Thursday, July 27, 2006

Peretz the Defensive Dove & Hezbollah's Costume Ball

I watched the Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz yesterday in an interview with Fionnuala Sweeney on CNN (is that her name? It sounds like something sprouting in my fridge, which hasn’t had power for the last 18 hours.) Peretz, “the dove”, is in many ways the Condoleeza Rice of the Olmert administration. She’s black and female, while he was born in Morocco and is a “civilian”; the affirmative action hire, the hawk in sheep’s clothing, so to speak. Why would an Arab-born peacenik want to kill women and children, right?

Peretz denied the intentional targeting of the UNIFIL troops. And he did so with the same tired bogus argument, the one you hear from people all around the world, who cannot accept that Israel went off the deep end a long time ago.
He said, “Why would it be in the interest of Israel to kill da UN peacekeepers?”, and he did it with that self-righteous grimace, of someone who has posed the ultimate rhetorical question, who knows he has had the final word (I wouldn’t expect too much resistance from a CNN anchor, either.)

Except that I don’t buy that argument; I hear it all the time. I tell a certain someone, “Israel used phosphorous weapons today against civilian populations in the south”. “I see no proof. It’s not in the western media. It hasn’t been confirmed”, is their first response. The second one is “Why would that be in their interest? It is not. It is tragic in itself, but even more tragic, because it is not in their interest”.

And at the heart of this not-in-our-interest argument lies another aspect of the existential victimization that Israelis are fed daily: the rest of the world hates us, they criticize us anyway, regardless of what we do. So, then the argument suffices for the majority of Israelis and her supporters: “Why would that be in our interest—to do something that will damage our reputation? We are after all the party in this conflict whose actions are governed by rationality; not the Arab terrorist masses.”

The truth is that many Israelis would also say that, they don’t care what the Europeans and the UN think, because they hate us anyway. Which is when the “Why should we?” becomes a “Why not?” And the answer to that, of course, is because they can. Least someone wants to argue against the fact that Israel can and does get away with doing what it wants, as long as the US doesn’t object.

I’m willing to learn; show me the evidence.

Israel has no love for the UNIFIL. In fact they’ve been wanting to get rid of them for a very, very long time; they claim they are in contact with Hezbollah (well of course; Hezbollah governs the south of Lebanon where they are stationed). They said yesterday that they don’t want another UN mission in the south of Lebanon; they’ll only settle for NATO. The US also has no love for the UN unless it can be used as a means to pressure a country she doesn’t feel like invading right now. And here’s the proof: “The United States blocked the U.N. Security Council from issuing a statement that would have condemned the Israeli action. Diplomats said the U.S. objected to one paragraph, which said the council ‘condemns any deliberate attack against U.N. personnel and emphasizes that such attacks are unacceptable.’”

I’m not one hundred percent convinced that they targeted the UNIFIL on purpose. But it amounts to the same thing if they were just blindly shelling the shit out of the entire area, followed by lobbing a few missiles into populated places. You cannot turn the tables and blame those who are blaming you by saying, “Why would we want to do that?” I’ll try that next time I get caught shoplifting; I’ll just keep a crisp $50 note in my wallet, and say, “Why would I steal? I have money. I'm swimming in it”.

The second part of that, “Why would it be in our interest?”-argument was pronounced by that Harvard-reared cowboy, Benjamin Netan-YAHOO! who said, “We are not using our full military might. If we were we could have leveled the entire country a long time ago...” So restraint amounts to only leveling half the country.

I think that part of the problem is that the Israelis know that Hezbollah will exist as long as there are Shia living in the south of Lebanon. And they can’t really picture “eliminating” Hezbollah with all those pesky Shiites around. Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. Restraint, restraint, restraint. How to eliminate with restraint?

This is how I see the Israeli dilemma from their point of view: If I was living with an infestation of cockroaches, and I wanted to practice restraint in eliminating them, what would I do? I would kill around half of them, and teach the other half a lesson. If the other half is not willing to learn, then I would practice restraint by not using the nuclear option of spraying them with OFF! but maybe I would just splurge on some of that organic stuff to kill them, slowly. But first I would call the landlord to get permission.

Peretz also claimed that he would not speculate on why or how the UN peacekeepers were attacked, but added —without speculating— that maybe the Hezbollah was using UN flags. Maybe they were also dressing up as toddlers in baby bonnets, disguised as voluptuous nurses hiding in the back of ambulances, and posing as milk factory employees. Very cunning. Lebanon from the north to the south, from the east to the Meditarranean coast, is just one big Hezbollah mirage. That’s because Iran supplies them with costumes, some of which are manufactured in Syria. Syria must at once stop providing costumes to the Hezbollah. And here's the headline to go with it: "Israel intercepts shipment of ballgowns from Damascus to Hezbollah".


Anonymous said...

You really are in a banana republic, aren't you!

Why the UN post was bombed.

Just read through the verbatim quotes from UNIFIL's own published daily logs. The picture there is worth a 1000 blog entries.

UN Observer Post Used by Hizballah.

You're no better than the lies and the liars that you support.

Stephen_M said...

You should read this.

Irit said...

Interesting that while Israel is saying no way, no way would we target that post on purpose, the people trying to defend the 'we are insulted you would call it deliberate' attack give excuses that suggest that Israel DID target it on purpose...If you are going to have a knee-jerk 'we are the eternal victims' reaction, at least let it come in line with what the side you are defending is saying. When Israel says we didn't do it on purpose, you don't defend it by saying they attacked it because it was a hezbollah post, and therefore 'on purpose'. who's lying now?
And how bout digging up an even more rabidly partisan couple of articles to defend an attack on international peacekeepers...It's always the fault of the victims that they got blown to bits right?

Grand Street said...

UN Post -- it is not question if it is in Israel's interest to bomb the UN -- it's a reflexive action on Israel's part -- from the killing of Count Bernadotte (spelling?) in the 1940s to the bombing of the U.S. navy ship (Liberty?) in 1967 -- Israel, like a cat going after birds acts on reflex -- and that means eliminating anyone or anything not 110% on their side.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fayez said...

If you want your NATO allies to do your proxy occupation then it makes pefect sense to bomb the UNIFL post.


UN (UNRWA) schools in Palesine and Lebanon have been frequent targets. Now these are not UN buildings with soldiers in them but these are, however, UN buildings with children in them.

But wait, this is your que to say Arabs use their children as shields in conflict. We, the barbarians, sacrifice our children for the "photo opp". We, the barbarians are not only inhuman, we are seemingly void of even animal off-spring loving and protecting instincts.

So there you go, you are fully warranted to destroy their property, incarcerate them in cages, torture them, and kill them.

Hey did you hear about the two British Mandate soldiers that were abducted by the Irgun terrorists only to be found 2 weeks later hanged.

Damn those nasty Aey-rabs!

saamida said...

You take "anonym's" last comment out, because it definitely goes too far. He strips the Canadian soldier's words of their context, thereby converting the meaning of the soldier's message to the opposite. The soldier, though cannot protest because he's dead. This is sick.

EDB said...

Whoops, I didn't mean to erase old anonymous' comment, but it's no loss since someone already posted something to the same effect (another anoynmous/ the same anonymous?).
It seems that all of you who so value the deliberate or undeliberate nature of attacking by missile a UN post, missed the point. I did say that I don't care if it was deliberate, because it amounts to the same thing if it was from trigger-happy wrecklessness.

But the fact is, the Israelis do have the coordinates for that UN post, were warned at least 10 times that they were shelling a UN position, and then, then they lobbed a missile at it (with those same coordinates). Get over it, oh apologists out there. And who would want to argue that Kofi would ever go out on a limb and level unfounded accusations at the US' allies? Who? Anonymous? Anyone?

Anonymous , Anonymous & co:
Sign in, dammit. Make up a name. You're obviously not the most creative-minded folks out there (especially, you, anonymous, who misses the point of the blog's title each time you say "you really are in a banana republic!" Duh. My joke, you witless creature)

Sophia.Abady said...

"Why would an Arab-born peacenik want to kill women and children, right?"

I dunno. You tell me.

About UNIFIL, how *did* HA manage to collect 15,000 rockets with peacekeepers all around?

Jen from Ohio said...

Your take on the Israeli point of view reminds me of this quote from the US war against the Phillipines at the turn of the century:

U.S. Army General Shefter said: "It may be necessary to kill half of the Filipinos in order that the remaining half of the population may be advanced to a higher plane of life than their present semi-barbarous state affords."

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