Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's the blood libel, stooopid!

In a fairly typical apologist piece in Ha'aretz called The War-crimes fiction by a certain Yehuda Ben Meir, the author, plainly out of arguments resorts to the oldest trick (yawn...) in the zionut book: calling those who criticise Israel anti-Semites. To be fair, he's consistent by calling Israeli critics "self-haters" (another yawn). Apparently, the writer is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies. A senior research fellow, no less. You seriously wonder what exactly it is he 'researches'.

He comes up with some interesting comparisons.

A strange thing has happened here. It used to be that the main question was who is the aggressor and who has implemented his right to self-defense. This is the true moral question. Today no distinction is being made between one who has risen against the state to destroy it and one who has risen to defend his life.

A very strange thing indeed, this collective loss of memory among Israeli 'senior research fellows' with regards to who in the I/P conflict is the aggressor. The burglar. The usurper. It's Israel and Zionism.
The best academic jurists in Israel and abroad are rejecting these accusations.

Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University has dissected with the honed scalpel of a great legal expert the accusations against the IDF operation, and has rejected them outright. Professor Yoram Dinstein, one of Israel's greatest experts on international law, made it clear in a lecture at the Institute for National Security Studies that the accusations against the IDF are anchored in prejudice. In Europe this is a matter of classic anti-Semitism and in Israel one of pathetic self-hatred - or ignorance and misunderstanding of the principles of international law, especially in spirit.

The best academic jurists in Israel... if the level of a few Israeli Far Rightwinger academics that I've witnessed now a couple of times in the past few weeks is anything to go by, then I think there's reasonable hope that some European jurisdictions may at least reach the stage of leveling charges against some Israeli commanders.

And Alan Dershowitz? You gotta be kidding me: this guy not so long ago pleaded in favour of legitimising torture (a la waterboarding) on the grounds that "we're doing it anyway". Couldn't see that legitimising today's crude methods of torture would open up the way for the new, more sophisticated methods of super-torture of tomorrow. Waterboarding Deluxe...

The only question that interests the world is whether and how many civilian casualties there have been, while totally ignoring the identity of those responsible for the war and killing, an inevitable outcome of any war and certainly a war against a cruel terrorist organization. When he was U.S. president, Harry Truman ordered the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan to spare the lives of American soldiers; the justification for this was anchored in the fact that Japan was responsible for the war.

Interesting comparison here: Gaza and the dropping of the A-bombs, a Freudian slip perhaps?. Anyone who is inclined (like me) to justify the historical exceptional use of these weapons of mass destruction does so on the reasonable (but improvable) assumption that despite the massive loss of civilian life these actions actually caused a net saving of overall loss of life on both sides, considering how costly it would have been to storm the archipelago fortress called Japan. Does our scholar believe Operation Lead Balloon also saved lives, proportionate to its human cost?



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