Battlepanda: Lies, Damned lies and "If...then" statements


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lies, Damned lies and "If...then" statements

Libertarian Guy comments:

If Hizbullah and other hate-filled organizations weren't hell-bent on destroying Israel... then Israel wouldn't be bombing anyone.
Of course, it's too simple to say that. Sad, isn't it?
Erm, yes. It is. In fact, strip away the emotional hyperbole, and you're left with a practically meaningless statement: "If the other side would only do what we want, there would be no need for war." If only the Indians collectively jumped into the river, there would have been no need for the colonialists to distribute the smallpox blankets; if only Taiwan would voluntarily put itself under the rule of China, there would be no need for so many nasty missiles to be aimed at us from the mainland...

Note how LB implies that everything would be coming up roses for everyone if only the hateful Muslims would stop hating. Really? So if all Palestinians embraced peace tomorrow, Israel is going to give them back their land, let the refugees home and let everyone get on with their lives? Is it really that simple? Lawrence of Cyberia describes Jericho:

Jo-Ann Mort had an article in this week’s Forward, about a recent visit to
Jericho, where she interviewed Saeb Erekat, head of the PLO Negotiations Affairs
Department. Jericho is unusual among the Palestinian cities, in that it is the
least visibly affected by the intifada and the only one never to have produced a
suicide bomber. The Forward is apparently quite taken with what an outpost of
peace and tranquility it is, and suggests that if only every Palestinian would
act like Erekat and all their cities like Jericho, then Israel and the
Palestinians could be living in peace.
If Erekat had his way, Hamas would accept Israel's existence and let
Abbas — and Erekat — negotiate a permanent peace with Israel. "If the current
government accepts Abu Mazen's program," he said, using Abbas's nom de guerre,
"I don't think we have any problems, simply because negotiation with Israel is
not the affair of the government. It is the affair of the PLO. The government
and the [Palestinian Legislative] Council have no jurisdiction over me as the
head of the negotiating department."

Of course, Erekat cannot
act independently. In a way, he resembles the city he represents. Jericho, too,
could reach its own modus vivendi with Israel if were left to its own devices.
But it is not an independent player.

Well, pardon my French
but really, what a one-sided, self-serving steaming pile of crap. I’m glad there
is little overt violence there beyond the occasional IDF "incursion", but is she
really suggesting that if only all Palestine was like Jericho, everything might
be just hunky-dory between Israelis and Palestinians? As if the only thing
stopping peace breaking out all over the Levant is Hamas and its “violent
attacks on Israelis”, and once their violence stops relations would be normal.
As if there is no context for Palestinian violence, no underlying conflict,
definitely no military occupation, no illegal settlements encroaching on the
land Palestinians need to survive, etc. If they’d just stop making a fuss and
play nice like Jericho, everything would be fine for the Palestinians...

But that’s not true, is it? Whether it resists militarily or not,
Jericho is under a foreign military occupation that gives the occupier all the
rights and the occupied none. Whether it resists or not, Jericho and its
farmlands are relentlessly encroached upon by the expansion of the Maale Adumim
super-settlement to the west and the settlement of Vered Jericho to the north.
Whether it resists or not, Jericho’s agricultural hinterland in the Jordan
Valley has been earmarked for annexation by Ehud Olmert, who is building new
settlements there like Maskiot (some of whose inhabitants were among the
settlers removed last year from the illegal Gaza settlements, and are now trying
their luck in the illegal settlements of the West Bank). And I’m sure Jo-Ann
Mort had a lovely lunch with Erekat, but I bet he didn’t invite her for a picnic
on his family’s land, because he can’t. Because Israel confiscated it. And no
matter how nice he plays, Israel doesn’t show any inclination to give it back.

And that’s the point. Jericho’s renunciation of violence hasn’t made
things normal there. Israel dispossesses and displaces the Palestinians of the
Occupied Territories regardless of whether they want to talk peace or not, and
denies them equal rights not because of anything they do, but simply because of
who they are.

Let's be brutally honest here: the existence of Israel was predicated on a land-grab that was horridly unjust to the Palestinians. I'm not trying to be judgemental -- no country in the world right now came into existence without kicking somebody else off their "rightful" land in process. ("Rightful" is in quotes because I'm sure in their turn the dispossessed were once the disposessers). As a Taiwanese-American, I'm certainly in no position to throw any stones, seeing as how the Indigenous peoples of Taiwan and America were horribly persecuted to "make room" for the Han Chinese and European settlers respectively. Israel exists now, that's the way it is, and the Palestinians need to suck it up -- they're outgunned, and all the petty misery they can inflict on Israel shall be returned to them tenfold. There will be no right of return because the Israelis won't allow it. Israel, meanwhile, needs to be honest to itself about its real role in this conflict -- It has been, and continues to be, the aggressor. It shouldn't need to think real hard to realize why it is hated. It cannot keep doing this Kabuki dance where it was minding its own business until it was provoked into action. If it's been planning the current war with Lebanon for years, don't pretend that the two captured soldiers are anything other than a pretext, m'kay?