In the first days of the Israeli assault on Gaza, some asked ‘Why the news concentration on Israel’. Why not Syria, or ISIS etc. ? This became one of the talking points of Israeli apologists who argued that it is unjust – some suggested it reflected growing anti-semitism in Europe. But at least we were making some progress: Israel was now being viewed on the same level as other backward, racist, fundamentalist movements or pariah states. It is a sign that the ‘oasis of democracy is a sea of savagery’ myth is getting threadbare. Israel keeps pushing that myth but struggles in the face of growing press and social media focus.
So, what are the differences between Israel and ISIS ?
Well, for one, ISIS thankfully does not have diplomatic representation here in Dublin. ISIS doesn’t have an ambassador and his wife down in Ballsbridge peddling racism and Jewish supremacy. Here in Dublin we have a pair of bigots who argue that Israel is fighting for “us” against “them’. Using racist stereotypes, the embassy tells us that were it not for Israel, Ireland and Europe would be overrun by Jihadi hordes. (Strange that they are concerned about us, as Mrs. Bodai recently referred to the Irish as “anti-Semitic heathen hordes”). In doing so they have become a global laughing stock – although that term minimises their sinister role. It is no wonder that there is a petition going around trying to put pressure on Enda Kenny to throw Boaz Modai and his Madame Ngu out. They are also a source of shame and concern to that dwindling, endangered group: the Israeli left. It is staggering, however, to think that this locker room racism and barracks bigotry is coming from a diplomatic mission. But sadly violent racist rhetoric is often be heard amongst the mainstream. Calls to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages or kicking the population out can heard from mainstream members of today’s Knesset.
Nor is my government complicit in ISIS atrocity the way it is with Israeli politicide. ISIS does not sit in the UN pretending to be a civilised nation. When we cut off diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, then things can change. Until then Israel’s PR machine deserves our attention. And, as we can see from Dr Luntz’s manual, it is still very effective at peddling the con. Israel has a far more evolved public relations machine than ISIS. It knows it is not good PR to go around beheading people in public. And when it does shoot innocent people who are trying to drag family members out of their bombed homes and then finishes them off as they lie in rubble, it doesn’t promulgate youtube clips of its actions. Israel, as the Dr. Luntz manual reminds us, is fighting an information war. It used to be very good at peddling the con. But the more it is exposed, the cruder it gets. The crudeness is part of a growing lack of sophistication as opposition and dissidence is stomped on. The crudeness is a sign that Israel is on the defensive.
Photo: Moamar Awad
The “Why us, not Syria?’ line showed the cracks in the con job. That’s the last line of defence before admitting the game is up. ISIS does it by sword. Israel by drone. But the end result for the poor ******* on the wrong side is the same.
Israel must be stopped before it achieves its objective of bombing the Palestinians into an ISIS state of mind. It is a testament to the Palestinians’ sophistication as a culture that this has not yet happened. But in the despicable prison lab that is Gaza, in a brutalised world without the semblance of hope, in a world of humiliation and constant daily indignity, frightening mutations can happen. Israel wants vicious jihadi hordes to justify its vicious barbaric repression. Israel panics at the sight of moderation. That is why Israel originally supported Hamas. And that is why – after the emergence of the recent Hamas Fatah reconciliation – we are witnessing the IDF slaughtering its way through Gaza. Israel prefers this bellicose status quo to the prospects of giving up land. Israel has never ever wanted to give up land. And Israel want to ensure it creates facts on the ground that means it never can. The Neo Cons made the Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו visions a reality when they deliberately tore Iraq apart and rendered it into a set of warring sectarian factions. The next step was supposed to be Iran. Once the grunts left Iraq where they would have been at Iran’s mercy. Benny screamed ‘onwards to Tehran’. But the brutalisation of Iraq gave birth to mutations like ISIS. And now we have both Tel Aviv and its bastard twin ISIS engaged in genocidal activity. But curiously we only have talk of humanitarian aid for the Christians stranded on the mountain where Noah’s ark was said to have been built. Down below circle Rumsfeld’s twisted barbaric offspring. And no-one comes to the aid of the Gazans,
Israel prefers a bellicose status quo to land yielding peace.
Israel has never ever been prepared to give up land.
Israeli apologists will point to Gaza.
Israel gave up Gaza.
But the Gaza ‘withdrawal’ was a mere cosmetic move where Israel merely changed its role from repressive occupier to brutal prison guard.
The IDF moved from one side of a wall to another. Locking “in” instead of locking “down”.
Israel strives to replicate what it has done with its own state, that is, to create sufficient “fact” on the ground that it becomes indisputable. If a couple of million Palestinians are in the way, so what.
They have a choice, it says.
Submit, leave or die.
This is why Israel sees itself as innocent of the crime of genocide: the Palestinians don’t face certain death. No they have the luxury of leaving. Or submitting.
It’s very like ISIS with their variants on ‘Cough up, convert or die.”
Furthermore, Israel is at pains to point out that Palestinians live ‘freely’ within the State of Israel itself and even can participate in the body politic.
Yes, they can live as second-class citizens in an increasingly intolerant racist society. And their political leaders often stand accused of ‘treason’ for representing their voters.
Israel has come up with a more “telegenic – as Benny would say -” form of genocide and that’s politicide – the attack on all constructs that bring people together as a nation, that give people identity, pride and hope.
Under the cover of endless peace talks, it steadfastly pursues this objective. An objective that clearly explains attacks on schools, hospitals, power plants and universities.
So why do I agitate about Israel? Because the West is complicit in its silence. America enables the whole brutal show with its aid. And Europe either acquiesces or cheers on. Much to the horror of a growing percentage of citizens.
America could call a halt to this whole quasi-genocidal show. But it has neither the courage nor the moral integrity to do so. That can change. Political parties may seem paralysed but the people’s view is changing. It’s almost 10 years since Pulitzer Prize winning Middle East reporter, the late Richard Ben Kramer wrote his New York Times best seller ‘How Israel Lost.’ Kramer chronicled how US Jews were becoming increasingly alienated from the extreme policies of modern Israel. Change may be tragically slow. But it is happening. Look at the series of Latin American countries that have just recently broken off diplomatic relations with Israel.
Personally I am fascinated by propaganda and love nothing more than a good fight. Writing in Dublin Ireland, there is very little one can do to combat the threat of ISIS. But Israel is different. Political support, or the lack thereof, matters to Israel. So it makes sense to create political pressure. Highlighting what is happening to Gaza informs people and makes them more likely to lobby. The boycott of South Africa took time for it to hit a critical mass.
Kevin Barrington 19.8.2014
Images published by Israeli Embassies – July 2014