Saturday, January 17, 2009

The pornography of anti-imperialism"

Shiraz Socialist provides a round-up and a commentary on the sort of of eruption encountered by well-meaning rookie NDP MP Don Davies in Vancouver, where "it blew up in his face":

After condemning the escalating violence in Gaza and calling for an Israeli ceasefire, he said "and Palestinians must also stop violence against Israel." A brief silence was followed by a smattering of boos. A bearded man, with an umbrella in one hand and a Palestinian flag in the other, shouted "Shame on you! Shame, shame!"

Davies abruptly surrendered the microphone and a female voice thundered from the loudspeaker. "Israel is waging war on the Palestinians! Our resistance will not be criminalized!"

21 Comments:

Anonymous arendt said...

I wonder what the world reaction would be towards Palestinians had they had killed over 1,000 Israelis, maimed and injured thousands more and targeted UN buildings. We are meant to hold a double standard when it comes to Palestinian violence versus Israeli, in the same way that we blind ourselves to the historical suffering of Palestinians, which made possible the existance of the Israeli state in the first place. Theese are unpleasant facts that we wish to ignore, it's much easier than to caution against "extremism" speak in platitudes about "the cycle of violence" and pretend that we're dealing with a conflict involving "two sides". In this way everything styas the same and nothing changes

4:14 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I suppose it would depend on how many of the Israelis were civilians and how many were combatants
(how many of the Palestinians that were killed were Hamas fighters vs Civilians?), also if the Israeli army were using the civilians as shields and firing from schools,synagogues and such, then there would be a reaction no doubt.
Finally the Israelis would never allow 1000 of their people to be killed, as they appear to value the lives of their fellow citizens more than Hamas appear to value the lives of the people in Gaza.

5:42 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"I wonder what the world reaction would be towards Palestinians had they had killed over 1,000 Israelis, maimed and injured thousands more and targeted UN buildings."

____

"B'Tselem reports that 1,053 Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks through April 30, 2008.[1]"

"B'Tselem reports that through April 30, 2008 there were 719 Israeli civilians killed and 334 Israeli security force personnel killed.[1] In other words, 31.7% of those killed were Israeli security force personnel, while 68.3% were civilians. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Intifada#Casualties

One example of world outrage:

"Israel death toll lowest in years"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4574720.stm

We all remember the massive rallies in the capitals of the world, the outpouring of sympathy, the indiscriminate condemnation of Hamas, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, the placards "Palestinians are Nazis", the aggressive attacks by Jewish students on Palestinian offices, the vocal calls by British and Canadian MP's to end the terrorist campaign against Israeli civilians, and to boycott any products coming from Palestine.

Surely you remember all this, arendt?

5:58 PM  
Blogger Patrick Ross said...

I can't help but wonder where the outrage of Palestinians was when the Lebanese army and Palestinian militants were having a firefight with a Palestinian refugee camp right in the middle of it.

Apparently, it's different when it's Israel.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous arendt said...

To my critics on this blog,

In spite of all the terrible things that Israelis and Palestinians have done to each other–a conflict which I believe past history and present events prove beyond a doubt that Israel and Zionism are primarily responsible for–they will have to make peace and forgive each other one day if either group is to survive, just as the Blacks and whites of South Africa had to do (another situation in which there was no question who was right and who was wrong.) So there might be some common ground of agreement between us on that one point despite our differences on other things.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous arendt said...

Despite what I said above, any moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians in this conflict is contemptible. I no longer really consider myslef a trotkyist but this quote is relevant

“A slave-owner who through cunning and violence shackles a slave in chains, and a slave who through cunning and violence breaks the chains - let not the contemptible eunuchs tell us that they are equals before a court of morality!”
–Leon Trotsky, “Their Morals and Ours,” 1938

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Steve B said...

"In spite of all the terrible things that Israelis and Palistinians have done to each other...that Isreal and Zionism are primarily responsible...just as Blacks and whites of South Africa had to do...."

Are arendt and Michael Balter the same person? Just finished reading the comments over at Marc Cooper's blog under, "We, the Chosen People."

Seems that arendt and Balter share the same response to their critics.

3:39 AM  
Blogger BustaGrill said...

arendt:

"Despite what I said above, any moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians in this conflict is contemptible."

Regarding the issue of conflating kill ratios with morality in the Gaza siege, I think Gwynne Dyer makes some useful points in this opinion piece:

http://www.straight.com/article-191045/gwynne-dyer-israel-must-make-peace-neighbours

10:38 AM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

"B'Tselem reports that 1,053 Israelis were killed by Palestinian attacks through April 30, 2008.[1]"

"B'Tselem reports that through April 30, 2008 there were 719 Israeli civilians killed and 334 Israeli security force personnel killed.[1] In other words, 31.7% of those killed were Israeli security force personnel, while 68.3% were civilians. "


Hmm. Other figures from B'Tselem:

Fatalities, 2000 - 2008

Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces -
Occupied Territories: 4781
Israel: 69

Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians -
Occupied Territories: 237
Israel: 490

Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians -
Occupied Territories: 245
Israel: 90

Palestinian minors killed by Israeli security forces -
Occupied Territories: 952
Israel: 3

Israeli minors killed by Palestinians -
Occupied Territories: 39
Israel: 84

11:02 AM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

Regarding the issue of conflating kill ratios with morality in the Gaza siege, I think Gwynne Dyer makes some useful points in this opinion piece:

As always, Dyer does a great job of clearing away the cruft.

As was said after the execution of the Duc d’Enghien on Napoleon's orders, the Gaza operation “is worse than a crime. It is a mistake.”

This operation in Gaza would be a bit more acceptable if Israel had either a chance or a plan to achieve their goals. In this regard, it is every bit a mistake as the anti-Hezbollah operation in 2006. And, at a time of radical change in international balances that are likely to work against Israel's favour, I think it foolish on a scale that surprises me. Regardless of what one thinks of Israel's ethics, the nation has always displayed enviable competence. In the last few years, that has withered.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous arendt said...

Israeli violence against Palestinians is being exposed by the day for what it is; the brutality of a colonial power uses to maintain its system of domination. Those who cling to the old arguments that Israel is praticsing "self defence" or fighting extremism need to constantly evoke new ways to dehumanise Palestinian civilian in order to justify policies of raw brutality and power. But the world is changing. This week UK Labour MP Gerald Kaufman a jew who was raised as a Zionist called also called for an arms embargo on Israel and said this: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. "My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza."

11:31 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"Those who cling to the old arguments that Israel is praticsing "self defence" or fighting extremism need to constantly evoke new ways to dehumanise Palestinian civilian in order to justify policies of raw brutality and power."

This is typical of your confusion, Arendt. To acknowledge Israel's right to self-defence against Hamas rocket attacks requires no such thing, and when you level this allegation against those who do acknowledge Israel's right to self-defence, you're the one doing the "dehumanizing."

11:53 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Considering the DPU - Contentious statistics imbroglio, I wonder which spreadsheet accounts for these numbers:

"A Fatah official in Ramallah told the Post that at least 100 of his men have been killed or wounded as a result of the massive crackdown by Hamas. He said that some of the Fatah activists had been brutally tortured by Hamas militiamen.

"He said that the perpetrators belonged to Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, and the movement's Internal Security Force.

"According to the Fatah official, at least three of the detainees had their eyes put out by their Hamas interrogators, who accused them of providing Israel during the war with information about the location of Hamas militiamen and leaders."

Here: http://tinyurl.com/8apqdm

12:06 PM  
Anonymous arendt said...

Under what perverse logic do you grant an occupying force the right to commit massacres as it did in Gaza against a population under un inhumane siege, which has no sovereign control over its air space, borders or entry points. And how many reports by Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Bt'selem and Human Rights Watch copiously documenting war crimes and indiscriminate targetting by the IDF have to be produced before the "purity of arms" and "self defence" mantra is finally put to rest and exposed as a horrednous lie put forward in order to rationalize and justify a cruel and brutal form of oppression.

More to the point what rights do Palestinians have to self defence, as it is their land being occupied and it is their population which is facing an overwhelming military force bent on erasing their existence and rights to the land?

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Arendt said...

The human rights abuses of both Fatah and Hamas are intolereable in the sdame sense that the ANC's policy of necklacing and burning suspected collaborators live in the townships of Soweto constituted crimes against humanity. The Palestinian movement should be held to the same standard as other national liberation movement, no better or worse. It seems to me that Palestinian who colloborate with the Israeli occupying forces, which after all has just finished killing over one thousand people, should be punished, but this doesnt allow for Hamas to conduct trial by execution. That, to me, should be obvious.

What's a bit disengeneous is that we see those who cannot summon in themselves the ability to express remourse or outrage over Israel's disgustring attacks on Gaza, now feigning interest in Hamas's treatment of other Palestinians. This is a tactic of an apologist for Israeli violence and domination which has nothing to do with concern for Palestinians at all

12:18 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Thankyou for providing another vivid example of your confusion, Arendt.

By acknowledging Israel's right to self-defence, I grant none of the (mainly dubious anyway) excesses you enumerate, nor do I side with oppression of any kind (cruel, brutal or otherwise) so I have no need to claim "logic," perverse or otherwise, for the content of your lurid insinuations about me.

So why don't you just go and argue with someone else? Probably it's because you think I'm being utterly beastly for refusing to compete with you in the "I'm appalled with Israel" sweepstakes, but at least show me the courtesy of damning me for something I've actually written or done.

Of course the Palestinians have a right to self-defence, but the facts don't support your premise that the appalling and heartbreaking circumstances facing Palestinians in Gaza is a matter of "overwhelming military force bent on erasing their existence and rights to the land," and similarly baseless is your unavoidable implication - I'm sure it was unintended - that you "grant" the launching of thousands of rockets at innocent Israelis to be somehow a legitimate act of Palestinian self-defence.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

So, now I'm an "apologist for Israeli violence and domination," Hamas is a "liberation movement," and executing Fatah "collaborators" is okay as long as they get a trial. To be fair, I expect you draw the line at gouging people's eyes out, but we require a rather higher standard than that around here, Arendt.

Don't come back.

12:51 PM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

Considering the DPU - Contentious statistics imbroglio, I wonder which spreadsheet accounts for these numbers:

The site, which I link to, has the figures for Palestinians who are killed by other Palestinians. I didn't bring them up because they seemed irrelevant in a discussion about the death toll of civilians felled by Israeli weapons. Well, irrelevant unless it's the "But what about what the Arabs are doing" question.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

No DPU, I was actually curious to know.

2:43 PM  
Blogger double-plus-ungood said...

I think that the Hamas/Fatah infighting may be included in the "Palestinians killed by Palestinians for suspected collaboration with Israel" category, as that seems to be the causi belli when the go after each other. The figure given from 2000-2008 is 120, which seems a mite low.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous arednt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:53 PM  

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