war in Gaza in a short
period of time, has occasioned stormy demonstrations against Israel throughout
the world. In countries where there are large Arab and Muslim communities the
demonstrations have been large. In Paris there was an aggressive demonstration
next to a synagogue. The Israeli Pavlovian response was: “antisemitism”. Was
it? If Israel is the national home of the Jewish People, as Netanyahu and the
Zionist movement tell us all, then every Jewish institution all over the world
that identifies with Israel in general and with its wars in particular is a
legitimate target for protest demonstrations. And a Jewish community that does
not identify with the war crimes of the government of Israel will not be a
target for demonstrations. It occurred to no one to demonstrate outside the
offices of Neturei Karta in New York, or Jewish Voice for Peace or the Btselem
branch in Washington, because they are known not to identify with Solid Cliff
and suchlike, or the Occupation. If the leadership of the Jewish community in
France, for example, would dissociate itself from the massive bombardment of a
civilian population from land, air and sea and call for an end to the siege of
Gaza, its institutions and its people would not be targets for protest against
Israel.

This does not mean that there is no antisemitism, which is a branch of racism.
But official Israel and its supporters would do well to enter the Monastery of
Silence [2] because racism is the official policy of the government of Israel,
including the justice system. No known antisemite today can compete with the
racism of the State of Israel. To the best of my knowledge, today no movement,
party or committee in Europe or the USA, known for its racist/antisemitic
activities, however racist it may indeed be, will go out into the streets
carrying placards saying “Death to Jews” as the cry “Death to Arabs” is raised
publicly in Israel. Instead of dealing with these inciters to murder –
actually, to genocide – the Israeli police arrest Arab citizens who
demonstrate against the massacre that Israel is carrying out in Gaza.


Strategic threat?

An orchestrated brainwashing campaign is currently underway to propagate the
idea that the tunnels in Gaza are a strategic threat to Israel, and thereby
retroactively to justify the war and its victims. All the echelons of Israeli
society – government, the military, the academy and the media – are
participating in this orchestration. The plain truth is that this is
groundless and the victims died in vain in a needless war. The tunnels were
not at all the reason for the war.

A strategic threat is one that has existential implications, for example:
weapons of mass destruction or accurate missiles that can penetrate the
concrete walls of the nuclear reactor at Dimona. If the Hamas government were
armed with a modern air force that could bomb Tel Aviv like Israel bombs Gaza
and equipped with ground-to-air missiles that could neutralize the Israeli air
force, enjoyed the military and economic aid Israel receives from the USA,
possessed chemical weapons as a deterrent to Israel’s nuclear weapons, then
there would be grounds to speak of a strategic threat. We have known for many
years that Gaza is crisscrossed with tunnels, including tunnels that have
penetrated into Israel. Nearly all the attempts to penetrate into Israel,
whether across the fence or through tunnels have been nipped in the bud. Years
ago the Geological Institute suggested to the army effective and cheap ways to
find tunnels that penetrate into Israel. The army rejected the proposals
because the number of attacks through tunnels was so small that they did not
think it worthwhile to deal with the matter.

Ultimately, the tunnels were an inevitable response from those who are not
armed with modern weapons, especially faced with the Israeli air force. The
problem could have been dealt with on a case-by-case basis without war.
Strategic threat? Old wives’ tales. This war has served the Israeli government
very well so far. Everyone is talking about the unity of the People of Israel,
the heroism of our soldiers, the steadfast home front, the wonderful youth
that flock to the colours and suchlike empty slogans. The Left is hated even
more. Kahanist violence and thuggery set the tone on the streets and the
Bennetts discharge venom from television studios and in salons in excellent
English and correct Hebrew. There is no opposition except for a few courageous
Knesset members. And it is all done democratically, without secret police.
Meanwhile the shekel maintains its value. A Garden of Eden for the wicked.


Translator’s notes

1. http://www.vanleer.org.il/en/people/adel-manna

2. The Trappist monastery at Latrun, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, is
sometimes called the Monastery of Silence due to the widespread belief that
Trappist monks take a vow of silence. In 2012 it was desecrated by Jewish
extremists: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4276802,00.html

Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent

[bz]
Links to the latest articles in this section

Red Rag column: Elections in Israel; political Supreme Court; Noam Kaminer, RIP
Open Letter to Scarlett Johansson
Yiddish classic--our village is burning-- adapted to the Palestinian situation