The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Why the taboo on criticising Israel?

I’m always amazed at how polarised people’s opinions are when it comes to Israel – how generally reasoned and moderate commentators can be so single-mindedly supportive of Israel, despite the appalling anti-humanitarian conditions it imposes on the Palestinians and the numerous floutings of conditions imposed by the UN – as though Israel can do no wrong.

“The Palestinian casualties are due to Hamas (and its backers in Syria and Iran) not to Israel. “ Funny that, I thought it had something to do with the massive and disproportionate Israeli military air and land attacks, made possible only by enormous military subsidy from the US. Apparently not. It’s OK for me to kill you because you made me do it, it seems.

Does this unflinching Israeli support come from our collective guilt about the Holocaust, or from our refusal to acknowledge the botched way in which the state of Israel was created without consideration for a viable Palestinian state? It seems our support for Israel is emotive rather than rational.

There is wrong on both sides, and both sides need to be brought to task and obliged to negotiate a lasting peace. And this I suspect is behind the latest ambit actions by Israel. Israel’s leaders know that a peace settlement will be high on the foreign policy agenda of the new Obama Administration. These latest military horrors are a way of pre-emptively establishing Israel’s opening bargaining position with the forth-coming peace process. The present atrocious situation gives Israel a lot to bargain with, and any softening will leave them looking like the good guys.

Filed under: Politics, ,

11 Responses

  1. clarencegirl says:

    “Does this unflinching Israeli support come from our collective guilt about the Holocaust, or from our refusal to acknowledge the botched way in which the state of Israel was created without consideration for a viable Palestinian state?”

    I think it is probably a combination of both reasons with a dash of ethnocentricity thrown in – after all many Israelis are indentifiably of European extraction and therefore familiar to the West.

  2. hc says:

    It is not unconditional support for Israel but recognition of the right of Israel to exist and to be not subject to missile attacks. Yesterday there were 30 missiles directed at Israe. This is not fantasy but fact.

    Hamas has enjoyed Israel’s patience for months and knows that no state will tolerate consistent bopmbardment from an adjacent country without retaliating. Hamas sought this response from Israel and seeks to advance its own fundamentalist rat-baggery using civilian populations as a pawn.

    BTW Clarencegirl it isn’t ethnocentricity – just respect for the civilised values of Israel and the contemptible, authoritarian values of those regimes beloveed of the left in Syria and Iran. And yes Slim these regimes are feeding missiles to Hamas and are killing innocent citizens in Gaza.

    Why does the left always look for compromises with terrorists? It is an amazing puzzle to me.

  3. slim says:

    It’s not a question of the left always looking to compromise with terrorists. Equally it could be a case of the right always seeking military solutions in preference to diplomacy and negotiation. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

    But Harry – what sins does Israel have to answer for? To what extent do the conditions it imposes on Palestine contribute to the problems caused by Hamas. It is morally simplistic to suppose that all the wrong doing is caused by Hamas and that killing all of them will solve the problem. Israel must also act to remove the siege-like conditions that the Palestinians have endured for decades.

    As I suggest, to what extent are Israel’s present actions politically motivated with a desire to look tough for upcoming elections and the inevitable attempt by Obama to bang their heads together?

  4. hc says:

    Slim, How does diplomacy work when your opponent is firing missiles at you?

    You are living in a dreamworld my friend. Quote from NYT 29 Dec:

    “To the south, Israel faces the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip and whose charter promises to destroy Israel and bring every inch of Palestine under Islamic rule and law. Hamas today has an army of thousands. It also has a large arsenal of rockets — home-made Qassams and Russian-made, Iranian-financed Katyushas and Grads smuggled, with the Egyptians largely turning a blind eye, through tunnels from Sinai”.

    This isn’t some academic debate with the left sniffing noisily at anything Jewish or American. Its a question of survival for Israel. Read the NYT article.

    Moral ambivalence is inexcusable when a bunch of totalitarian Islamists threaten a Liberal democracy.

  5. slim says:

    There you go again – they’re firing rockets at us so they must be evil. Israel can do no wrong. It is not simply because Hamas wishes to destroy Israel – Israel also wish to destroy Hamas. Meanwhile the Palestinians live in appalling prison-camp like conditions imposed by Israel. This is not moral ambivalence, a dreamworld, or some academic debate (why is it that right wing views are ‘genuine’ and left wing views ‘academic’?).

    As long as otherwise reasonable people lend unqualified and uncritical support for Israel and all her actions there will never be an end to the misery and bloodshed.

    Harry, I’m not trying to side with anyone, or justify the actions of extremists. The situation is a mess and has been for decades. Desperate conditions breed desperate acts. Analysis in terms of good vs evil are way too simplistic and ultimately unhelpful. It is much more complex that that.

  6. Caroline says:

    Israelis certainly seem to have sacred cow status. I find Jewish people in the main to be an extremely irritating mob of elitists, always demanding special treatment as if it were some God given right.

    Hamas launches 400 rockets into Israel and manages to kill 4 people. But it seems one Israeli life or mores specifically death, is worth 20 or 30 Palestinians and this seems to be considered a perfectly just equation. So call me anti-semite. That woman speeding up and down the counter in the food hall trying desperately to catch the eye of the person serving, while everyone else stands patiently waiting for their number to come up; why is that I can tell she is [a] Jewish [‘princess’]?

    And at the doctor’s where I worked , princess turns up a little late, comes to the desk, flatters me profusely, ridiculousl and then slyly suggests I put her in front of everyone else. WHY? FFS?

  7. […] Why the taboo on criticising Israel? […]

  8. hc says:

    Onya Caroline – nothing like a bit of bitchy bigotry to make me see clearly my own value to the human race.

    Whether the woman you mention in your exciting anedote is Jewish or not she is definitely not killing her neighbours with missile attacks.

    A bit of appropriate light holiday reading – try Mein Kampf.

  9. clarencegirl says:

    For hc – a little perspective on who has the real power and the weaponry.

    Mortality rates 29.9.2000-30.11.2008 taken from B’Tselem (Israeli human rights group):

    2,994 Palestinians (including 634 minors) in the Gaza Strip were killed by Israeli security forces/civilians compared with 136 Israeli dead (including 4 minors) in the same territory killed by Palestinians.

    With totals across Gaza, West Bank and Israel for the same period showing 4,897 Palestinian dead (including 955 minors) and 1,062 Israeli dead (including 123 minors).

  10. Caroline says:

    Glad you can see it clearly Harry. Because it fully escapes me.

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

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