Thursday, August 24, 2006

That's what they Believe

I was trying to explain to supposedly well exposed and well knowledgeble people form the US the Lebanon perspective of the situation from under fire. At first, I thought they were not well aware of the conflict. Instead, I realized that by complaining, I was attacking well rooted beliefs. An American might not know the name of his president, but he knows Israel. After a while, one realizes that this struggle is not merely between Right and Wrong. Someone (Zionists) are incredibly capable of camouflge.

I'm not sure how many American share the views of this particular American, but I have reason to doubt there are plenty of ignorance, and those ignorant "folks" have no reason to doubt or to question their beliefs.

This is a summary of the beliefs based on real quotes:

Jewish Settlement in Palestine: 20th Century
“The Jews,” as they are called, did not take Palestine away from the Palestinians. In the first instance, they originally “stole” it from the Turks (sic), who also governed Egypt and Syria and a few other countries for several centuries.

Israel's right of existence: Nobody Existed before 1948
Many of the nations in the ME today are actually younger than Israel. … The English—God help us all—“invented” Iraq after WWI, by bulldozing together not merely Sunni and Shiite territory, but also Armenian, Kurd…

Middle East is not Arabic
The Middle East is not Arabic, though that may be the predominant culture, contested now and in the past 30 years by Iran.

Acceptance of Injustice: Reason to Pursue
[The conflict has to be put in] the context of the past 50 years in the ME as a whole and the violent bloodshed and genocide which have taken place there. Peoples of the ME accept (apparently) without blinking these terrible casualty figures and mindless wars. Allah wills it. Blessed be….

Selective Amnesia! Just make sure one forgets all the massacres, and the rest will be just right?

Others are just as bad: Hence, you cannot complain (Widespread injustice, Complete impunity)

Instead of looking only at Israel, look at the all of the elements in this tragedy, the daily rockets which have been raining down on Northern Israel for years, the brutality of Syrian politics within Lebanon, the antiquarian Iranian agenda behind the Hezbollah organization with all the tools of modernity.

I would hope that Israel is judged by a higher standard…. Is Israel uniquely and profoundly evil?

You've been Quiet before-Why Complain Now
[The accusation againt Israel] conceals (perhaps not accidentally) the enormous human violence and suffering which have taken place in the ME in modern times—WWI down to the present. British colonialism? OK. French colonialism? OK. But “the Jews” re-creating a nation for themselves on an ancient territory which had been theirs “only” until the Roman destruction of their country in the first century AD?

That is a cosmic atrocity against which all else just pales in comparison…?? [I think especially now of the mass contempt for human life, showed on both sides in the terrible war between Iraq and Iran in the ‘80s. What was the toll? Probably somewhere just under a million, but numbers vary by as much as half a million. Anyway…God (Allah) wills it.

I wonder if the native Americans who were infected with pest and hunted down like deer choose to reestablish their tribal dominance 100 years from now, how would the Americans feel? Or the Arabs to reclaim Spain as their land, or the Lebanese attack Tunis as they own Carthage {some still have the deeds}.. What kind of twisted logic is that?

Israel is now a better country than it were
I look at the political role of Israel in the Mediterranean world from the perspective of left-wing Israel (from its founding to 1980) and right-wing Israel (from 1980 to the present). Right wing Israel now includes the absolutely pernicious influence and funding of fundamentalist Christian America. …. There is a real difference between Golda Meier and Menachim Begin, as there was also between Moshe Dayan and Ari Sharon.

Others are as bad
Israel is neither on the side of the angels, nor of the demons. It is, like all other countries in the world, merely a political-economic-cultural entity, not the worst by any means and clearly not the best either (and both Switzerland and Sweden are far worse historically than either’s currently angelic reputation might lead one to believe).

Israel: The Harbinger of Modernity
This is a war against the complex symbolism of the state of Israel. Should the state of Israel be wiped off the face of the earth nothing in the very modern / very ancient Levant will have fundamentally changed. Islamic fundamentalism, not a religion, but a political ideology, will continue to rage because it is in a genocidal conflict with "the culture" of modernity itself.

Israel, lives in the world of modernity. Its enemies do not. They only use all the tools of modernity, to bring down the World Trade Center building in NY, …. by brilliant, ingenious people who believe that the only hope for the world is a return to sixth century AD darkness.

Israel is not fighting Lebanon
Israel is not fighting Lebanon, though that Lebanon is the one that is dying under Israel's air strikes and rockets. Israel is fighting Syria. Israel is fighting Hizbollah. And the only way this can happen is by Israel killing real Lebanese, against whom there is no strategic or political issue, only the deeply personal one of living or dying.