Sunday 28 December 2008

Senseless in Gaza

Look, I'm a Jew by birth, I've been to Schul, my family live just outside Natanya in Israel, I've travelled there extensively. If I don't get to have an opinion on this, I don't know who does.

I have just watched that profoundly moving episode of Babylon 5 where Ivanova sits Shiva for her father. It made my heart swell with longing for the profundities of a culture I haven't reclaimed in far too long.

Following this, I made a cup of tea and checked the news.

Two hundred and ninety, murdered. Fuck you, Israel, fuck your leaders and your mindless orthodoxy, fuck your forcing my cousins to do military service and my family to live in fear, fuck your killing and your killing and your sixty years of killing. I've seen your promised land, and it stinks of melons and terror. This isn't the way it was supposed to go. You don't get to do this because you feel 'threatened'; that isn't what it means to be a Jew. Have we remembered nothing?

The true promised land is nowhere but in our own minds, and your false Zion runs with blood.


  1. I don't think the Israelis feel threatened. They're having stuff shot at them and therefore they're sending stuff back.

    Clearly because they're a government with an army and lots of expensive weapons so they can do lot more damage.

    I'd agree that the current action isn't any good for anyone - and Israel's current approach is likely to make things worse rather than better - but I'm not sure what I'd do if I was the Israeli government. They can't just let people take potshots at their citizens and do nothing about it.

  2. It's a difficult one. My general belief on foreign issues is it's down to the people involved. Not really for us to preach to them how they should do things.

  3. Nah. You're totally right.

    360 Palestinians dead and counting.

    4 Israelis dead.

    Each death is a tragedy.

    Each death is totally avoidable.

    This is about failure - deep deep failure. Failure to grasp the potential of humanity to reject hate, and revenge, and empty "victory". The spiralling idiocy of response to what 'they' just did to 'us'. Week after week, month after month, year after year.

    Decade after decade.

    When will they finally understand that 'we' ARE 'they'?

    I am the same as a Palestinian, as an Israeli. I have the same blood, the same organs, I love my children as they do, have the same hopes, fears. Those on whom the rockets, or the air raids fall are the same. From the same species. Connected.

    The brutality and pointlessness of the shallow and the base, and of the small, spiritually dead people who lead both Israel and Hamas...

  4. I'm with TRRRob on this one.

    For example, I think it would be incorrect and bad form on the part of the British to judge the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia too harshly for beheading the inhebrieted and intoxicated. In fact I only wish we could enforce this policy on our sorry shores.

    Perhaps Israel and Iran will one day enjoy a nuclear exchange and then the problem of the middle east will be solved forever.

  5. To TBRRob and ANWilson - unfortunately the British state is, to a large extent, historically responsible for this situation, due to imperialist involvement in the area, for example the creation of the 'British Mandate of Palestine'. And economically, militarily, diplomatically, it still has a huge influence on middle east politics, so I'm afraid there is no real way to leave the events to the 'people involved'. We are involved, whether we like it or not, by the fact that our government claims (and claimed), to be acting on our democratic behalf.

  6. Hi Penny,

    Senseless is precisely the word I'd use to describe what Israel is doing to the people of Gaza. I am also sickened by the number of people saying Israel is justified in bombing innocent people to death as a response to what Hamas has done; by that same logic, Hamas is now justified in sending more rockets over the border. Of course, that doesn't make sense, and nor does Israel's airstrikes.

    The media furore over what happened in Mumbai compared with the hand-wringing and on-the-fence attitude towards Gaza is highly depressing. Israel has just rejected international calls for a truce to allow humanitarian aid in, so I hope as many people turn out as possible this Saturday:

    Assemble 12:30pm Along Embankment, by Embankment tube station, London WC2 - nearest tube Embankment or Charing Cross

  7. Actually, Josephine, some form of retribution is neccesary, at all levels of human interaction, to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Perhaps this is what the Isrealis learned from careful analysis of the holocaust. (I will add that it's also important to forgive occasionally to prevent a spiraling circle of retribution.)
    I suppose you could argue in favour of some kind of supranational police action, but history has shown that organisations on this level lack the strength of national bodies.

    Qustion: Why is it that humans are becoming ever more peaceful?

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